Today was a full day. First we did a drive through tour of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, led by our local Director. He taught everyone about Costa Rican history and culture, and showed the highlights of the city! We drove two hours south through the mountains to get to the town near our home base called Santa Maria. It’s a beautiful small town in the mountains. There we did a tour of the coffee factory, learning all about the process from start to finish.We then came to our home base for lunch, orientation, a get to know you game, and some delicious dinner.Tomorrow we start our work in San Pedro with the local community and our first Spanish class.It’s been a great start so far!Written by Mentor Rebecca Ottinger
We’ve been working and playing hard! On Saturday we started volunteer work in San Pedro with Green Communities, an organization started in Santa Maria to raise awareness of locally based, sustainable practices. San Pedro is a town of about 30,000 that is very vibrant and has many many coffee farms. Coffee is the number one source of income in this region, and Green Communities has begun the only ecological coffee farms in Costa Rica. We had a discussion about the coffee industry and sustainable development while observing a standard and an ecological coffee farm.
For volunteer work, we’ve been putting together bags of organic fertilizer and fertilizing the nine ecological coffee farms. We’ll be working on a cement road for the community soon as well.
Before lunch on Saturday, the mom’s of San Pedro introduced themselves with a typical Costa Rican dance. One of the mom’s also made a cake for our student’s birthday! They make us lunch every day and it’s always delicious.
At home base we’ve begun our Spanish classes! We are split into three levels and taught by our mentor and international and local directors. We speak in Spanish as much as we can, learn Costa Rican phrases, and have a fun time.
We have one more day of volunteering and Spanish before heading to the beach on Wednesday.
Written by Mentor Rebecca Ottinger
It’s been a full three days!
On Tuesday, we had a day of volunteering and Spanish class, fertilizing over 1,000 coffee plants in one large ecological coffee farm. After lunch, we got to visit with the mom’s in San Pedro. We were four students per group, and all had home made treats with coffee and tea. We also went into Santa María for a scavenger hunt and walking around the town center- unfortunately, it started pouring!
On Wednesday, we woke up early and headed to Manuel Antonio, the most visited national forest park in Costa Rica. We saw lots of insects, sloths, and wildlife with a very knowledgeable guide. At the end of our tour, we swam in the Manuel Antonio beach and finished up with lunch in town.
We’re staying at an ecological hotel in the beach town called Dominical, a beautiful spot with a pool and lots of wildlife around.
Today, we had a surf lesson and did some shopping in town! We ate at a beautiful restaurant right on the water. It’s been a really fun and relaxing time at the beach.
We head back early tomorrow morning to Cedrela!
On August 4th we left Villas del Rio Mar, the hotel we stayed at during our beach excursion. Sadly we didn’t go back on the open bed trucks that we rode to the beach on. Instead we rode in our good old bus driven by Mario. Most of the time on the bus ride was passed with loud singing by almost everyone on the bus, usually to Taylor Swift.