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Costa Rica Children & Community, Session 2 ~ 2022

July 16, 2022
Breakfast was at 8:00 am was our first breakfast in Costa Rica! Then all 20 of our new friends hopped on the bus to the cafe finca which means coffee farm. We started with an introduction in Spanish which outlined our day. Rodolfo, our tour guide, took us on a hike to see sugar cane coffee and local fruits. As we hiked we picked local fruits off the trees (which might have had worms in it!). Then we tried sugar cane in its first three forms. The first being chewing the sugar cane then drinking the raw juice, which was juiced by us. The last form was a sugar cube that some squeezed local lemon juice right on top. We hiked back down to the main camp for delicious chifrijo for lunch. To continue our trip we learned about the different roasts of coffee beans and roasted them ourselves. Some had fun grinding the fresh coffee in a grinder. We made our trip back uphill to the bus afterwards with an hour ride back to the hotel.

After some free time and card playing in the beautiful breeze we took a 5 minute walk to Super Snacks for some local dinner. After a great meal full of laughs and conversations about bad posture we made our trip back to the hotel. Even though it’s been about 2 days with each other, let’s just say we all needed a reminder of names, so we played a name icebreaker. Afterwards we packed up for our three day hike up to the jungle bunkhouse for tomorrow!
By Carmella, Gabby, Kayla and Ella

July 17, 2022

For our second full day of adventure, we had an early wake-up call at 8 in the morning with a traditional Costa Rican cuisine. We said our goodbyes to La Dehesa, our first housing space, and started our 3 hour travel to Bosque Eterno De Los Niños. To keep everyone occupied during this time, we listened to music from a playlist that everyone added different music too, and had a ton of fun. As we got close, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant in Monte Verde. We then drove the last 20 minutes where we begun our hike to our lodge, which was a 2.5 mile walk. The hike, although downhill and slippery from the rain, was eventually worth it with the amazing view from our lodge. On the balcony with a breathtaking view, we hung out on hammocks, made friendship bracelets, and had a chance to relax and decompress after the long hike. We then had coffee and desserts before a dinner consisting of more local cuisine following with group bonding and goal-setting for the days ahead. We can’t wait to explore more of this new and biodiverse environment in our future days!
-Paige E. & Tillie B.

 July 18, 2022
We woke up at 7:30. Went to breakfast at 8 and began a fun and full day of hard work at 9. We walked through the trails at San Gerardo and spent time clearing paths and making them wider. We used shovels and pickaxes to cut branches and roots as well as reforming the muddy terrain. With a few wipeouts and laughs we headed back for lunch. The lunch was traditional Costa Rican cuisine prepared for us by Christopher and Keylor (keepers of Bosque Eterno De Los Niños. ). After lunch we headed back out to work. In the afternoon we continued clearing out the trails for about an hour. Then we headed back to the station. At the station we had a break before dinner where people washed off, helped prepare dinner, and worked on some friendship bracelets. Dinner was fish and rice prepared by Christopher and Keylor. After dinner we had a team meeting followed by some ping pong and a salsa lesson by Randal. After the salsa lesson people continued dancing until 10:30.
By Ben P. & Patrick

July 19, 2022
Today we woke up at 7:30 for an 8am breakfast of pancakes, empanadas and mango. Work began at 9am and we split up to begin hiking into the forest to work. We dug drainage ruts and widened paths. One of the few waterfalls in this cloud forests was explored as we cooled off and refreshed in the water. Lots was accomplished before we headed back for a chicken and chickpea soup with chips and fruit. Back to work we listened to music in the rain, danced and talked. At the station a crazy soccer scrimmage broke out in the pouring rain leaving both staff of the Eternal Rainforest and students drenched in mud and sweat and left with giant smiles and an experience that will be remembered for the rest of of their lives. Cold showers, donuts and friendship bracelets in the fog followed as both students and staff had time to relax and rewind as the rainy day came to an end. We danced and listened to music while dinner was being prepared. A pasta dinner with lots of dessert before our evening meeting, homestay discussion. More dancing, laughing, and games before the end of a very lovely day in the wonderful San Gerardo adventure.
By Sophie P. and Adelaide O.

July 20, 2022
Today, we traveled from our beautiful home in the rainforest to our homestay families in Cedral. We woke up bright and early and started packing our bags and cleaned up our rooms. We had our last breakfast made by the wonderful staff. Although we are sad to leave the rainforest, we are so excited to meet our homestay families. We had a challenging steep hike up to the bus but made it and felt accomplished. We drove to get our bags and then hit the road. We stopped for lunch at this buffet style place and got smoothies as well!! Our car ride consisted of hair braiding, singing, and friendship bracelet making. We arrived later than we expected at about 8 pm, to all the homestay families waiting for us. They made us all food and then we got to meet our families! All of us were nervous, but our families were so welcoming and excited about the next few days with us. We can’t wait to get to know our families!
By Addie O. & Lucette L.

July 21, 2022
Today, we had our first full day staying with our families in Cedral. After a delicious breakfast, the group met up at the local microbeneficio (the coffee production plant). We took a tour and learned how the coffee is made there. After learning more about the coffee production we took part in several projects including, making cement and helping to maintain the buildings and surrounding area. After working on the projects, our host mothers brought lunch to the group. Then we continued the projects we started in the morning. In the late afternoon the group enjoyed mass at the local church. To wrap up the day we headed back to our families, had dinner and spent time getting to know them.
By Emlyn S. and Lydia M.

