Greetings Costa Rica Community Service Loved Ones,
After our lesson on coffee plant agriculture in Monteverde, we travelled through the long and winding highways of Costa Rica to the magnificent Arenal volcano. Our guide Gerry said that we had incredible luck as we arrived on a perfectly, clear day and we could see the top of the volcano. We also enjoyed relaxing at the Baldi Hot Springs. All of the trip members enjoyed a much needed rest but Luke, Jake, Matt L., Noah and Jess decided to try out the water slides instead!
We awoke to another perfect sunny and clear day and were on our way to our final location, Central Valley. That evening we were introduced to Gail Nystrom, the founder and executive director of the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation (CRHF). Gail is an incredible woman who had been working tirelessly for the better part of the past two decades helping to improve the lives of those less fortunate. She gave us a brief background on the CRHF and got the trip members pumped up and excited about the great work they were about to start.
Day 1 of our CRHF project brought us to the rural community of Santa Ana. We quickly got to work. Our team worked in the classrooms with the children helping them with their English learning. Jake really stood out and made a great connection with all the kids; they especially loved his cool hats. Our other responsibility was helping to construct an addition to their school, so they could have more classroom space. Braden did an incredible job all day long and the workers really loved having his help.
Julia and Eric got to cement the walls and they did a fantastic job. Isabella and Stephanie made friends with all the school children and before we knew it, the kids wanted to write down all of our first and last names so that they could look for us on Facebook.
Day 2 brought us back to the same location where we continued our work on the school. Micaela and James worked the entire day laying cement for the foundations of the building while Richard was a great help in finishing off the roof. Matt S., Noah and Brandon played a great game of soccer with the kids. Everyone was pitching in (in their own way). When we arrived, the school was only walls and by the time we left there was a roof, improved foundation and water drainage system – everyone did a truly remarkable job! Ben and Maya worked together to mix and move concrete and level out the space around the new school room. Once the hard work was over, we were treated to a movie night where we saw Harry Potter.
We are now feeling that we are on the home stretch of our trip. We have arrived at our final hotel and we only have two more days of community service left. The adventure activities that trip members are looking forward to the most takes place on our last full day here in Costa Rica where we get to go waterfall repelling.
Everyone is doing well and loving Costa Rica.
The Westcoast Blogger