Participatory Video Workshops + Media Production


In December 2013 Ñalá Travel’s founder Julia Fisher and Spencer Stoner, an award-winning videographer from Austin, TX, embarked on a journey to empower rural and indigenous Costa Rican youth and adults to share their stories authentically through visual media.

Many of the communities historically have traditions of oral history or limited literacy. Therefore little to no historical documentation in written, photo or video formats exists. Their rich cultural heritage and wisdom is a legacy for all of humanity. More than 40 youth and adults particpated in our experiential education 3-day workshops that provided training in:

Operating digital cameras
Operating video cameras
Photo and video composition
Operating camera equipment
Collaborative leadership
Brainstorming and strategic planning
Conducting interviews
Speaking in front of cameras
Directing and assisting film production

The majority of the participants had never used a camera prior to the workshop. By the end, each community collaboratively produced six video/photo shoots exploring themes they deemed to be vital aspects of their culture. You can explore their stories and tremendous accomplishments here.

Through this initiative, we seek to decrease the digital divide and increase local capacity, so that communities committed to living sustainable lifestyles and maintaining their cultural traditions can connect with, inform and inspire people around the world. Today these communities rely on ventures like Ñalá Travel to connect with people like you. Our goal is that one day Ñalá’s role will be obsolete becuase we will have collaborated with the communties we represent to develop the capacity to connect directly.

Meet the Communities



This Bribrí indigenous community, neslted into rich forest, surrounded by cacao and sparkling rivers, maintains and shares their traditions through sustainable community tourism.




Authentic campesinos embracing innovative living and sustainable agriculture high in the mountains at the entrance to the International Friendship Park.



Los Campesinos

This community shares down-home adventure in an exquisite mountain paradise. Rappel or swim in rushing waterfalls, explore virgin rainforest and soak in the Tico charm over home-cooked meals and traditional BBQs.  

“As someone who has been in the trenches with National Geographic, Discovery, and a host of international non-profits, it’s not everyday I come across a situation in the field that really feels fresh and new. That said, with the videos I produced for Ñalá, we sort of broke the mold for travelogue and participatory video and for what they have the potential to be”.

Spencer’s Story

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