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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Helping & Building Communities – Costa Rica Community Service

Buenos Dias one last time from Costa Rica,

Flamingo was beautiful and hot! We woke up early Thursday morning and headed out to work with the group Siempre Amigos, an organization that fixes up houses in the community. We were introduced to a man named Don Carlo who explained to us that for the next two mornings we would be repairing and painting a house that was damaged by an earthquake a few years ago.  Our trip members were eager to help; especially when we met the family who lived there. After completing a lot of work on the house we headed to lunch at a restaurant called Tikis, where we enjoyed some local food. Trip members were excited to get back to the hotel for an afternoon at the beautiful beach nearby. A much-needed afternoon of relaxation was earned after a hard and fulfilling day of work. That evening we ate dinner at a local Italian restaurant.

Service Project in Flamingo

The next morning we headed back to the house we had worked on the previous day, for our final day of service. Trip members first formed an assembly line and helped to carry rocks and materials that would be used to cement the front porch area.  Trip members also painted a second coat of bright aqua paint over the entire exterior and part of the interior of the house.  When we had finished our work for the day, the mother of the house expressed her extreme gratitude by thanking us for all our hard work in fixing up her family’s home. We then took a picture with her and her family in front of their newly painted house.  It was such a great way to end our service! We boarded the bus and headed to Rincon de la Vieja as our final destination. After a break for lunch we arrived on the gorgeous premises. There were horses around and lots of open spaces, giving it the feeling of being on a ranch. We dropped our bags and walked over to the ziplining course. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip! There were nine different cables, including a repel, Tarzan swing and rock climbing wall. We had dinner and then our evening program for the night was a photo scavenger hunt around the premises of the hotel. Many laughs were had.

Mud Baths in Rincon de la Vieja

Our final morning we got to sleep a little late and then enjoyed breakfast at the hotel’s buffet. We then went on a hike down to a gorgeous waterfall, where we got to spend the rest of the morning relaxing in the water. What a beautiful sight it was. After our hike back, we ate lunch and had some pool time. We then headed out to our final activity, mud baths. At the mud baths the trip members lathered up in hot, natural mud. They let it dry, rinsed off and then relaxed in some hot springs. After our final dinner together our group watched a slide show of our amazing ten days together. We wrapped up the evening with a slew of different closing activities including some of our highs and lows of the trip.  Trip members finished off the night writing letters to each other to serve as a reminder of the family we’ve created, the places we’ve gone, the adventures experienced, the communities we helped improve, and the Costa Rican culture.  We have become one and united.  We return home to the States with new experiences, perspectives, compassion, and gratitude.  Pura Vida.

Hasta luego,

The Westcoast Blogger