Louisa’s Volunteer Mission to Costa Rica

Hi everyone!

It has been an incredible first week here, in Costa Rica!

Again, I would just like to take this time to thank each and every one of you for your contributions. Your generosity is not only a tremendous help to the people of this community, but is a gift to me. Seeing your contributions make a difference in people’s lives continuously reminds me of why I decided to take this trip in the first place and empowers me to keep going. Thank you!

To the people who donated money, it has been used to purchase new desks and cabinets for the daycare, since their current ones have termites. When I presented the money to them, they said that it was well needed and came at the perfect time! Thank you!

While we opened up the duffle bags of donations, the daycare staff were so grateful for some things that I have taken for granted my entire life. For instance, they shouted with joy when they saw Crayola markers because apparently in Costa Rica, they only have markers that don’t work very well and are difficult for the younger children to hold because of how thin they are. They also called rulers a “dream” and were very excited to see them—I am not sure why. Balloons were also a big hit! For the events that I’ve helped with so far, we have been reusing balloons from previous parties because there is just no room in the budget for such items. They also oohed and awed at every piece of clothing that I brought and put some aside for their upcoming events in which poor, single parent families can come and collect much needed items for their children. Some of the women who work in the daycare and live with me are students and have children of their own who are also students. They truly benefited from the school supplies that a lot of you donated. They were so happy with all of the hygiene products and hair supplies that many of you gave! The children brush their teeth at the daycare and we do their hair for them every afternoon, since these are some of the hygiene regiments that they do not have the privilege of practicing at home. We are also sending some of the items to Upala, a town that has recently suffered from a severe hurricane. There are two women that I am working with who are from Upala and lost their homes because of this natural disaster. They are so grateful to be bringing supplies back to their community when they go home on the weekends. As you can probably tell, your generosity is making a tremendous impact in the lives of these people and they thank you very, very much! Thank you!!

Just so you can get a sense of what I am doing here:

I had the opportunity of coming to Costa Rica through a course that I am taking. This experience is acting as both a teachers college internship and a full-year credit towards my religion major.

From Monday to Friday, I volunteer in the daycare from 8AM-4PM and help out in the kitchen from around 6PM-8PM. I’ve also been helping some of the sisters decorate for special events, which you can see in the pictures (the shrine of Mary and the ‘feliz cumpleanos’ picture). The girls that I’ve been working with in the daycare are helping me with my Spanish, and I, with their English. I have free time to explore on the weekends!

I am pleasantly surprised as to how welcoming everyone has been. Within 24 hours of being here, one person invited to take me into the city on Saturday and another invited me to her aunts birthday party on Sunday. I took both of these girls up on their offers and I am SO happy that I did. I have been learning a lot about others and a lot about myself, while here.