Some of you might have followed the most recent Where's Brook? Contest on our sister blog, the Perrin Post. I was on assignment in Costa Rica, on a trip planned for me by Richard and Irene Edwards of GreenSpot Travel. I've known Richard since he worked at Wildland Adventures several years ago (he also lived in Costa Rica for many years before that). But what brings me to write about him here is his latest venture: the first-ever nonprofit travel agency, to my knowledge.
Richard and Irene have started GreenSpot in order to plan customized, luxurious trips to Central America while also giving something back to the local communities. All the profits from the trips they create--after the couple takes home a reasonable salary--will go to sustainable projects that they have started in Central America. The first such project is a used-clothing store in Costa Rica. The Edwardses and their clients will bring gently used items from the States to be sold there, and the profits from the store will pay for computers and environmental programs at a local school. Once the first store becomes financially self-sufficient, GreenSpot will plow its profits into opening other such stores in Panama and elsewhere.
Want to help? Of course, you could call up GreenSpot and start planning a trip to Central America. But if you've got some clothes lying around that you haven't worn in several seasons, you can give them a second life by mailing them to the following address:
Costa Rica School Project
4741 Secret Valley Drive
Billings, MT 59101
If you let Irene know that you're sending some clothes by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org, she'll send you updates on the project's progress.