July 22, 2022

The day began at 8 am with breakfast from our homestay families. We had rice, beans, pineapple, empanadas, cake, and hot cocoa for breakfast. After this, we met near the coffee factory to start making concrete and putting up poles to make something new. At about 12, we ate lunch which our host families made. They gave us chicken, rice, beans, and salad. In the afternoon, we made more concrete and put up more poles. We also used hammers to take down an old bathroom wall. We returned to our host families at 2:30 and had rest time in the house. At 4, we reported to the cafeteria to learn and make tortillas. We ate some tacos for dinner and then danced in the open area for about 2 hours. After that, we went to our host families, played games, and had snacks while getting to know them better. Then, we rested, showered, and went to bed to end a fun day!
By Grayson K. and Sam L.

July 23, 2022
Today we began our day at 7:30am. We ate breakfast with our families at 8am, we had tortillas, eggs, banana, pineapple, and coffee. We met up with the whole group at 9:20 at the worksite to continue our last day of work landscaping the coffee facility. Again, today we worked with cement to widen the paths and various other jobs like sweeping the loose rocks off the driveway of the cement we poured yesterday. We also had an opportunity to buy the local coffee and bracelets made by the community members! Unlike the last two days, today we went back to our homes for lunch, we then had four hours of free time to shower, spend time with our families and get ready for the evening. For lunch we ate rice, beans, chicken, and juice. At 3:45 we walked down with our families to the community area where we met yesterday to make the tortillas. Some people played soccer outside in the rain while others just rested and hung out together. We had a big pasta dinner, there was a tuna pasta salad, pasta with red sauce, and pasta with butter, all with a side of plantain chips. Yum! We continued the night with dancing and talking with friends. Once again it is to great to spend time with the local community members and help out when we can.
By Nell W. Anna K.

July 24, 2022
Today, we were able to sleep in for the first time! After a great breakfast at our homestays, we headed to the fútbol field to watch the championship game for Cedral. The score was 2-0 in favor of our homestays community, YAY! Then it was our turn, Global Works versus Cedral. We kept them on their toes for most of the game but the final score was 12-9. (A special shout-out to our MVP Patrick who scored a whopping 4 goals!!) After an exhilarating game we walked back to our homestays and had lunch, as well as time to shower and rest before the farewell and thank you party. Dinner consisted of rice, beans, salad and chicken tenders which we all thoroughly enjoyed, with a surprise ice cream at the end! We then danced the night away and then gave appreciation speeches to the families that hosted us (in Spanish) and then headed home for our final night in Cedral!
By Eva and Perrin

July 25, 2022
This morning we had breakfast at 7 and started loading up the bus at 8. We ended up leaving at about 8:30 because some people did not want to leave their families. There was a tearful goodbye, and then we made the trek down from Cedral! We then went zip-lining at 10. Zip-lining was quite fun. We went on 7 courses, some slow, but most were fast, and then we had a surprise at the end! The surprise ended up being a hundred foot drop that we repelled down from.  We could pick our own speed of the drop, slow, medium, and fast.  After that, we hiked to a restaurant and had lunch. Once again, we loaded the buses, and started our 2 hour bus ride to hotel Tecal, in Uvita. We then chilled in the hotel, had some pool time, and some amazing burgers and fries all thanks to Randall. After dinner, we had some reflection questions directed by Allie and Heidi, to spend some time thinking about our homestay experiences. We are excited for surf lessons in the morning!
By Patrick

July 26, 2022
Today we woke up to a cloudy sky with pancakes and Auntie Jemima’s syrup to prepare us for a morning of surfing. All 20 of us got our suits and rash guards on, and headed to the beach. After a 5 minute walk to the black sand beach we met our instructors and got started with surfing lessons. We looked pretty dumb laying on the sand pretending to be on a surf board but it came in handy once we got into the water. It took some a few tries and others got the hang of it quickly, but we all got up at least once and rode a wave to the shore. We walked back with salty hair and rashes on our legs with an empty stomach. Lunch was filled with some American style hotdogs, to give us some sense of home. The afternoon was full of chill time, snacking, and swimming. We had some delicious teriyaki beef and rice to fill us up for whale watching the next day. We ran into another Global Works group and got to know each other. Then, we got ready for bed and had a good nights rest to prepare for the upcoming final days!
By Ella 🙂

July 27, 2022
Today was our final full day at El Tecal. The first thing we did was we woke up and ate breakfast, which consisted of pancakes, eggs, and beans with rice. Then we departed at 9am to go whale watching. During the whale watching trip we saw a baby and a mother hump back whale. We also saw a green sea turtle as well as a brown pelican. To wrap up our boat adventure we got to go swimming before heading back to the shore. Once we returned back to the hotel we rested for a while and then around 2:30 everyone headed to the beach. During this time many of us had our second surfing lesson, while others spent time relaxing on the beach, and playing in the waves. Then, around 4:30, we headed back and everyone had time to relax and hang out by the pool. At 6, we had a nice dinner of pasta and salad. To wrap up the day everyone spent time writing letters to our future selves, as well as to our host families. Then, we had an early bed time so we could be well rested for the upcoming travel day.
By Emlyn S.