Internship -Costa Rica

An Overview of My 3 Months in Costa Rica

Reflecting On My 3 Month Experience 

Looking back on my time here in Costa Rica and all the things I did and experienced, dealing with the barriers I faced, and the great people I  met and friendships I made.

I am feeling bittersweet of my soon departure from Costa Rica. I am happy to go home and see my family and friends, but sad to leave my friends here and this wonderfully beautiful country; with all the sun, nature/rain forest, animals, mountains and adventures. Goodness who would ever want to leave.

When I got here on the 8th of January I spend 24 in Orosi Valley it is a great little town. I went horseback riding, sightseeing, and my first time trying Costa Rica food (Gallo Pinto and Fresca). It was great!! It was sunny, hot, and beautiful. Speaking Spanish for me was a little hard because my pronunciation was really bad, but I got through it. And Costa Ricans (ticos) are great people with tourist, they will try to help you as much as they can.

Another thing I was shocked with is that the cars had the right of way, and that you had to wait for a clearing before crossing the street. As well as their sewer lines are open and run between the road and sidewalk, so you have to hop over them to cross the street. I also had the experience that sometimes the bus driver will not stop the bus to pick you up, they will see you and just drive passed you (haha that was fun).

I have been zip lining with Tranopy zip lining by Rain Forest Adventures, and Playa Jaco Beach. The zip lining was crazy we were 100,500 above sea level and had to do 10 zip lines back to back all the way down the rainforest mountain above the trees, it was amazing! And Jaco Beach was was wonderful. Although I did lose my eyeglasses in the ocean. When your friend tells you to jumps over the waves so she can get a picture of you, just remember to keep your glasses in your hand and not tucked in the front of your t-shirt… hahah!

These are some other things I did on my free time:                                                                    Nauyaca Waterfall and Playa Dominical Beach, Isle Tortuga and Playa Puntarenas Beach.

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Meeting, bonding, and working with the Indigenous students for Tec. They are truly amazing people. I will always cherish them dearly. We did a lot of things together, but my favourite things we did was visiting some of their Indigenous communities/territories (We went to Quitirrisi to the Huetar Tribe, Talamanca to the BriBri Tribe, and also San Carlos to  the Maleku tribe, Rey Curre the Boruca Tribe, and Boca Cohen a Cabecar tribe Territory).  Some of the other things we did was having a culture night-food fair/ feria de comida, we did a photo project, Spanish/English classes twice a week, social meetings/get together with the students it was great!!! These individuals are the just wonderful people with a rich history and community.

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Our Supervisor Diana and her assistant Joana are great!! They are the epitome of what a social worker should be like. I hope I can be that amazing we I start to work as a social service worker.

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We also volunteered once a week at Pueblito. This unique organization was established for at risk children. Pueblito Costa Rica offers children and adolescent survivors of situations of social risk, protective factors in the form of family, strengthening their rights and promoting their duties within a comprehensive approach. It was originally founded and started by Canadians. There are 15 homes with the “donas” (mothers/caretakers, multiple staff and volunteers, there is a daycare on the property that is for the surrounding community (own by a different organization). Founded in 1974 as a project of the Canadian International Development Agency. In 1975 town starts operation as welfare and Social Care Association. In 1984 signing of acknowledgment with PANI. It is a non-governmental organization.

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These are just some of the things I did here, but not everything. Yes, we did travel all over Costa Rica with Diana, Joana and the students, and thank you for the wonderful picnic at Jardin Botanico Lankester Gardens.

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And now it is time to say goodbye and hopefully see you all soon. I will miss you all very much, thank goodness for social media! Pura Vida mi amigos y amigas!!! 

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By: Abir Hassanien                                                                                                                                    

Social Service Worker                                                                                                                              

 Centennial College (Ashtonbee)                                                                                                          

International student placement internship Costa Rica (Instituto Tecnologico de Costa)

Categories: Canada, Centennial College, Changing Experience, Costa Rica, GEO, Internship - Costa Rica, Internship -Costa Rica, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DownTime in Costa Rica :)

As you can imagine, we are not working 24/7 and we do get the weekends off, so I thought I’d share what I’ve been up to on my free time here in Costa Rica.

