Hey Ptp3!!!! Sometimes it feels like a distant dream that we were all together in tropical Costa Rica. Other times, it feels like just yesterday that we were there working hard to protect the Pacific Ocean and learn as much as we could about the environment and ourselves. I can close my eyes and clearly see scarlet macaws flying over our heads, smell the fried yuca cooking for dinner, and hear Canelo and Soul chasing each other around the home base. You’re all probably back at school, getting back into the swing of your sports, clubs, and activities. At night, you might dream of laying by the pool deck, counting shooting stars.
We worked so incredibly hard as a team and made an authentic impact on the ecosystem around a little Costa Rican community. All of our baby trees are still working hard to grow big and strong one day! Thanks to the hard work you put into all those tree protectors, they will be safe to grow and play their role in the environment. I know the swamp was tough work, and you all really made us proud stomping through it at the side of a happy caiman family.
I also really love to reflect on all the adventures we had. We surfed some sweet waves, hiked out to a naturally formed whale tale, splashed and swam in a waterfall, and ziplined/repelled/swung through the jungle canopy! I’m sure none of us will ever forget the BABY HUMPBACK WHALE on the way back from Corcovado National Park that was as curious about us as we were about it. It was really spectacular to share that experience with such a bright and unique group of people. Overall, it was really fulfilling to have all of these adrenaline-filled and eye-opening adventures in the very same beaches and jungles we were working so hard to protect and preserve.
In hindsight, our team really was the epitome of work hard/play hard. We had so much fun dancing to various Latin vibes, cooking with Dona Dora and Gerrie, playing games in the pool (my eyes still burn), and jamming to music on the many bus rides.
We all truly miss you so much and hope that you’ve been able to apply some of what we learned together in your lives back home. I truly believe that we are better individuals because each of you joined our program, and I hope you feel that you grew as people as well. Remember, stay creative, stay true to yourselves. If we all only did what we were taught, nothing would ever change. Be that change, Ptp3.
Pura Vida and lots of love,
-Hannah, Sam, Gerrie, and the rest of the Protecting the Pacific team