January 30, 2012
Early Monday morning Lorena Frias, Sister School President and I joined the Green Mountain Coffee Roaster Employees and Winston Rost, Farmer Relations Manager for breakfast at Hotel Indigo. Lorena had an opportunity to introduce herself to everyone and we both enjoyed seeing how excited they were. The employees had won a trip to Costa Rica for being outstanding employees and were thrilled to be there!
Next, Arnold Leiva from the Coffee Source in San Jose joined us and our friendly driver Manrique. After an eventful morning and early afternoon visiting coffee cooperatives and a butterfly sanctuary, we traveled to La Hilda Estates for our afternoon workshop. The beautiful Estate is surrounded by mountains with lush hillsides. The modest school sat on top of a mountain overlooking incredible vistas. When we arrived children were playing outside waiting for us.
All of us were ready to get started with the kids. Deb Bodell and other employees had brought extra art supplies for the younger children, which was a great idea and very well received. We had a group of kids under six who were too young to work with the latex paint so they got creative in another room with some of the GMCR employees and teachers.
The program started off with; a Kids Share Presentation (in Spanish, so kids could learn about another culture and how we get started), Setting Up (was effortless with all the wonderful volunteer help), Name Tags (so we could learn each others names), Mixing Paint (by asking children how to mix their favorite color using primary colors), Demonstration (on how to create Tissue Art Designs), Creating their own Designs and Hanging them (to dry on a barbed wire fence), Cleaning up together, Demonstration (on how to use Tissue Art to create beautiful containers from recycled material), Snack (popcorn and Juice), Awards Certificates (with a sticker made the kids feel very proud) and Exploring (the coffee farm by running through paths, playing hide and seek, swinging on vines and horsing around!) All of this was done in aproximately three hours.
Stay Tuned! Next week we will visit with children from GMCR’s coffee purchasing communities of Naranjo and San Ramon.
A Special Thanks to the GMCR employee photographers; Reid Greenberg, Steven Caggiano and Michael Yaeger and Lorena Frias from Sister Schools. Their photographs are making it possible for the 2012 Costa Rica blog to cross culturally share!
The photo slide show below is a wonderful and quick step by step visual in cross cultural sharing during our time at La Hilda Estates. Please take a moment and enjoy the day with us!