We work to achieve the following goals:
- Promote environmental leadership
- Strengthen within the community, environmental and cultural awareness, giving value to local resources
- Improve the ability and comfort when speaking English
- Provide youth with greater access to employment within the local economy
SELAL is a structured two-week intensive and immersive instructional program in January and July during the students’ vacation periods. Students also participate in monthly activities after school and during the weekend during the school year. The program covers topics in: 1) leadership, 2) biodiversity/conservation/parks, 3) tourism/eco-tourism, and 4) English language. Classes are held five days a week for 5-6 hours per day, with daily English lessons and activities, as well as presentations, workshops, and fieldtrips led by community members who are affiliated with local businesses, organizations, and protected areas. The program, which is free, works with a maximum of 25 students per program. Local coordinators organize and implement the programs in each location. Former students also have the opportunity to return and serve as student leaders, helping to coordinate activities and provide talks.
Starting in 2015, SELAL has worked with 10-12th grade students from the Colegio Técnico Profesional in Puerto Jiménez. In 2017, the program expanded to include 9-10th grade students from the Liceo La Uvita in Bahía Ballena. Following the July 2019 session, the SOMOS Foundation will take the lead administering and running the program.