Our first week in Costa Rica has already flown by and the experiences during these past eight days have been incredible. Last time we touched base we were touring San José, getting to know our host families and the CPI school facilities in San Joaquín de Flores. Today we are heading towards the Arenal Volcano for a weekend excursion in which we’ll do hikes, soak in natural hot springs and get to meet members of the Guatuso indigenous group. We are looking forward to this amazing new experiences.
With that being said, here’s a synopsis on this past week:
DAY 3 - CINDE
Our Monday started off the day business minded, as we entered the CINDE headquarters in Escazú. There we were greeted and treated as executives, getting to know the role that this internacional company plays in attracting foreign investment into Costa Rica and how it works with an innovative formula, in order to position the country among the best ones in Latin America to invest in. After CINDE, we were able to visit a local mall at a high class town, were we got the chance to compare different shopping areas that the country has to offer, according to the social class and areas. During the afternoon with went to class with Doctor McInnins and later to our first Spanish class!
DAY 4 - BRITT COFFEE
Early morning we headed to the Britt Coffee roasting farm in Heredia, were we had a private tour with one of the company’s executives and got a chance to understand the expense of the roasters and their commitments to creating sustainability and social awareness inside the coffee producing communities. After that, we immersed ourself among coffee fields and mango trees, as we savored different types of delicious coffee strings.
DAY 5 - AMCHAM
The Costa Rican - American Chamber of Commerce was a lovely opportunity, since we got to meet with the company’s CEO in Costa Rica and discuss international and national matters. The CEO spoke about the importance of AMCHAM for the country and the role they play in governmental policies. After AMCHAM, we did a walkabout downtown Heredia, were we visited the central market, ate typical foods, visited the Catholic Church, the plaza and ended up our day eating Colombian street food and smoothies over at San Joaquín de Flores.
DAY 6 - BOY WITH THE BALL, NGO
If I had two words to describe this experience it would be Eye Opening! Today we headed towards the east side of San José, were we entered the shanty town El Triángulo de Solidaridad (Solidarity Triangle). This community, inhabited mostly by Nicaraguan immigrants, is the other side of the Costa Rica tourist don’t get to see. Walking throughout the tiny muddy streets, where houses made out of tin barely fit, made us be grateful of how much we have back at home that we sometimes pass unnoticed. This was a great experience for all us, as we got to see how people live in this high risk conditions, but still find time to thank God for what they have.
Now we continue our journey throughout the country... and I'll keep you posted!