There are a lot of waterfalls in Costa Rica so I got the chance to visit a few of them. We found a tour organization and they took us to see the Nauyaca Waterfall and visit the Domincal Beach in January as well as Isla Tortuga in late February. Both trips were awesome.

We had about an hour and half hike up a mountain to get to the waterfall but it was well worth it and I love hikes (and yes it really looked like that). after swimming around in the waterfall for a bit we head back down and over to Dominical Beach for dinner and for me to see my first ever Costa Rica sunset. pretty damn nice looking if you ask me. For the trip to Isla Tortuga (turtle island) it was pretty good as well. A bit hectic cause it took an hour and a half on a boat to get there but it was also worth it I think. The water was so beautiful (the pic to the right) and I went snorkeling for the first time ever there!!! soo cool. after I stopped freaking out every time I put my face in the water and breathed it got a lot better when I got the hang of it. But it was so cool, for those of you who haven’t tired it, I highly recommend it. The fish pass right under you and its just so amazing, like being in a whole other world. I won’t post any pics of snorkeling cause I don’t have any and I probably also looked ridiculous in the goggles, you’ll just have to imagine it ;). After playing a couple games of volleyball on the beach it was time to call it a day and we headed back.

The University I am working at (ITCR/TEC) hosted an international day for all the international students going there (there were 30 of us) to get to know each other. There were students there from France, Czech Republic, Germany, Mexico, Spain, etc. they were from everywhere. There were even a few from the USA (they weren’t Trump supporters don’t worry). So the school took us on an all expenses paid trip to Jaco Beach and Rain forest Zip lining :). needless to say it was great day. made a lot of new friends, had my first time in a rain forest and zip lining was also preeeettyy dope.

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Following the Jaco trip. and with the friends I made on that trip, we planned another trip together. We spent the weekend at Manual Antonio. For those of you not familiar with Manual Antonio, it is a BEAUTIFUL beach (my favourite in Costa Rica). It has beautiful white sand, and it is right besides a national park with lots of wildlife … MONKEYS for example. haha seeing a monkey was on my list of things to do in Costa Rica so I proudly checked that off the list after this weekend. We stayed in a cheap hostel near the beach spent the day at the beach and the night at the pool. it was a hell of a weekend. These European kids sure can drink 😉 haha so it was a great night full of great drinks great music and great friends. anyways I had a blast. We checked out the national park the next day and met some monkeys 🙂

Other than these, I’ve just been wandering around from adventure to adventure, just yesterday I was at Volcano Irazu National Park with my friends. Instead of just explaining them all, i’ll just post pics 🙂

So yeah, I think that’s about it. I think I’ve covered everything aha

So I hope your having a awesome day and keep smiling guys.

By: Jason Bridgemohan

Categories: Canada, Centennial College, Costa Rica, GCELE, GEO, Home, Internship - Costa Rica, Internship -Costa Rica, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saying Goodbye to Paradise and Returning to Reality

So, as you can probably tell by the title, I am soon to be leaving this beautiful island nation of Costa Rica and returning to the bitter cold of reality (and Canada ). Being here, on the ground, out in the open and right in the middle of social work has taught me so much and I will be returning to the snow, a changed person. But before I get into that, lemme show you some highlights of my time working here in Costa Rica.

Pueblito :

Pueblito is a orphanage we got the privilege of volunteering at every Wednesday we were in Costa Rica. It is really an amazing place, and very unlike it’s Canadian counter-part. They follow a different model than the North American model and in my opinion the kids have a better experience growing up there than a orphanage in Toronto. Instead of putting all the kids to live in a foster house Pueblito is set up more like a community. The kids live in something of a “gated community”. There are 18 houses in this community each with about 5-8 kids in each with a surrogate mother who looks after them. Along with the houses, there is also a computer lab, outdoor gym, playgrounds, daycare (free for the surrounding community) and a nurses office, as well as onsite psychologist, social worker and tutors for homework. This kind of model allows the kids to grow up in more of a community environment. They even have a bus that they use to take the kids on field trips. This model and place is not without ts flaws, don’t get me wrong but it was interesting to see a different model in place and one that I would be glad to see implemented in Toronto. I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the kids for obvious reasons but here are some murals that are on the property, one of which the kids helped make.

