The South Caribe Roots Archive documents the people, places and events in southern Caribbean, Costa Rica, through family photographs and stories. The project aims to work with the community to develop a digital information platform that is reflective of local knowledge, experience and social justice objectives.

The SCRA's primary objectives are to create and mobilize knowledge about this history and identity of residents of the southern Caribbean zone of Costa Rica; to build bridges and dialogue between academic and non-academic stakeholders, and to create a community-based digital archive that preserves community-identified cultural heritage.

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Participatory media is media where the audience can play an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating content. We work with local residents, young and old, to offer training in multimedia storytelling and collaborative projects that generate public documentary content and elevate local voices and perspectives. 

We work with community members, young and old, to provide training in multimedia storytelling, often with the help of student volunteers from our service learning program. Through workshops, events and projects, our aim is to capacitate local storytellers with the tools they need to tell the stories of Caribe Sur from the perspectives of the people who call it home.

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Our team coordinates interdisciplinary service learning opportunities in collaboration with U.S. Universities and professionals that facilitate cross-cultural knowledge sharing, the collection of local stories through participatory community-based projects, and the production of participatory media projects for the South Caribe Roots Archive. We have worked with students from Northeastern Law School, Santa Clara Law School, and the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, the IU Media School, as well as assorted short-term professional volunteers from various fields.



The Conserving Caribbean Wellness Project is a multi-stakeholder effort spearheaded by the Hidden Garden and the Rich Coast Project to address a lack of documentation of the historic practices of the Afro-Caribbean communities living in the coastal lowlands of Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean coast. We aim to work in solidarity with local leaders and related groups to document the local use of natural resources for health and wellness and prepare community-legible resources to educate stakeholders on relevant health-related rights.