Include a Volunteering Holiday in Costa Rica in Your Gap Year Travel Plans

When putting together your gap year travel plans you are sure to want to include plenty of intrepid activities on your itinerary. But you may also wish to spend some of your break helping other people by undertaking volunteer work – something that is easy to do in Costa Rica.This beautiful Central American country is perfect for adventure holidays, as it has volcanoes, mountains, rainforests, lakes and rivers to explore. It is also attracting more conventional tourists in increasing numbers thanks to its stunning beaches and opportunities for water sports.However, the growth in tourism does not mean Costa Rica is an affluent country and there are lots of places where volunteers can make a real difference. Like many of the other countries with vast areas of rain and cloud forest, conservation is a major issue here and there are also problems with poverty in some areas – so donating your time during holidays in Costa Rica will certainly prove worthwhile.If you have an interest in ecology and conservation, you will find there are plenty of opportunities that will allow you to indulge your passion while volunteering.Head to the area around the town of Montezuma in Puntarenas province and you will find a project dedicated to restoring an area of forest to its natural state. The work is being carried out on privately-owned land with the hope of creating a self-sustaining nature reserve that can be enjoyed for generations.The reserve is primarily intended to be a safe haven for indigenous plant and animal species, but there are also plans to introduce some new flora and fauna to the area. The forest runs down to the coast and also includes a beach, which project leaders hope will become a protected habitat for marine life.There is lots of work that they need volunteers for here, including clearing the beach, planting trees and working in the organic greenhouse to help cultivate the plants that will eventually fill the forest. You can stay on site during your time working at the project and you will find it is a great base for exploring the local area.You can enjoy surfing and snorkelling on the coast, sample the nightlife in Montezuma or take a trip to the beautiful Absolute Reserva Cabo Blanco, where you will be able to see monkeys in their natural habitat.If wildlife is your passion, you may want to spend your time in Costa Rica working at a turtle conservation project. The country’s marine turtles have become endangered due to both a change in their habitat and the impact of poachers who prize their eggs.There are a host of schemes in coastal areas designed to help save the turtle, but with no government funding available, they rely on volunteers. The projects have enjoyed some success in increasing the number of young turtles that make it to the sea, but they still need help clearing beaches, patrolling nesting areas to deter poachers and maintaining the hatcheries.As the turtle conservation schemes are all based near beaches, you will be able to spend your free time working on your tan, enjoying some water sports or heading inland to explore the forests and mountains.There are also opportunities to help the local people, such as the Fundacion para la Vivienda Rural Costa Rica-Canada programme. This project is designed to support impoverished rural communities by building high-quality homes and social infrastructure.The intention is not that the homes should be constructed merely as a charitable gesture – and the families who are to live in the completed houses are expected to help build them – but to help improve the quality of life and economic prospects in the area for the long term.As these can be huge construction projects and are often undertaken without the help of modern machinery, they are very labour intensive and there is an ongoing need for volunteers to complete tasks such as digging foundations, laying floors, mixing cement and carrying materials.There are few more direct ways to assist families in poverty than by helping them to build a home and you are certain to find it a rewarding experience. But there is no reason why you should not also have some fun during your Costa Rica holiday and choose a building site near San Ramon where you will be able to explore the cloud forest, work on your tan on a Pacific coast beach and enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife.