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English Classes: We got the awesome opportunity to teach English. Not with like a full classroom or anything (I’m not trying to hype myself up lol) but with a group of indigenous students. It was a group of about 7-15 kids and since English is their THIRD language they were having some trouble with it so we offered to teach them. So every Monday from 1-3pm we would have English Classes. It was a lot of fun working with the students and fun teaching something that we sometimes take for granted.

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Visiting Earth University and the TEC University fair :

Earth University, as many of you may not know, is one of the best universities in Costa Rica and after visiting it, I can see why WHOA IS IT IMPRESSIVE. The grounds of the school are so large that if you didn’t have a car or a bike with you, you would probably be walking for about 20 minutes before you saw any sign of human life, yeah it’s that big. But it’s not just it’s size that’s great. Everything from its curriculum, the way they teach the classes, the layout of the school, the mandatory activities and even the application and selection process set this school apart from the others in Costa Rica. I can’t go into depth on each of these points but i’ll say a little about each of them. They specialize in Agriculture, Business and Leadership programs. Every classroom is separate and has a retracting wall so they can bring in animals and plants to help the students learn and most of their classes have a hands-on approach. The layout of the offices of the teachers and services are extremely accessible to the students and you don’t need a appointment to see them you just pop in when you need to, Every Wednesday and Saturday from 6am to 11am the students are required to work on one of the on campus farms for them to really GET into their work and learn firsthand about agriculture and the process up close and personal. And the entire staff is involved with the application/selection process, they mostly bring students from around the world, and many from small villages as they recognize that sometimes you may not have access to the best education but you are still able to make a difference. They actually travel to the country to interview the student and they have to demonstrate how they have helped your community to get in. It is a very extensive but interesting approach. I could say more but I feel like i’m getting a bit too long on this post. if you wanna know more, google “Earth University”.

Food Fair : I know I know, your thinking omg theres more, this is the last one, il try to not make it as long as the last. We held a Pot Luck with the indigenous students and it was a great time. They were stoked for it and they each made a traditional dish from their communities so it was a great opportunity for us to try food from each of the different indigenous tribes. of course they wanted us to make some traditional Canadian food for them so we made some homemade mac n cheese and of course the EXTREMELY traditional and precious Canadian food that is Poutine ;)haha. Needless to say, it was a delicious night and we ended it off with some karaoke XD I may or may not have brought the house down 😉

There’s a week left til i’m headed back to the land of ice and snow and I will be very sad to be leaving this awesome place and the awesome people i’ve met here. Being here in Costa Rica has taught me  many things about its people and about myself but something really important it has taught me is something I might have been ignoring for sometime in the busy North American lifestyle, and that is, to slow down and smell the roses. In Toronto, everything is very task oriented, no one really leaves their house unless they have something to do or somewhere to go, no one really smells the roses we all just assume they will be there later for us to smell, but before you notice the moments past and you’ve missed it. Being here, its reminded to me to smell those roses and to live in the moment, and the importance of living in the moment, life’s too short to be living anywhere else.

Costa Rica has also taught me the true meaning of Pura Vida. Some of you may know what this means, some of you may not, it is basically the slogan for Costa Rican life and it mean “pure life”. Its all about living life to the fullest and making the most out of life. not just that, its also about finding happiness and being happy in life and recognizing that there are always people out there who have it worse than you, so you should never take what you have for granted. It encompasses all that is Costa Rican life and every Tico lives their live to Pura Vida. This is something I truly love and will be taking this home and everywhere else I travel to for the rest of my life (and yes there will be many more places 🙂 ).

