The children who come to Vida Verde are bright, attentive, excited, and ready to learn. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area, specifically in the inner-cities of Oakland, San Francisco, Richmond, East Palo Alto, and San Jose. They often come from difficult home situations, tough neighborhoods, and under-funded schools. Many of them suffer the disadvantage of being several grade levels behind in school. 99% of the students are minorities, over 85% qualify for free/reduced price lunch programs in their schools, and none of them would otherwise get the chance to participate in outdoor education programs.
For most of the students, coming to Vida Verde is their first experience in nature and it is the first time many of them have seen the Pacific Ocean, even though they live less than one hour away.