3 Marketing Strategies Every Artist Should Implement

Social MediaSocial media marketing is a strategy that is just that, social. It is typically done on an Internet platform that engages the public in your content via your computer, smartphone or tablet. Social media allows your target consumers to engage with you and your brand. Some of the most common social media platforms used in marketing today are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Managing your Social Media Marketing can be very time-consuming. So, I recommend focusing your time and content on a few sites. Here are some recommendations:Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are visual platforms that will connect your art with customers. With Facebook you can create a business page this is separate from your personal page. The business page will allow you to create a community of followers that can like, comment, and share your images and content. Instagram has the same basic framework as Facebook in that you can create multiple profiles and navigate between them within the app on your phone. This similarity is nice if you have a personal and a business profile. Instagram is a social media outlet that focuses on images which are perfect for visual artists. Again, you can create a community of followers. For Instagram, the usage of the hashtag is vital in generating traffic to your profile, unlike Facebook that is better built on sending requests and calling for people to share your page.YouTube allows the public to take a step into your studio to see you working on your most current pieces. It may not seem like YouTube is a form of social media but in fact, by definition it is. Social media is any networking platform that allows users to communicate and connect in a social way. Due to the ability to like, share, and comment on videos on YouTube it is truly a social network. YouTube is actually a social media platform before it is a video marketing technique. In the next section, I will share a bit of information about how you can turn this social media platform into a video marketing tool!Video MarketingVideo marketing is meant to call your consumer or viewer to action. For a video, you create to be considered video marketing it should either generate interest back to your website or to something they will need to pay for in order to gain additional access. Videos are a great way to share your talent with the public and generate interest in your art. Videos also allow your followers and subscribers to get to know you. Viewers enjoy the feeling of developing a relationship with you. When you can create a sense of loyalty, your viewers can become some of your best marketing partners because they may share your videos with their friends.Since YouTube is free this is a great way to share videos that focus on your art technique or provide short free tutorials for a specific art medium. Don’t forget for this to be a marketing technique it needs to generate something the viewer will need to act upon or purchase. By running a link at the end of your video to send them to your website or offering more in-depth instructional videos for a price at the end, will qualify as a video marketing tool. With YouTube, you can create a channel that may focus on the techniques of your particular style of art or you can post instructional videos with step-by-step information to complete a unique piece of artwork. Free and low-cost video editing software, like Apple’s iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, is available to allow you to truly customize your videos before uploading to YouTube.Let’s use a watercolor artist who focuses on floral still life, as an example. The artist posts a 5-minute painting tutorial on the subject matter of roses on YouTube. The video was created through the iMovie software that comes standard on most Apple computers currently. At the end of the free 5-minute video, the artist then advertises a paid 30-minute video from their website that will walk the viewer through painting a floral still life with roses from start to finish. The webcam and software come standard with Apple products. The cost for creating this example of video marketing was free.Social Media and video marketing are both virtual ways to reach your target audience. A low-cost type of marketing that is more tactile and leaves a lasting impression on your audience is through guerrilla marketing.Guerilla MarketingGuerilla marketing is a grassroots, low-cost, fun, and in-your-face marketing strategy. Often guerrilla marketing takes the form of visual art like spray paint tags or unique posters and decals allowing it to seem like a natural fit for visual artists. This marketing strategy is meant to create interest and cause the bystander to be curious enough to investigate the advertisement. It takes more imagination and creativity than money to make guerrilla marketing work for you.Implementing guerrilla marketing can be a fun and exciting. Some ideas for guerrilla marketing might be to use vinyl stickers or paper posters; this is called wild posting. Walking billboards or quick pop up galleries of work in public places are another trending approach. It should also be stated that legal issues can arise in regard to how or where wild posting and pop-up galleries appear. Posting decals or posters can cause an issue especially if they are placed on paid advertising or local, state or federal fixtures. In most municipalities, there are permits that are required for setting up in public places. Don’t let the risk of legal infringement deter you from using this strategy. With the proper research and planning, guerrilla marketing can be a quick and fun way to create buzz about your art.Social media, video marketing, and guerrilla marketing are ways to increase awareness and create artist loyalty from the community near and far. Successful marketing will help you increase brand awareness and loyalty among art consumers.

Understanding the Benefits of Home Health Care

Home health care is a must for people who are currently in the process of rehabilitation. This is also an option that people can take for their senior elders. Most people think that this type of living conditions always refers to having someone live-in the same home as the patient but actually, there are different ways in which this setup is made possible.But the truth is that there are different types of services that home health care can render, depending on what your needs are. It’s also not necessary to have the caretaker live in your home if that is not the setup that you like. The first most important thing to do would be to identify what your needs are and who the patient will be.Home health care is often about skilled care nursing which is facilitated on a part-time or skilled basis. General assisted care is often being implemented but on top of this, there are other services too that can be offered such as physical therapy as well as occupational therapy. You can also ask for other medical social services to be included in the program.In relation to these types of services, there are also several types of care professionals who can be offered to you by the care agencies. On a general level, there are care aides who are perfect for people who are in need of assisted living. They can also do some light housekeeping duties for the patient such as cooking and cleaning the home, even doing some groceries.Depending on the case of the patient, a nurse may also be assigned to your home. However, nurses for home health care often follow a specific schedule and visit on an intermittent basis. But there are also agencies where hiring a nurse, who lives with the patient, is made possible. Rates of this kind might be more expensive but worth it.When there is a nurse involved or a health aide to live with the patient, the agency often coordinates this with the client first. The client is sometimes given the opportunity to actually speak with the qualified care professionals to help assess the best option among them. The client may also be given the freedom to suggest bits and pieces in the program.You may have noticed the relevance of agencies in the home health care setup. They are actually the institutions whom you could turn to for your needs. These agencies are great because they can become the point of contact for your questions and other needs.Home health care is a long-term process. So before you get into this, better make sure that you go through the details first and that you are able to understand the implications it will have on your family.