Before I say goodbye for this post I would like to give a special shout out to Blair Fewster and Diana Segura Sojo, my supervisors in both Canada and here in Costa Rica. this awesome opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without you guys and you have both gone above and beyond to help us and make sure this opportunity was a great one. You are both fantastic and keep up everything you are doing. Never change. Also another shout out to the Global Experience Office at Centennial College for setting this up as well, thanks you guys. you have all given me a experience that has changed my life.

OK enough of the mushy stuff, that’s it for this episode guys. I hope you are all having a fantastic day and keep smiling. Pura Vida Mae.

By: Jason Bridgemohan

Categories: Canada, Centennial College, Changing Experience, Costa Rica, GEO, Home, Internship - Costa Rica, Internship -Costa Rica, life experience, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quitirrisi – Huetar Tribe

We all went on a educational trip to Danny’s Quitirrisi Huetar Indigenous community.

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Here is a little information about Costa Rican’s indigenous people:                                                         The Indigenous peoples make up about 1.7% of the Costa Rican population. Like Canadian indigenous groups, these people also have territories/reserves lands. There are roughly 24 indigenous territories located throughout the country of Costa Rica. The Indigenous people of Costa Rica have a similar story to the Indigenous people who live within Canada, the rest of North America, and Australia . They are the people who first lived on the land, prior to European and African contact. Christopher Columbus arrived in Costa Rica in 1502, around ten thousand years after the indigenous peoples of Costa Rica made the land their own. The contact with European settlers caused many of the indigenous peoples to die of diseases brought to their country by the foreigners.

The Huetar tribe’s territories are in two locations in the Province of San José. The Quitirrisi Huetar tribe is in San José, Canton de Mora (Quitirrisi de Mora), and the Zapatón Huetar tribe is in San José, Canton de Puriscal (Zapatón de Puriscal). Their cultural identity has been somewhat lost, although certain traditions, such as the Fiesta del Maíz, and the use of medicinal plants, have been preserved. The ancient Huetar were very wise people who had an infinity to nature, medicine (to the point that they could do minor surgery). As well as math, science, language, and sports, they were innovators, inventors, and visionary of their time

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I was able to visit the Huetar Tribe in Quitirrisi, Thanks to one of the indigenous students named Danny that I was working with this semester in Costa Rica. Danny took all of us (our group comprised of the TEC indigenous students, and the 3 Centennial College students) on a field trip to see and learn about his tribe and community. Quitirrisi is located just 40 minutes to the west of Santa Ana, the Quitirrisí indigenous territory/reserve is the home to about 2000 Huetar Indigenous people. Quitirrisi Collage 3

The natives’ land is relatively unfertile and a varied of agriculture did not develop. Corn is one of the only products that is grown by Huetares. The Huetar’s crafts are products based on palm leaf, fodder and vegetable fibers. The Huetares are specialists in natural colors for dyeing clothes, ceramic artifacts, basket weaving, pottery, etc. they are sold at roadsides and at “ferias” which are the markets to sell their goods.

Today Huetares speak Spanish (due to the loss of their native language). However, one of their leaders, Juan Sanchez (or “Choto,” his name in Huetar, and also Danny’s uncle),IMG_20160213_132037

who shared his people’s history, culture, and challenges with our group. He has been making efforts for the last twenty years to bring back the language, customs and traditions of his people.  Juan told us that the Huetares are descendants of the Mayan’s tribe. He took us on a tour telling us the significant of all the native structures as well as their meaning, and purpose, for example the building with a thatch roof. We learned that each palm-wood pillar of the sturdy structure represents a different ancestral spirit, which makes the shelter a sacred and wondrous place.

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Juan also showed us how they make sugar cane juice.  Quitirrisi Collage 1

 

We also met with Danny’s father who makes basket weaving items, and wooden statutes/figurines, etc.,

Quitirrisi Collage 2 20160301_182604then we met with Danny’s uncle who does pottery work. He gave use a demonstration on how he makes his pottery on his spinning wheel, and also by hand.

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Danny’s cousin also had a display of his craft work too. I don’t have to tell you that I bought some stuff, because I did (you would too if you saw it… so cool!).

