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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Soy la Reina de Norteamerica – Costa Rica Community Service

An update from Community Service Costa Rica.

The Westcoast Blogger

Only five days into our Costa Rican adventure and it already feels as though we’ve known each other for years! Our journey began at the San Jose International Airport where a group of 12 courageous teens were met by 1 very excited Tour Director and 1 very enthusiastic Tour Leader. Our first arriving group consisted of Sasha, Catie, Kenneth, Josh, Izzy, JD and Lucas who were eager to participate in the various activities we had set out for them (Barrel of Monkeys, Trivia Challenges and Sudoku). After a few fun filled hours, our team was complete and our adventure could begin! Special shout out goes to Maya for being such a trooper while awaiting the arrival of her bags!

We started bright and early with the “Monkeys” and “The Wild Rapids” taking a leisurely paddle down a beautiful river until they came upon their first encounter with the level 4 rapids. Wild screams were quickly followed by the energized lyrics to “WE WILL ROCK YOU!” A tie goes to Paige and Lindsay for being the most entertaining rafters we have ever met. WOOOOOHOOOOO!! After rafting, we went back to the hotel for a little R & R. Some of us went to our rooms for a nap, while Josh, Kenny, and Sasha hung out by pool with a waterslide made of rock. It was “Wicked”.

The next day, we left Monte Campana and were on our way to Puntarenas to work as volunteers for Habitat For Humanity! Lucas nearly single handedly loaded the van for our trip to the beautiful coast. Once we arrived we were greeted by some amazing people, who we later found out were the family members for which we were building the house. We were all a little nervous initially but once the first shovel hit dirt we never looked back. As we worked, Catie became our unofficial photographer, snapping some beautiful candid shots of the local people and our hard workers as they all contributed to building a home. It was an amazing experience that the kids will cherish for a lifetime. Dinner that night was in town at a great little restaurant by the beach. Ice cream was a refreshing treat for the hard day’s work. Nice going team!

Later that night we had salsa dancing lessons with our very own tour guide Maria. Josh and Izzy stole the show with some moves that would make even Ricky Martin jealous.

It was the perfect end to a fantastic day.

The group was eager to get back to business with Habitat For Humanity. There were several holes that needed to be dug in order for the foundation to be laid. Mira and Andie got down and dirty by actually sitting in the hole to ensure it was the proper depth. During the day we also got to meet a little girl who will be living in the house once it is complete. Our whole group immediately fell in love with her when she climbed on top of a large rock pile and exclaimed “Soy la reina de Norteamerica!” (I’m the Queen of North America!) As the day came to an end we finished up with a dip in the ocean and a few great group photos just before the rain started to fall. The group is getting along nicely and we can’t wait to update you with some more fun stories.