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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Hola de Costa Rica – Costa Rica Community Service

Hola de Costa Rica!
Last time I left you, we had just finished up helping build an English classroom at a school for the local Ticos.  The next day we helped run a day camp for the children from La Carpio with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation.  The group was excited to make sure the kids had the best time there.  Lexi showed off her artistic abilities by face painting with the little girls and Erika, Jennie, and Brenna spent the whole day in the pool playing games and teaching some of the children how to swim.  Most of these children have never seen a swimming pool before so it was quite a treat for them.  While we taught some how to swim, throw a spiral football pass, and spin a basketball on their fingertips, we weren’t simply the teachers.  The children taught Ben and the rest of us a thing or two about soccer, as it is their national past time.  Afterwards we were able to give the children each a baseball cap, crayons and a toothbrush. It was great watching their faces light up.  After some emotional goodbyes and hugs, we left the park and prepared ourselves for our next adventure.

The next morning we jumped on the bus and took off for the Monteverde Cloud Forest.  The views were spectacular on the drive up the mountain.  Kiana showed the group some of the sketches she had been working on while here and we were all blown away.

We then checked in at Poca a Poca, which means “little by little” in Spanish.  It is an eco-friendly hotel hoping to save the planet ‘little by little.’  The Ticos really know how to make you feel welcome as we were again greeted with big smiles and exotic smoothies. 

 After checking out the sites in the beautiful mountain town of Santa Elena, we decided to hone our soccer skills at a local soccer facility.  Ryan played goalie and wasn’t letting anything get past him.  At the end of the game we named Miranda the 2011 360o Student Travel World Cup MVP! 
The next day was jam packed fun.  We started off the morning with a trip to an organic coffee farm to help plant trees that would protect the coffee plants.  The group learned about Fair Trade and how the coffee plantation worked.  Annie named her tree Nelson and said she wants to come back in twenty years to see how big it grows!  Jordann was able to grind her own coffee beans and we then made coffee the Costa Rican way using a wooden stand with a cloth filter going directly into our cups. 

After that we headed to a zip line through the rainforest.  We were so high that we were actually zip lining through clouds.  Sarah conquered her fear of heights and did every zip line and Allie was quite the daredevil hanging upside down on some of them!  Back in Santa Elena we had a team scavenger hunt and looking at the pictures taken were a riot.  We finished off the night with a trip to a local disco and Haley really tore up the dance floor and perfected her salsa skills.
We are taking off to the Baldi hotsprings and Arenal next and will be sure to have more stories to come.  Everyone wants to say hello and can’t wait to tell you all about their adventures! 
Adios and Pura Vida!

The Westcoast Blogger