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Aveson Costa Rica 2022

May 5, 2022

We woke up early – what felt like the crack of dawn – to get to breakfast where we ate a local delicacy gallo pinto which was ridiculously delicious. After gathering everyone we left for the Crisley farm. We spent a long time listening to the wonderful backstory to the start of Crisley farms. then, equipped with our knowledge of the cheese making process, folded our own balls of mozzarella cheese. From there we went on a tour throughout the 7 hector farm to see all manner of animals; pigs, dogs, cats, cows, chickens, baby chickens, and poison dart frogs (the blue jeans dart frog). Along the way we were also able to sample many of the tropical fruits of the farm, including cacao, star fruit (carambola), cacao, and papaya juice from from the farm. After a brief stop at a local supermarket for ice cream, snacks and soda, (with a wonderful view of the forests) we returned home and entertained a rousing conversation about camp guidelines to ensure the comfort of our fellow campers. The pool was open when we got back and several students decided to swim before our enthusiastic and fun salsa lessons where we learned about salsa, merengue, and batchata. Another meeting to finish the guidelines and celebrate a campers birthday occurred before the day was done.

-Viviana C., Tyler K., Clara R.

May 6, 2022

Today we split our main group into two smaller groups, and went to two different schools: El Futuro and La Lucha. Me and Graham’s group visited El Futuro, a K-5 school, and served the kids there. We worked with community leaders to beautify the property by sanding down a Sunday school so that we can paint it tomorrow.

At one point we visited classrooms and sat down with the kids, who were practicing their English. After connecting with the students we got to work on sanding down the metal bars of an unfinished classroom. Though it was it was hot and (surprisingly) didn’t rain, we worked hard till the end of the day until the building was ready to be painted.

At the La Lucha community, we were greeted by the younger students who attended the school we worked with. We introduced ourselves to the staff and students, and visited the different classrooms for each class/grade. After our first introductions to the school and community members we were shown by the school’s English teacher as to where we would be serving them. We helped their community in three different ways: we painted the preschool, assisted in building their bathroom, and weeded the garden beds. However, my favorite activity we did with the students was playing soccer. During our lunch we had the opportunity to play some soccer with the 6th graders and then the 4th graders. With great effort, we were able to to tie the first game and lose the second. Playing fútbol with the students gave us all a chance to connect with them on a deeper level.

Both our groups walked away from this experience having learned more about Costa Rica and the communities who live here. Moreover we learned valuable lessons regarding service in general. It was a wonderful experience and we can’t wait to continue serving this beautiful community and enjoying Costa Rica.
By Alexander I.,  Graham L., & Julia O.

May 7, 2022

We started the day early and traveled back to our service communities, La Fortuna and La Lucha. In La Lucha we started building the preschoolers’ bathroom and continued painting the walls. We also prepped the garden for planting. In El Futuro, we continued sanding the church bars and did some gardening in the area. Both groups were fed a delicious home cooked meal at their communities. Each group took a tour of Proyecto Asis, a wildlife rehabilitation center for native and non-native species. Our wonderful tour guide, Carlos, shared lots of information and funny stories with us. After the tour, students prepared meals for the animals and placed them in an enrichment toy. We experienced what it’s like to feed the animals and saw their ingenuity when opening the boxes.

By Kim C, Kamryn H, Charlie JJ, Emma O, Olivia F, & Amelia P

May 8, 2022

Bright and early, we went to get our Covid tests! As we waited for the results we headed to a park and enjoyed some ice cream. Luckily we came back negative and we got to enjoy the rest of the day exploring and seeing more of La Fortuna. After a long, stressful day, we went to a beautiful waterfall to enjoy nature. We had the opportunity to swim and breath fresh air with a gorgeous view. Later, we headed back to the hotel and enjoyed a well deserved rest.

By Kim C, Kamryn H, Charlie JJ, Emma O, Olivia F, & Amelia P

May 9, 2022
Our day started with a very early breakfast. We had to get to the zip line by 8:30. Once we go there we got our gear and took a lift up to the top. We got to do 7 zip lines in total, the fastest getting up to 45 miles per hour, with a variety of different scenery including a lagoon at the base of a volcano surrounded by lush rainforest. After the zip line we went to lunch where we were able to try a Costa Rican spin on traditional foods like sushi and burgers. After lunch the group split, a few went to the town to see the local culture and the other group visited a Costa Rican dog rescue and adoption. The dog group had the opportunity to help wash and walk the dogs. The town group went on a shopping trip and bought souvenirs for their loved ones. Our last expedition of the day was dinner at Baldi Hot Springs Hotel and Spa. There was a buffet where we had a belated birthday celebration for our leader, Annika. We were then able to explore the different pools, saunas, and waterfalls available. It was a fun way to unwind and bond together as a group.

By Alyssa T. Bruno R. Tavin T.

May 10, 2022

Today was a huge travel day. We settled in and stopped for lunch. We bonded over the travel and the bus driver let students request music. We got to see a different part of the country that we hadn’t seen before and got to enjoy their culture. Our leader, Chalo, explained what we were seeing on the travel, and before dinner sat us all down to learn more about the country. Once we got to the hotel we got a chance to decompress and hang out in the pool.

By Nico C., Lily W., Quinn R.