My experience in Costa Rica was phenomenal, dare I say, life-changing. With an amazing group of 13 other Centennial College students, selected from various study backgrounds, I had the opportunity to travel and learn about the Indigenous population of Costa Rica. Although we spent the majority of our 2 weeks in Costa Rica immersed in various Indigenous communities as means to experience and learn about their cultural traditions as well as the social issues they still face today first hand, upon arrival in Costa Rica, we spent our first couple days attending Costa Rica’s Institute of Technology, also known as TEC. While attending TEC, we spent our nights at the Rinconcito Verde Hotel. The hotel had a pool with a temperature that was always just right, a view that would take your breath away, and WiFi, we were all thankful for the WiFi.
Above is a panoramic view from the balcony of the room I stayed in.
Aside from tasting some awesome snacks, our purpose for being at TEC was to gain insight into the communities we would be moving on to visit for the duration of our trips, such as Brian, Bri Bri, and Boruca Indigenous Territories.
While travelling together as Centennial College Ambassadors we visited Indigenous communities and engaged in learning workshops that detailed cultural traditions and beliefs. Our goal was to serve the communities in whichever way it was that they desired. In the Bri Bri community, we taught English in the community and at the local school, there were no buses so our method of travel was to hike to all our destinations, giving us great opportunity to experience Costa Rica’s vast bio-diversity.
We also visited Cahuita National Park where we saw different animals and swam in the saltwater beach.
There was no better way to end our trip than to visit the Hot Springs in Cartago. We all felt rejuvenated before our flight back home.
My time in Costa Rica has strengthened my foundation and philosophy as a Child and Youth Care student. We are all one humanity with shared strengths and weaknesses. Before we can hope to carry out positive change, we must first educate ourselves by experiencing and most importantly, Listening.
Jaleel Alfred, Known in Costa Rica as Jota.