The adventure started as soon as their plane took off and left their comfort zone!
Friday June 1st: Seven New Mexico State University students and their teacher arrived safe and sound to the airport of Alajuela. After a long day of travel, they arrived to their B&B where they had the opportunity to share their travel experience as it was the first time of many to leave their country alone. They had a delicious dinner and went to sleep since the adventure was about to start!
Saturday 2nd: This was the first day of being immerse in the beautiful city of Heredia and culture of Costa Rica. Throughout the walking tour the students had the chance to experience a traditional Feria del Agricultor or Farmer’s Market. They were delighted by the tasteful varieties of fruits which they had the chance to buy. They later had lunch in a typical ’soda’ in the Mercado Central, where they not only ate more, but bought some souvenirs and Costa Rican candy. To end the day they had a walk about in the central park where they had time to take many pictures in front of the fountain, church and Fortín.
Sunday 3rd: When was the last time you did something for the first time? For NMSU students that day arrived when they were faced with the challenging Rafting experience in the Pacuare river. They were able to confront their fear of new outdoor adventure to have a memorable experience. They had a blast through the entire 4 hour tour through the river. Despite the fear at the beginning, they were able to enjoy every second of it, and are ready to come back to Costa Rica to do it again!
Monday 4th: This day started with a competition! The group was divided into two and the Treasure Hunt started all around San Joaquin! They had the opportunity to speak to locals and ask them questions regarding Costa Rica and the culture. They took tons pictures and after the surprisingly fast challenge, both groups ended in a tie. As a price they all received an ice cream from the brand Dos Pinos, which they seemed to enjoy as the day was sunny and hot. After the morning was spent on games, they headed back to the CPI school where they had their cooking class. They cooked a traditional lunch which involved rice, beans, picadillo and tortillas. The tortillas was their favorite part, as they seems to be experts at making them. Later on they had the chance to eat their own food, which was delectable. Then the group had Spanish class and ended the day with their host families.
Tuesday 5th: The challenge they faced this day was like no other. The students went to La Carpio, a community of limited resources. They had a talk with Gail, the founder of 'Costa Rica Humanitarian Association’ and were able to understand how small actions can turn into positivity when an entire community wants to change in order to have a better quality of life. They saw a play made by the ladies of La Carpio, had the chance to help with some unwrapping and packaging of products and buy bracelets, keychains and many more stuff from the same artisans of the community. This day was mind-opening for them as they learned great lessons which will be taken into account in the future.
Wednesday & Thursday 6th & 7th:These two days the students had a chance to engage with the children of the community of La Carpio. They talked with them, drew pictures, colored, played games and participated in activities which involved learning English. Both the NMSU students and children had a really good time with each other. After La Carpio volunteer program they headed back to CPI where they received their Spanish classes!
Friday 8th:This was the last day for the NMSU Global Citizens. In the morning we went to La Carpio for the last time. The students did a hard work this day as they constructed a sidewalk for the community. They moved the sand and rock from side to side and created concrete which was used to cover the sidewalk holes. People from La Carpio were willing to help as well to improve the community, and so NMSU students and La Carpio people worked as a team. The result was incredible and now they have an improved and safe sidewalk. In the afternoon NMSU had the San José City Tour. They went to the national theatre, learned about Costa Rica’s history and had a chance to buy many souvenir in the Mercado Central. After a really long day, we came back to CPI, the students were handed their diplomas and the trip came to an end. It was an amazing group and the CPI staff hopes to see them again in the near future!
Remember: Things are not better or worse, just different :)