Helping Puerto Viejo children can have some additional benefits

Gecko Trail employee Katrina Taylor. supervises a game of musical chairs.

Gecko Trail employee Katrina Taylor. supervises a game of musical chairs.

A Swiss expat is making Christmas merry for the impoverished children of Puerto Viejo de Limón while helping to get the company’s sustainable certification.

Soccer balls aren’t the easiest thing to wrap as gifts the 15 employees of Gecko Trail Adventures, the travel agency based out of Puerto Viejo in Limón, found out last week.

Gecko Trail donated $100 for food and games and planned and held a Christmas party for 15 of Puerto Viejo’s most impoverished children, aged 5 to12. The company employees each drew the name of a child to invite to the party and to give a gift for the Christmas holiday. The names came from the local primary school roster,

This type of event also helps Gecko Trail fulfill some requirements to get a certification for sustainable tourism via the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo. The institute helps to promote companies that achieve this certification. Tourism operators get badges for their Web sites, links from the official institute Web site and reduced registration fees to participate in international fairs.

“This type of community involvement helps both our business and the children of the area,” said Nina Neidhart, Gecko’s general manager. The Gecko Trail employees put the entire event together which gives them experience in organizing events within their own community and the children get too see that going to work can be fun too.”

“Our employees agreed that the gifts for the children would not be guns or be battery powered. Batteries may not be disposed of properly after use,” Ms. Neidhart also added.

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