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Costa Rica: Surf & Service (Session 1) 2016



Can you believe in less than 1 month we’ll be in Costa Rica eating gallo pinto (a breakfast specialty of rice and beans, spending time in an amazing community, and surfing the endless summer waves! We are excited for our upcoming adventure exploring the beautiful country of Costa Rica and serving in a very special community with you!

Esteban is home in Costa Rica – that’s right, we have our very own Tico (native Costa Rican) guide! Michelle is finishing up some work in the USA and will be headed down soon to join him and prepare everything for your arrival!

We’ll be reaching out to you in the next few weeks to go over trip details and answer any questions. We can’t wait to meet you!

Pura Vida,

Michelle Nance and Esteban Arguedas

July 3, 2016

Today was a great experience! We started up the day going to the local church and hanging out with the kids. In the beginning it was very intimidating to all of us walking into a room full of children that don’t speak the same language as us. But as soon as we started playing games and coloring we all became very comfortable. Sitting, coloring, and making bracelets, and just watching everyone in general was very interesting because it’s so different from everything at home. It’s such a different normal that’s cool to experience. At night we got to learn Latin dance, which was awesome. It was such a good bonding experience that loosened everyone up and got all of us out of our comfort zone. After dinner we got to watch a Costa Rican dance which was also a very good time. It’s crazy how we can become so immersed in the culture in just a day! I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week.

Pura Vida!

– Jill S.

July 4, 2016

This morning consisted of our first taste of mud, sweat, and shovels. Despite blisters, ant bites, and more sweat, we were able to help complete a trench that will be the foundation of the renovated local church. Our hard work payed off when the local women called us for almuerzo they prepared while we were working. After lunch, more men came to help the work go quicker and were all in agreement it was very cool learning words to talk to them and finding common ground between the two cultures. Walking to the Supermarket, Esteban gave us all flowers and we tried Costa Rican ice cream and cookies, which was fun. At dinner we swapped stories and different customs about where we’re from in the country while Esteban cooked up bbq chicken and Coca Cola (which he surprised us with in the spirit of the July 4th festivities we’re missing back home). With another surprise of caramel popcorn, we sat in a circle and shared our hopes, stories, and laughs. And reflected on the people we met and the awesome trip that we’re on. If the rest of the week is a reflection of anything like today, we’ll be more than thrilled!

Pura Vida!
-Owen & Ciara

July 5, 2016

I came on this trip thinking we could do some good and hit the beach. I did not come down here expecting I would meet the person I always wanted to be. Everyone knows that person who is so passionate about what they do it’s like you’re drawn to them. That’s who I want to be.
Today, to meet a group of people who continually give so much of themselves to something that seems so simple was amazing. These people are so dedicated to expanding their local church that it was my honor to help out. To see the pastor right beside us shoveling dirt, to see the way he was such a great leader was truly amazing. And I wouldn’t trade this day with these people for the world. So if you’re reading back home, I encourage you to do one thing you’re passionate about today. It could be the start of something really amazing.
Pura Vida,

July 6, 2016

Today was a big transition day. We went from building trenches in the mud to eating hamburgers at the beach. We left early in the morning, still with a tear in our eyes from yesterday – when we all said goodbye to the people from the community we helped at the beginning of the week. We all felt so happy and relieved when we made it to the beach and FINALLY felt the sand and water between our toes. We waited for that the whole five hour trip. We ended our night with a nice homemade meal at our cute hotel. Even though we didn’t do much today, we all got to know each other better and have a lot more bonding time than before. Now we’re all excited for surfing!

Pura Vida,

July 7, 2016

Finally the day we have all been waiting for, surfing! We started off with another great breakfast and then hit the beach to shred some gnarly waves. I could feel the tension on the bus because everyone was so anxious to get up on the boards. It was really nice to just observe other people’s techniques and how they learn. Once we were out in the water, everything felt free, like there was nothing wrong in the world. The best feeling was getting up and catching a wave. All this week’s work finally paid off. Just sitting on the board in the water with some of the greatest people I’ll ever meet is a moment I can’t describe.

Pura Vida,

July 8, 2016

This trip had been more than I ever could have imagined. I came into this trip not having any idea of what to expect and at the end I have an unforgettable experience. Today we finished off the trip with one last surf session and a 4 hour drive back to San Jose. Throughout the course of the week I have learned so much about myself and those around me. This trip has allowed me to meet people from all over the country and the world!! I have had the ability to learn so much about cultures so different from mine with people so similar yet so different from me. Thank you to everyone who made this trip the amazing experience it was!

Pura Vida,