Today has been a jam-packed day filled with great service projects, Latin dance lessons with Luigi, discussions about social media and technology, friendship bracelet making, and a big soccer game with the locals. We will let the pictures speak for themselves today.
More Pictures, More Memories
A crazy number of pictures from our Costa Rica program:
This morning each mentor group set off to different places for their 4th day of service work. Sherrilee’s group went to the close town of El Jobo to help some local women pick up trash on the streets and playground. Emily’s group went to the greenhouse site and helped out by setting poles in the ground for the foundation of a new greenhouse. They also moved dirt to level the ground and remove nails from old boards so they could be recycled. Emily’s group finished the day by playing soccer with the school children nearby.
Today in Alex’s group, we went to the city of La Cruz to interact with some of the high school students. There we learned about what kids our age do in Costa Rica. We also helped them with their English by talking to them in English.
With the Tico’s Gringos we worked hard on re-cementing the wall to make a smooth surface for the continuation of the mural. However this also involved finishing up the breaking down of the walk.. It was a ton of fun but hard work. After we were done we enjoyed a small soccer juggling session with one of the workers, and even a young boy. The monet was surreal, but quite picture perfect.
This morning Kevin’s family group went into the town of La Cruz. We helped put cement on the walls to prepare them to be able to paint. They are making a mural down the whole street. While working we spoke with the locals and helped them with their English.
– Claire Ballentine, Grace Nikunen, Nicholas Sarabia, Kasey Rohleder, and Natalie Cooper
A Diversity of Service
Today Sherrilee’s mentor group paired up with another group and drove to La Cruz to work on a mural. Once we got there,a group sifted through dirt to smooth the wall, another group painted, and a final group took down cement blocks with sledgehammers. We got to interact with the locals and actively see that we were making a difference by covering up graffiti and preserving the town history of La Cruz by painting a mural showing historical events in the town.
Meanwhile, Alex’s group was at the greenhouse. We started off by carrying logs and digging. Afterwards, we planted some of those logs. While the school kids were out at break we talked to them, and then as we got to know them we played soccer (and of course duck-duck-goose!). The kids were touched that we spent time with them, and after our time together we didn’t want to say goodbye.
Team Ticos Gringos traveled to a local beach in el Jobo and worked with a group of women to decorate six trashcans. Our biggest challenge throughout the day was communication, but the women were very understanding and we were able to complete the task in the end. It was a lot of fun painting designs, and hopefully, restoring the trashcans will encourage people to keep the beaches clean.
The Lufepos’ (Kevin’s mentor group) practiced speaking English with local women in La Cruz. We paired up one-on-one and conversed, learning about each other’s lives. We then presented in front of the group, Ticos in English and the rest of us in Spanish. We played a game similar to dodge ball afterwards. It was a unique opportunity to practice our Spanish and also make a personal connection with the native Costa Ricans.
Finally, #TeamAwesome (Emily’s group) went to La Cruz to help construct a mural for the community. There were mainly 3 different tasks that we had to complete: putting a primer on the wall for the concrete to bind to, sifting the dirt onto the concrete, and finally smashing down some sides of the wall with a protruding section. The locals there were so engaging as they interacted with us. They made jokes that were hilarious, and definitely helped us improve our Spanish. In the end it was another amazing, engaging, and fun-filled day.
– Helen Craig, Savannah Carson, Kayla O’Brien, Elizabeth Porter, and Maimouna Diallo
The heat was intense in the beginning, but worry not! We did not let it bring us down. Our day was packed with good vibes and the atmosphere remained pleasant throughout. Some groups ventured to the beach and river to clean up countless amounts of trash, as well as painting several trashcans with plenty of style. Other groups visited a Costa Rican school and practiced their Spanish while simultaneously helping other students improve. Yet another group set up the base of a greenhouse and played soccer with many children from this beautiful country.
The World Cup series better watch for this upcoming team folks (insert snippet of the grand World Cup applause here!) After another Costa Rican lunch, we learned about ecotourism and explored a Costa Rican beach. While there, we played games in the sand mimicking the famous sea turtles we had learned about earlier in the day in a brilliant presentation. The warmer-than-usual highly salt-concentrated water was a nice cool off after the activities. We then returned to home base in anticipation of another delicious meal.
– Nattamon Rawanghet (Patch), Gena Cohen, Addie Waskowitz, Julia Knecht, and Kenny Park
Challenges and Rewards
Each family group photographer captured the challenging and rewarding moments of today through a camera lens, with the help of a couple of ticos (Costa Rican locals)!
Three family groups were able to help clean up local beaches. One challenge that we faced was communication between the locals and volunteers. A reward was swimming and appreciating a clean ocean.
Another group visited a local high school, where they were greeting with smiling faces and excited students. One of the highlights of the school was watching a handball game among the students. Despite the challenging language barrier, this group has a blast hanging out with kids their age from Costa Rica.
The last group dug holes in order to begin the construction for the greenhouse at a school. A challenge was the organization of such a task. A reward was laughing with the local children.
Overall these adventures have contributed to the Costa Rican community.
-Katie Glaser, Sophia Smith, Camryn Riddle, Janay Livings, and Tia Jone
Here we are in beautiful Costa Rica enjoying the sunshine. Our morning was perfect! We got to know our home base and and our GLA community while taking in the scenery around us. The afternoon brought quite a bit of rain, but we made the best of it and took the time to reflect on our new experiences by journaling. Overall it was a great day here at Ecoplaya; filled with lots of fun activities and plenty of laughter! This is the start of an unforgettable summer!
-Lindsey, International Director
With the exception of one student who missed her flight, all students have arrived safe and sound in Costa Rica! We’re already having an amazing time getting to know one another, and we will keep you posted on our progress.