Doesn’t it seem like yesterday that we were kayaking on the lake, playing with the
children, and eating rice and beans for every meal? We can’t believe it’s been so long
since our Costa Rica trip ended but you are still on our minds and we still have such
fond memories of our first Initiative for Children Costa Rica group and the good
times we had this summer.
Our time spent in the schools really did make an impact. You brought joy to so many
children with your smiles, games, and many many friendship bracelets. We learned
from one another practicing our Spanish and helping them practice English and get
ready for their spelling bee. Santa Teresa Norte has a much cleaner and better-
organized school thanks to Sophia’s take-charge group which includes Alexus,
Allyson, Jenna, Jennifer, Anna, Anushka, Caryus, and Dean. Santa Teresa Sur has a
beautiful mural thanks to all the girls who were in Gabriella’s creative group such as
Mo, Amanda, Amber, Bailey, Blair, Caroline, Hailey, Ice, Mary, Raina and Tori!
Bellavista has and up and coming garden and greenhouse thanks to Carlos and his
fantastic group which was Robin, Arianna, Emily, Gracie, Harper, Heath, Jackson,
Jett, Kendall, Olivia, and Siena. Thank you all for sharing your time and positive
energy with the Costa Rican children and us! We hope that this experience also
impacted you and that you reflect on how you can bring the lessons you learned
about yourself and the world around you into your community and hopefully carry
them with you for the rest of your life!
We couldn’t have asked for a better group to kick off our Costa Rican summer! You
all are wonderful individuals and you each brought a unique energy and perspective
to our program. You quickly became a close-knit group and we had so much fun
together! We almost adopted Costa Rican dogs and cats and learned that dogs can
kayak! We had adventures horseback riding and zip lining at the base of the Arenal
volcano. We hiked through the rainforest to see the beautiful green-blue lake at the
top of the Pozo Verde National Park. We relaxed at Alfredo’s fountain of youth (aka
the Hot Springs) after the most adventurous weekend some of us had ever had. On
our last day we rafted down the river and saw some amazing wildlife that is only
unique to Costa Rica.
That last afternoon and evening was super special to all of us, we can remember
celebrating the rise in water level at the lake and FINALLY being able to jump off
from the tower. At night everyone dressed up to make our final meal together
memorable (and to get some nice pictures). Who can forget our awesome dance
party at the end with Carlos and Alfredo singing along to our favorite tunes? There
were so many tears that night and even more hugs, because we knew that these
relationships that were made will not be easily forgotten. And the impact that we
had on each other’s lives will have reshaped us for many years to come!
We all had a great time together and made some memories that will last a lifetime.
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful summer with us!
Some special moments from our trip:
The spontaneous karaoke session before bedtime at home base
Watching dance and singing performances from many talented children at
the Art Festival. Some of us even got to participate in one!
Learning all about coffee with Alfredo
Bigotes yelling “¡Pura vida!” every morning as we left for community service
Celebrating two birthdays!
Seeing a sloth climb up the highest branch of a tree
Pancakes for breakfast EVERYDAY!
Juan Carlos letting us stop for churros on the side of the road
Watching Copa Mundial games inside the house with some very passionate
mentors and local staff members
Early morning runs with Carlos and Rosie
The one clear night when we all did star gazing
Eating the best pineapple everrrr
Mafia and telephone charades group games