So this weekend we went to Talamanca, more specifically to the Bri Bri indigenous community located in Talamanca. Lemme tell you, what an adventure. Lemme tell you first, it’s like a 5-hour drive to Bri Bri from where we started so this adventure started off pretty lame, waking up at 5am and being crammed in the back of a hot jeep with 7 other students for 5 hours…but not to worry, it defiantly got better.
After we finally arrived at our destination, we met with some elders from the community, who just so happened to be the grandparents of some friends of mine, and they taught us about their culture. We learnt so much from the elders my brain was exploding with information by the time we left. we learnt about their customs and beliefs, how they came to be here, their views on marriage and so much more. Did you know that long ago, the Bri Bri people believed that people were born from corn seeds? that’s why corn was and still is considered a sacred food by the Bri Bri people. super interesting. I also learnt that many of the elders have been working with an organization to help make a Bri Bri to Spanish dictionary and have even converted parts of the bible to Bri Bri, all in an effort to keep their language alive and prevent it from drying out like many of the other indigenous languages in Costa Rica. Their efforts to preserve their way of life are incredible and I really hope their language and amazing ways of life are still around for generations to come. After the learning session, they told us some legends and stories of the Bri Bri people (my favourite being “the water tiger”), I won’t recite any as they are far too long but I implore you to google a few, they are extremely cool.
The next day (Sunday) was just as interesting at the first. We met this man (who’s the name I don’t remember) who I found extremely curious. He grew cocoa beans and produced his own 100 % organic chocolate. Despite being a curious fellow, I also found him to be very wise. He told us (and this is the word for word) “Human beings today are confused, we used to be all about togetherness and unity and respected the circle of life and the world but now we are all confused, we are all square. we cannot agree on anything and we live a square life, square houses, square doors, square mind. we no longer respect the circle and that is why we are failing”. A wise man indeed.
After having lunch and discussing the world with the wise chocolate man we went off to have some fun. Cause after all, what’s work without a little fun. So we hiked off to the local waterfall, as all the locals do, and spent some time cooling off in the beautiful mist of the waterfall, while mentally preparing ourselves for the 5-hour trip back to Cartago.
A great end to a great weekend, in the beautiful place that is Talamanca!
p.s. we also saw a sloth 🙂
– By Jason Bridgemohan