Tree Frogs & Monkeys Celebrate Their Heritage – Costa Rica Community Service

Hola Parents,

For our final day working with the Costa Rica Humanitarian Foundation (CRHF) the trip members ran a day camp for 21 boys from La Carpio. This is one of the few times that the children of La Carpio are able to get out of the city and run around in nature. The theme of the day was based on the environment and the kids were split among our group according to their age. The groups moved to 4 stations of plants, animals, earth, and indigenous people of Costa Rica. We all got to practice our Spanish skills and despite some of our language barriers we were able to connect and provide a fun afternoon for the boys of La Carpio. Amelia, Gabby, Aysa, and Renato were with the youngest boys and made quick friends with adorable children. Amelia was particularly popular with a little boy who did not leave her side all day. Kelsie, Connor, Brooke were with the oldest group of boys and got to play some games and a little hacky-sac. Connor was able to communicate well applying all the years he has studied Spanish. Rebecca, Scott, Carly, Alfredo, Dave, Emma, and Emily had groups in the middle and made lots of leaf prints, played with clay, created mobiles with natural materials and later played soccer and volleyball. All in all it was an incredible experience and one none of us will ever forget.

Later we headed back to the hotel for time in the pool and hot tub and played some trivia. Rebecca and Emma, our two lovely Canadians, were stumped on some of the questions, but did their country proud on Canada Day. Also in hono(u)r of Canada Day Dave handed out Canada stickers and before we started the morning song on the bus we got to hear our Canadian friends sing their national anthem in English and French. The necklaces handed out went to Scott from the Frogs and Amelia from the Monkeys for their demolition skills at work yesterday. It was truly amazing the amount of work the group accomplished yesterday!

After a tasty local meal in town we played mini golf.  Aysa apparently has been holding out on us- she has mad skills. She got 2 holes in 1 two times in a row! The course was really fun yet a little tough, but we all had some laughs at our ridiculous shots and efforts to be as good as Aysa.

This morning we were beach bound and were so happy to see the ocean and quaint town of Tamarindo. The bus ride gave us the chance to hear DJ Emma’s and Rebecca’s fantastic hits of the summer. We were all impressed with the plethora of great songs. Half way there we stopped to grab some snacks and saw red parrots hanging out in the trees and we nibbled on some local snacks. Kelsie tried a manzana (apple) tart, Emily had a coffee frozen drink, and Connor enjoyed a chocolate and caramel cake. We also got the chance to pick up some Costa Rica souvenirs. Coffee and wood crafts were the top purchases along with some local made jewelry.

We arrived to our adorable yellow hotel with a pool in the center of the L shaped hotel then we went into town to grab lunch and start our surf lessons. We practiced on the beach first and had four surf instructors all to ourselves. This group had some great first few waves for beginner surfers! Carly really impressed us all with being one of the first in and one of the last out of the ocean. She took full advantage of the time and got some really good rides. Jamie also rocked on the board and along with her buddies Kelsie, Alfredo, and Renato. Emily and Emma rode several waves all the way in. There was talk of some girls starting a business in Tamarindo so they could surf anytime. Amelia agreed that she would like to open an ice cream place called “Chicas” and surf as much as possible. Scott and Connor obviously had surfed before and Scott even did some fancy foot work on his board.

Gabby and Amelia sang for our CPI guide and bus driver on our drive back from the beach- not only can they dance but they can sing really well too! Our dinner spot was straight out of a tropical resort paradise picture. Brooke and Aysa raved about their ravioli and we all are loving the different fresh fruit drinks we get at each of our dinners. Renato and Aysa received the necklaces for working so well with the kids from La Carpio yesterday.

Tomorrow morning we have our last service project then we will spend the afternoon relaxing at the beautiful beach. Also, we are starting some friendly competition. The trip members will compete in some beach games, trivia, create a team song and complete an obstacle course. Go Blue! Go Green!

Only a few days left before we all go home and we are so sad to be leaving this beautiful country.

With love from all of us from the land of Pura Vida,

The Westcoast Blogger