MacServe Feature: Costa Rica

Want a break from the classroom? Want to learn more about global social issues or to make a difference in a community? MacServe Reading Week may be for you!

What is MacServe exactly? It’s a one week community engagement program where McMaster students have a chance to experience creating positive social change through service learning placements within a broader context and apply it to your own life through critically engaging it in relation to one’s personal values, academic path and career goals, etc.


MacServe Reading Week’s global trip for this year is taking place in Costa Rica. This trip has a focus on gender empowerment and will involve working in San Ignacio de Acosta.

Our community partner, VIDA works closely with a Women’s Association called Grupo Giras. In this rural area it is standard for men to provide all income to the families. Grupo Giras was created as an alternative to provide more independence to women based on production of natural and organic products. They also provide spa services. Today, they are a well-recognized coalition in Costa Rica and have a small shop in the capital of San Jose.

Students who participate in this program will volunteer with Grupo Giras on a coffee plantation. Through various speakers and activities, they will learn about the growth and impact on the community that Grupo Giras has had, as well as the history of feminism in the area.


You can make a difference by supporting women’s independence in Costa Rica. It’s a once in a life time opportunity, so why not travel somewhere new while learning about global social issues and helping others within the global community?

Sign up through OSCARplus, applications deadline is November 20th.

To learn more, visit or stop by our table in MUSC throughout November 11-28

Questions? Concerns? You can contact us at