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All I can say is that I had a great day learning about Danny’s amazing tribal history and culture, they are very humble, care and genuine people, who are very welcome and happy to tell you of their culture and customs. I am very PROUD to call Danny my GOOD friend,IMG_20160213_154532 I will be sad to leave when the time comes to return home. Pura vida!!

By: Abir Hassanien                                                                                                                                     Social Service Worker                                                                                                                               Centennial College (Ashtonbee)                                                                                                           International student placement internship Costa Rica (Instituto Tecnologico de Costa

Categories: Costa Rica, GEO, Internship - Costa Rica, Internship -Costa Rica, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Talamanca !

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, its 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 to 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 sooo much more. Did you know that long ago, the Bri Bri people believed that people were born from corn seeds? thats 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 dying 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 favorite 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 name I dont remember) who I found extremely curious. He grew cocoa beans and produced his own 100 % organic chocolate. Despite being an curious fellow, I also found him to be very wise. He told us (and this is 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 outselves 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 🙂

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  • By Jason Bridgemohan

 

Categories: Centennial College, Costa Rica, GEO, Internship - Costa Rica, Internship -Costa Rica, life experience, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Costa Rica’s Indigenous community Boca Cohen

          Indigenous community Boca Cohen

An Cabecar tribe/ethnic group in the province of Limon

By: Abir Hassanien                                                                                                                                                                         Social Service Worker                                                                                                                                                       Centennial College (Ashtonbee)                                                                                                                                 International student placement internship Costa Rica (Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica)

Some information on Cabecares

There are around 10’000 Cabecar (pronounced cah-beck-car) Indians is the largest Indigenous group in Costa Rica and is considered to be the most isolated in the Mountains, which requires a few hours long hike to reach. Therefore, the Cabécar Indians have not been exposed to many basic items, and few of them have been exposed to education, they are very traditional and still preserve their “Chibchan language, natural medicine and patrimonial culture. They have a rich corpus of stories and legends, some of which are written down in Spanish and the Cabécar language. Their located throughout the Southern Atlantic Coast, Limón province, Chirripó (Pacuare valley), valley of the Rio Estrella and the Talamanca reserve. As well as Ujarrás de Buenos Aires and China Kichá. Their cultural identity is probably the indigenous group with the most distinct cultural identity. The original Cabécar language is still spoken next to Spanish, but they speak mostly their own language rather than Spanish.  The Cabécares have retained many of their customs and traditions and their clan ties are still very tight. Their activities consist of agriculture (coffee, cocoa and bananas), bird hunting and fishing, etc. Here are some videos of Boca Cohen:  It took us over 4 hours to drive from Cartago to Limon (we took breaks to eat and stretch our legs), and then to drive the isolated rocky road to Boca Cohen, it was an adventure alright!! (specially in a 4×4 truck/jeep and the back seats are along the sides with no seat belts, and your knees are at your chest, and you are bounce around), it was fun!! (We had to drive passed/through the Dole’s banana plantation to get to the road that took us to Boca Cohen). Oh Costa Rica doesn’t have street sign of street names, so you will have to stop and ask a local how to get to your destination if you don’t know (that is really fun). The weather in Costa Rica changes for exaple in the mornings it is cool/chilly, then it warm/heats up late morning to mid-afternoon, then late-afternoon to evening it cools down again. This picture is of a community that is two to three hours walk away from Alto Cohen. This community/settlement is called Boca Cohen.  Bocha CohenJanil is an indigenous Costa Rican. Her tribe/ethnic group is Cabécar, in Alto Cohen, Valle la Estrella, in the province of Limón. We meet her at another indigenous community Boca Cohen that is more accessible by car and closest to Alto Cohen. It is also the same community that Janil went to school, and completed her high school. Janil told us that she had to walk 2 hours each way every day for school (she also told us that the walk for us would be 3 hours long). And remember these are isolated communities in the mountain rain forest jungle of Costa Rica. We had so unexpected situations happen on our trip. There was a young couple that live in two different communities. The women was in labour and on her way to the clinic. We were asked if we can drop of the young man to meet his significant other on our way out. We agreed. Then we found out the Janil went to school with the young man and that he is very interested in applying and attending Instituto Tecnologico de Costa Rica (TEC), he asked Jenil and Diana all the information and contract information he needed. (So hopefully the new father will be attending post-secondary education soon). And the couple had a happy new baby (it is crazy how far and isolated the journey through the hills on the rocky road to the clinic is, I was shocked and glad we were there to give them a ride. But women in these communities do that all the time, or alone at home… WOW). Janil Bocha Cohen.jpgThese are the pictures from the whole day, we had lunch at a restaurant by the beach close to the port/harbour in Limon it is a beautiful place. Everyone got to know each other a bit. It was Janil’s first time being at an ocean beach.  Limon Beach.jpg  By the time I got home it was after 10pm and I was beat.  All I can say is PURA VIDA!!

