Outstanding summer programs for teens since 1982
Header Item 1

The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

They’ve Laughed, Cried, Sweat, Drilled, Danced, Painted, Swam, Sang, Shoveled, Pick-Axed and Laughed Some More – Together … Costa Rica Community Service

A final farewell from Costa Rica Community Service.

The Westcoast Blogger

Since our last update, we moved up the coast and have spent the past few days in and around Manuel Antonio – Costa Rica’s smallest but most famous national park. We’ve swam in pristine beaches deep in the park, ate lots and lots of ice cream, spotted some interesting animals including sloths, iguanas and of course, a trip favorite – Monkeys!

Another highlight for us was an amazing catamaran trip where we soaked up the sun, snorkeled and ate an incredible lunch of fish kabobs and pasta salad…we’re not sure we’ve ever seen our tour members eat so much so quickly! A special thank you to Mrs. Faggen from the entire group for helping to make this activity possible.

With the trip coming to an end tomorrow, it’s a great time to look back on what we’ve accomplished over the past four weeks. We’ve dug holes, mixed concrete and moved many bricks through our work with Habitat for Humanity. We fought through the heat, sweat, dirt, bugs and fatigue and worked as hard as we could to do our part to help a family move into an adequate home. We provided some much-needed TLC to a daycare center on the Pacific Coast. At the smallest coffee co-op in the country, we gained an appreciation for the work needed to bring coffee from the fields of Costa Rica to the stores. We ran a daycamp for 60 children from the community of La Carpio, providing the children with a rare opportunity to swim, play games and escape their struggles of everyday life in La Carpio. We built and delivered 16 bunk beds to La Carpio families and we know that thanks to our hard work, 32 kids now have adequate place to sleep at night. We are all so proud of all that we’ve accomplished.

Along the way, we’ve learned about the beautiful country of Costa Rica. We ziplined through the cloud forest, rafted and went tubing down rivers, rode on horseback through the rainforest, swam in and rappelled down waterfalls and connected with Ticos through games of futbol (soccer) in the parks. We’ve eaten lots of rice and lots of beans, relaxed in natural hot springs, bathed in mud, sung our hearts out on the bus to our favorite songs – I’ll Be There For You, Wonderwall, Rock and Roll…we learned firsthand about Costa Rica time and the Pura Vida, watched dolphins jumping in the water, relaxed on a catamaran, spotted crocodiles, sloths and monkeys and some of us have learned to embrace and coexist with various insects…and so, so much more.

To quote our fearless tour director Julie:  This is our life. Right now. For real.

We’ve laughed, cried, sweat, drilled, danced, painted, swam, sang, shoveled, pick-axed and laughed some more – together.

There are so many moments from the past 28 days – the pictures in all of our minds we know, no matter how far away we are in time or place, will never fade from our memories. They are ours forever. The connections we have made with the people of Costa Rica, the friends we have made and the bonds we have forged with each other we also know, will never be broken. As we prepare to say goodbye tonight, we know that we will still always be there for each other – just like we’ve been there for each other before.

It’s been an incredible month of adventures. We have truly enjoyed spending this time learning, laughing and exploring with your child.

And so for the final time … Adios from Costa Rica