A special note from Kristina, Program Director:
“I want to thank again my new friends at Partners of the Americas, Oregon and Costa Rica for making my site investigations incredible and memorable! I am looking forward to a prosperous partnership by continuing to build cross-cultural bridges together.”
Day 1 Site Investigation: Centro Educativo Bilingue Nuestra Senora de Lourdes in Barva, Heredia (Please see the slideshow at the bottom of this page.)
After arriving early Friday morning, later that day, Lorena brought me to one of the sister schools associated with Partners of the Americas-Costa Rica.
The Centro Educativo, Bilingue, Nuestra Senora de Lourdes in Barva, Heredia was lively with happy kids and staff! I was over whelmed by the warm reception, which consisted of many hugs, smiles and kisses. One of the teachers told me that their country was voted the second happiest country in the world. I believed it!
Senora de Lourdes School is a small private school, grades K-6. They offer karate, various sport activities, English, art and more! What I found wonderful and interesting, hence the name, all woman teachers run this school.
I learned a little about the school and we discussed how Kids Share Workshops could best fit into the curriculum. It was decided the best fit would be in the afternoons, three days a week. I was scheduled to return the following Monday to give a presentation to the teachers and fifth grade students.
Before leaving the school Ana, one of the teachers welcomed everyone to her home for a party in honor of our birthdays this month. She was very enthusiastic about our gathering to take place that night. However, we all decided Saturday would be the best night. All night long we had wonderful dishes brought out, lots of dancing and plenty of Sangria! I slept well that night.
On the second day Lorena and her 77 year old mother Tina, took me to a beautiful indigenous family in the mountains above San Jose, where the art of basket making was still being practiced. From the harvested grass, bat mobiles, bowls, hats, earrings, coasters and bracelets were made!
They are located in the city of Colon. I was blown away with how they lived on a very steep hill side. One of the buildings that was still attached to the main house, was actually falling down the mountain. They did have some basic amenities, like well water and a toilet that flushed. However, the family raised their own food and harvested the hill sides for vegetables, fruits, herbs and roots.
I learned how the grinding stone in the kitchen was for corn and coffee. The view from the kitchen faced beautiful vistas. I saw a variety of butterflies and birds at the kitchen window. Large vultures soared above. It was magical!
With a university group from San Jose Catalina, our host hiked with all of us down a steep trail, including Lorena’s mother Tina! We carefully made our way to a small flat area where a fire was warming a large cast iron pot.
The leaves were soaked in the pot with dyes from root plants she also pulled from the ground. The next step was watching her make a beautiful hat! For almost two hours, we participated in the art of basket making, which is becoming a lost art for the Indigenous people living in Costa Rica. For everyone, this was muy lindo! (very nice!)
Lorena, her mother and I decided to head back before the demonstration was complete to have an earlier lunch with Kattia’s mother. She prepared a wonderful dish of mashed potatoes, chicken, tortillas and desert of a Yucca sweetened with sugar and spices. It was muy bien!
Thank you for reading our first Costa Rica blog posting! Please share this with others. I will be posting the next two days shortly.