 

Categories: Canada, Centennial College, Costa Rica, GEO, Internship - Costa Rica, Internship -Costa Rica, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

PARA MAMÁ

PARA MAMÁ

I have share an insight about an important date, August 15th, 2015.  A time where Costa Rica honours all Mamá.  There was a significant event that guided me to write this post.  Feliz día de la Madre!

By: Sherry Ing, GEO International Internship Costa Rica Summer 2015 participant.

Pillow embroidery

My host mom’s embroidery stitch work. She had planted beautiful roses and fragrant flowers in her home. She loves flowers.

On August 15th, 2015, Costa Rica celebrates Mother’s Day.  I like to take this time to blog about this important date.  To all the Mothers out there, and members of society who had to take on the Mother role for whatever reason they have.  Feliz día de la Madre!   When I was in Costa Rica just one week from today, the children at the two elementary schools that I worked at made Mother’s Day card.  I had the duty of helping the children with the upcoming English Festival and Spelling Bee.  For their impromptu speech, the children had to write and talk about their family or favorite things.  This also included their own drawings when they described a family member or their favorite thing.  What I noticed is each child’s drawing.  But one particular one stood out to me.  It was one of the young boy’s family.  He drew two male holding hands together.  I later found out that he had lost his mother and it was only him and his dad.  On this week, for most its a great time to share the joy and celebrate our moms together, but for others its sadness and a reminder and longing for Mom that they shared a short time period together.  When I said goodbye to the children that I worked with, I made sure that they felt loved and cared for.  I hugged each and everyone.  With this said, it is important to hug.  As a Massage Therapy student, hugging is just as important in healing then any other form of treatment.  It is an alternative form of therapeutic touch.  If everyone in the world received a hug each day, their health will be up a level.  It is very therapeutic and the Science behind it is that we releases hormones, such as Endorphines.  Which in turns gives us happiness.  During my time in Costa Rica, my host mother role was very important.  She made sure each of her son was feed, kissed each one on their forehead before they went out for their soccer game, and made sure everything is in order in the household.  Para mamá.   Feliz día de la Madre!

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Hola! Llano: a short Llano Bonito visual essay

HOLA! LLANO: A SHORT LLANO BONITO VISUAL ESSAY

By: Sherry Ing, GEO International Internship Costa Rica Summer 2015 participant

This is a brief summary of a short visual essay of my global experience internship in Llano Bonito, Costa Rica.

a Llano Bonito visual essay

Categories: Centennial College, GEO, Health, Internship - Costa Rica, Internship -Costa Rica | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

KEYS TO COSTA RICA

KEYS TO COSTA RICA

It was my first experience living with a home-stay family.  It shown me the lives of others and their everyday routine in a different country.  It was the key to life lessons that I will carry onward from this experience throughout my lifetime.  I have written significant events that happen to me on my first GEO international internship experience in Costa Rica.  

