Last month, my friend Meghan and I traveled to Costa Rica. This was my first time doing a Globe Aware trip and my first time in Costa Rica. I wanted to have an adventure and an adventure is what I got! Our coordinator, Gilda could not have been sweeter. She greeted us with a big smile and a warm hug. On our way from San Jose to El Sur I was amazed at the beauty of Costa Rica. Everywhere I looked was a view that took my breath away.
Once we got to the village we settled into our cabin. After a brief rain shower we ventured out and found a group of kids playing soccer. They invited us to play and were gracious enough to pass us the ball even though we were all terrible at soccer! I even scored twice! That night we were invited to a dinner at their community center to meet the locals. Right off, I noticed that everyone enjoyed spending time together. There were no cell phones out at the tables, just people talking with one another. The next thing I noticed was how nice everyone was even though we hardly knew any Spanish.
Of course, we came to work. Our first task was to paint a fence. It was a big fence and took all morning in the hot sun to finish. While we painted, Gilda told us about her family and life in the village. We learned that recycling is very important to them, which led to our next task. The next day we were to make a recycling barrow out of plastic bottles. The first step was to poke holes in the bottles with a hot metal poker- that was my job. Luckily, no one was hurt in this process.
Most people think Costa Rica is a just a vacation hotspot. I was lucky enough to see that it’s so much more. The people of El Sur taught me how to slow down and live a simpler life. They taught me how to care for the earth in creative ways. In fact, I’ve gotten requests to make the recycled bottle barrows for friends! I may have gone to Costa Rica to help people but I think the people of El Sur helped me so much more.