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Volunteer and Intern Abroad since 1997
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Six weeks in Quepos

By 5 years ago
Categories Jalova

Six weeks in a different country has created opportunities for many stories. One might ask, “how much can one person really experience during 6 weeks in Costa Rica?” I would argue “lots.” The past month and a half has been an incredible experience. The memories that I have created with the other volunteers are varied – some would make some people laugh so hard a tear would be shed while others would evoke sadness.  The citizens of this beautiful country are living what the locals call “pura vida” –  a life that is full of contradictions that push their struggles into plain sight…the difficulties that one would expect to find in the developing world are clearly visible here.

Costa Rica is a place that brings people from north and south into direct contact, for better or worse. Living in the beautiful town of Manuel Antonio has allowed me to enjoy the scenic views and warm beach water, however working in the neighbourhoods of El Cocal and Boca Vieja has exposed me to two communities that lack basic stable education and suffer from extremely high poverty and drug abuse.  It is in these two communities that I have been able to see that the concept of development is no longer an abstract theory. Development in these communities is a concrete reality that forges relationships that can blossom into a better future for the children of these communities.

My responsibilities have focused on establishing a positive relationship with the children of Quepos at the grass root level.  Using both sports and education, I have been able to interact with children.  The children and I have learnt that social capital-the institutions and relationships that help build and unite a society, can and I believe will lead to development, a situation that economically and socially benefits everyone.  I believe, or like my British friends say, “I reckon,” things will improve; both our educational experiences and the quality of life of the children will improve in the long run with our continued work.

Mario Soto, GVI Quepos volunteer