By Sherry Ing, GEO International Internship Costa Rica Summer 2015 participant

It almost seems like yesterday, when I first received the keys to my room in my Costa Rica family house.  The interior was different from my first family.  I didn’t think my first time living with families of Costa Rica descendant would be a life lesson in itself.  It tested my limits and called for quick decision making at my first family.  It ignited my passion for family closeness, appreciation of the different personalities that my Costa Rica siblings possessed, and my mother and fathers role in the household at my second family.  As I entered into my room, the ceiling was lined with golden colour trimmings.  The fabric clothed closet didn’t had any other peoples’ belongings, the night stand had an Alaskan sunset cloth fabricated over it, and the bed was just right.  I felt at peace.  Claro! I would lock myself out of my room with the keys inside on my first day with them.  The first family had a second set of keys, but my second family, they had a machete.  The machete helped unlock the latch of the door after going through a pile of extra keys that didn’t fit the key hole.  My brother and father laughed at this and I did too.  My time in Costa Rica with my Costa Rica families allowed me to practice my Spanish, opened the doors to the lives of a different culture, and the charm that the country possessed.  Last week was very emotional for me.  I had said goodbye to the 20+ children that I had connected and worked with in two schools, saw my first and last soccer game of my brothers, and said goodbye to my home-stay families and friends that I made during my time there.  Yesterday, I hopped on flight 1807 along with Canadian tourists and others landing in Toronto.  Before I left Costa Rica, I had made red,white, blue colour of Costa Rica, friendship bracelets to people that I connected with and presented them it.  They are a symbol of global friendship and proudness that the people had of their country.  I hope when I complete my studies at Centennial and work that I will return and be reunited with them.  As I walked through the house, I slowly un click the two keys I had from my keychain, one to the house and one to my room.  I placed them on the dinning table that I had most of my meals at.   Farewell Costa Rica, hasta luego!  This was my global experience, I encourage you to take the keys to another country and open to a new global journey….. what will your global experience be?

Categories: Internship - Costa Rica, Internship -Costa Rica | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FIVE THINGS TO DO IN LLANO BONITO

FIVE THINGS TO DO IN LLANO BONITO

This is my compiled list of five things to do in Llano Bonito, Costa Rica. As well as, it can be a guide for making the best out of your rural living-condition experience.

By: Sherry Ing, Centennial College Massage Therapy student currently in Costa Rica.

  1. HikingOn your sole, get set, GO! In Llano Bonito, there are routes and passages that you can discover by foot with a hiking companion ofcourse. I personally wouldn’t go alone, two mind is better then one. I like to hear someone with a different view set as me and can point out things that I might otherwise have not seen with my own eyes. Along the unmarked path, sometimes there are no sidewalks, along the hills, you can get a taste of the edible berries and fruits from trees and bushes. Not sure what they are, but its good to have a local person guide you on what fruits that can be eaten. An unfamiliar fruit I had tasted was a “Manzana de agua” (translated as water apple in Spanish) Everyday the weather is different and you can always guarantee that the same place looks different. Sometimes you can be walking through the mist and fog, or have lightning and thunder in the background.
  1. Fotbol FieldGoal! There is a solo outdoor fótbol (soccer in Spanish) field in Llano Bonito. It is bigger then the indoor soccer field located within the elementary school of Llano Bonito. Every Friday evenings, the female and male soccer players would have a game there. My homestay brothers play a family soccer game every Sunday with their cousins after church in the outdoor field. Sometimes there is a serious soccer game played on a Sunday there. People of all ages would gather to watch it behind the fence or sit on top of their cars.
  1. Play dress up and find the needle in a haystack. There are little shops that you can find and buy used clothing. It is sometimes San Pablocalled “tiende de ropa americana” ¢200-¢300. You can find interesting patterns and fabrics from the mountain pile of clothings. It really is a workout and like finding a needle in a haystake as I mostly watch the girls pull clothing out of the pile and help with the pulling and stacking as well.
  1. Its good to get out of the district once in awhile. Take the bus to the nearest canton, such as San Pablo or San Marcos. The cost for a bus ticket is approximately ¢900 Colones.
  1. Attention all Coffee Lover out there, visit a coffee plantation and learn how its processed and how they do it here in Llano Bonito. It’s a 24 hour non stop coffee assembly during November to February and sometimes March. Local family and workers that come from the nearest country such as Nicaragua during this time to help out with the coffee picking and the production. It is also the summer season and time of harvest for the coffee plants.
Categories: Health, Internship - Costa Rica, Internship -Costa Rica | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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