By Mitzvah Corps Costa Rica II 2016 Program Staff
We made it to Costa Rica in one piece, phew.
All together, we are a group of 23, including 19 incredibly enthusiastic and insightful teens, three staff, and one local guide. Our teens have come with a thirst for new adventures and a desire to be a bridge between cultures, and as a staff, we have come in the hope of instilling some new thoughts and ideas in the minds of our participants. For the duration of our trip, we decided to chose daily themes for the teens to keep in mind as we continue our journey into Costa Rican culture with our work.
On day one, we started with the theme of friendship. Not just the buddy-buddy kind of friendship, but the kind of friendship that’s mutually beneficial, where we learn from each other and push each other to be the best versions of ourselves. We’ve had the utmost pleasure of watching our group of 19 individual young people become a cohesive group that is constantly learning and growing together. I think it’s safe to say that we are a large and eclectic group that is growing together, learning from each other, and forming amazing bonds of friendship.
Day two, we talked about leadership, including knowing when to step up and when to step back. As we begin our work building speed bumps in La Carpio, there’s not always a task for every person to be doing. The teens have been incredibly receptive to knowing when their help is needed and when it’s time for them to step back. If our site manager asks for three volunteers, a slew of hands immediately rise, but once they observe that those three positions have been filled, the remainder see that and are willing to step back, jumping into other tasks that look like they could use more help.
By day three, we decided to talk about humility, admitting that space needs to be made in one’s self in order to learn anything new. As we move forward with our journey and travel into the Costa Rican jungle to live amongst native communities, humbling ourselves is the way to gain as much as we can from this culture. We look forward to making chocolate, playing soccer, learning how to shoot bow and arrow, working hard, and absorbing as much as possibly can from these aboriginal traditions.
We rise bright and early tomorrow morning to embark on a five hour bus ride into the wilderness and into the unknown, full of enthusiasm, humility, and eager to start the next leg of our journey. We can only hope it will be as fun and fulfilling as this experience has been so far. There is so much to look forward to and we can’t wait to get started.
More to come from MC Costa Rica. Hasta luego.