All of our super awesome students have arrived! Here they are taking a pic with the Costa Rican band, Los Caligaris at our hotel in San Jose.
We arrived to Providencia where will be spending the next three weeks! Today, we learned about organic coffee farming and how the beans are processed using recycled water. And, because we were such good listeners, we got to try coffee from the very community we’ll be working with.
GLA students have been traveling and hard-working rock stars. On Wednesday, we went to the Guayabo monument, where remnants of a civilization still remain from almost 3,000 years ago. Part of the monument includes an aqueduct that is still functioning today.
Yesterday, students rafted on the Pacuare river, killing it on the class four rapids.
Today, our kids-largely city dwellers-transported and spread malodorous organic fertilizer on organic coffee farms in Providencia. Emma-their mentor-said that they were absolute rock stars!
They finished off the day today with a cooking class with the community. Pictured is Jay with one of the communities adorable children, Juan Diego.
Nothing but positive vibes here in Providencia!
This past weekend was chock full of activities with the community. On Saturday night, we had a BBQ with the community of Providencia with all the volunteer groups. Juan and Marical-our exquisite chefs-prepared an enormous spread of sausages, steak, and veggie skewers. Students put their dancing lessons to use and showed off their bachata, salsa, and merengue moves.
On Sunday, we all gathered in the town’s plaza, or soccer field, and had a soccer tournament. GLA won our first game against a group of American volunteers. Our second, and final game, was against the Ticos of Providencia. Needless to say, we won! 2-1 to be exact. Shall we mention that this was the first time a volunteer team beat the Ticos?! Although their pride was a bit hard to swallow, they now have a newfound respect for GLA soccer players!
This week was hard work. Helping with an ongoing project here in Providenica, we continued cementing the town’s only road-a dirt road to be exact. We can now confidently call ourselves professional cementers. Next week, we start work on the spider monkey reserve, where we will construct trails to aid in scientific research.
As part of an ongoing conversations regarding our amazing planet earth, volunteers participated in a water walk. Walking for an 1.5 up and down the rolling hills of Providencia, they hailed a total of 20 gallons of water back to Home Base. We had a reflection about access to water and our own personal usage to begin thinking about ways of conserving such a precious resource.
Enough about freshwater! Both today and yesterday is our time to bask in the sun and get our swim on in saltwater. Yesterday we spent the day in Manuel Antonio Natural Park, observing sloths and monkeys in their natural habitat. And to end a long and arduous day observing the wildlife, we took a long dip at the private beach there.
Today is the epitome of La Pura Vida. On today’s roster: la playa.
More updates to come!
After our trip to the beach, we spent a few days finishing up our project cementing the road. Using recycled bottles, we made ecobricks to construct a small wall to prevent erosion due to water runoff. Our last project involved clearing paths in a nature reserve to allow for scientific research regarding the impact of climate change on spider and white-faced monkey population ranges.
On Sunday, we helped out with a new program started by a non-profit to teach the youth of Providencia baseball. We ran mini-clinics to teach each of the skills in baseball and participated in Providencia’s first-ever baseball game.
Providencia is a small community with limited things to do. As such, their definition of fun looks a little different than ours. Whereas our definition of fun may be dinner and a movie, their definition of fun is riding a plastic barrel posing as a bull. And if you’re wondering how our GLAers faired, despite the restless and hungry bull, they were all rock stars.
Yesterday, we took part in a 5-hour hike to a series of waterfalls. Despite the considerable climb, we were awarded with lunch in front of a mystical and awe-inspiring waterfall.
Today was all about heights and adrenaline. We spent the good part of a the morning in Providencia’s extreme adventure park, scaling a 600-year-old ficus tree, going zip lining, being catapulted, and jumping off of a 70-foot platform.
Tonight is about saying goodbye. Several community members will come to share their gratitude around a bonfire, while devouring warm and gooey marshmallows. Tomorrow we’re off to San Jose in preparation for everyone’s departure.
We’ll send one last and final post to let you know that everyone made it safely to the airport.