Wow! It seems like just yesterday we were all in little Bahia Ballena working hard to protect the Pacific Ocean. I can close my eyes and so clearly see scarlet macaws flying over our heads, smell the rice and beans 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. While dreaming of returning to Costa Rica at night!
We worked so incredibly hard as a team and made a massive difference in a little community. All our baby trees are still working hard to grow big and strong one day! Our trees on the beach might be home to sloths, monkeys, or even bats some day! All those cute little animals will have us to thank! The beach will also thank us for providing strong roots and biodiversity that will help prevent erosion and keep the beach strong for years and years to come.
Our baby river trees will provide a lovely path with cool shade for ticos and ticas to walk along and enjoy nature, while also keeping the river banks strong and sturdy! The mini viveros are looking pristine and pretty in hotels, where guests have been inspired to make a purchase and plant a tree! It really is the gift that keeps on giving. Finally, our colorful trash stands are placed all over the community helping to keep Bahia Ballena clean! PHEW we did a lot of service!
I also love to reflect on all the adventures we had! We got totally tubular and surfed some gnarly waves, took an hour and a half boat ride (where we saw WHALES) to the most magical place on earth (aka Corcovado National Park), hiked out to a naturally formed whale tale sand bar, splashed and swam in a waterfall, and ziplined/repelled/swung through the jungle canopy! It was so amazing to have all these adrenaline-filled and eye-opening adventures in the very same beaches and jungles we were working so hard to protect and preserve.
Our team really was the epitome of work hard/play hard. We had so much fun quoting vines, swimming in the river after service, dancing with Charlie the Street Drummer after eating pizza, cooking with Dona Dora and Sonia, playing games in the pool, and jamming to music on the many bus rides.
We all miss you so much and hope that you’ve been able to make even more eco-friendly decisions and take some action back home to your own communities since our 14 days together.
-Shannon and the rest of the Protecting the Pacific team!