ACCESS Scholars at the Anniversary Picnic

In 2010, the United States Embassy San Jose, the Binational Center (Centro Cultural Costariccense-Notreamericano), and the American Colony committee invited all 204 of Costa Rica’s ACCESS scholars to the 4th of July picnic celebration. The students had a fun day full of activities including water balloon toss, sack races, volleyball, learning to square dance, and enjoyed typical American food and music. The ACCESS Scholars participated in the official ceremony with the U.S. Marines, the national anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, and listened to remarks from Ambassador Andrew and other dignitaries. Students had the opportunity to meet their fellow scholars from other schools and interact with Ambassador Andrew and Embassy staff to practice their English and view a sampling of U.S. culture.

The 204 scholars were chosen from different schools from around the country. Te schools that are participating in this great program are: Colegio La Aurora, Liceo de Alajuelita, Colegio Salvador Umana Castro Ipis, Colegio Pocora de Guapiles, Liceo de Chacarita Puntarenas, Liceo de Pavas, Liceo de Aserri, Liceo Nuestra Sra. De Los Angeles y Liceo Nuevo de Limon.

Ambassador Andrew Began the ACCESS program because she identified English language training as a key goal for the Embassy’s engagement with Costa Rica over the next several years. She also recognized that English language fluency broadens a young person’s opportunities in employment and higher education, increases their ability to participate successfully in the socio-economic development of Costa Rica, and increases their ability to compete for and participate in future U.S. exchange and study programs.

The English Access Microscholarship Program provides English language instruction to qualified Costa Rican high school students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds during a two-year program. The intensive English course is geared toward improving their academic skills and their ability to find jobs after graduating.

The ACCESS program continues today with the full support of the current U.S. Ambassador, and the ACCESS students continue to join us for the Independence Day picnic each year.
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