Costa Rica

 

“I found meditation without crossing my legs and closing my eyes.”

Posted by WTTech in Costa Rica

The WorldTeach Costa Rica is a program unlike any other. Although famed for being an unparalleled tourist destination in Central America, Costa Rica is alive with other wonders for the heart and soul. It’s the deep sense of tranquility and understanding between students and volunteers that is normally so hard to explain – that same sense of inner peace that Erica Rawles seems to sum up so perfectly at the end of her summer journey with WorldTeach Costa Rica. — Never did I expect that coming to Alto Varas would help to heal me. In the middle of these rolling green hills and blue mountains, I found peace. I found the kind of calm that lets you sit on the…

Celebrations of Life and Death in Costa Rica

Posted by WorldTeach in Costa Rica

At times, the cultural immersion process that volunteers face abroad is not always the celebration of life, but also of death. Samuel, a current WorldTeach Costa Rica volunteer, has been fortunate enough to be welcomed into his community, so much so that he took part in a traditional funeral. As many Latin cultures do, the community came together to honor the life that was lost, and in doing so showed Samuel a different definition of death, as understood in Costa Rica. And with a new definition of death, comes a redefined version of life.      Death is not something I would ever consider a welcome event; however, it did allow for me to experience one of the more interesting…

Living Deep in Coffee Country

Posted by Heather Tang in Costa Rica

See Grace Carroll’s transition from a student in the libraries of Notre Dame to a teacher amidst the rural coffee fields of La Esperanza, Costa Rica in only one week!   The looks of confusion and bewilderment that I have received since my arrival to La Esperanza a week ago have confirmed what I already knew; it is not normal that I do not like coffee! Since I am living in the hub of coffee production in a country renowned for its coffee, I am a small minority. In fact, I am probably the only one. Coffee farming is the way of life here and I am thankful to have learned more about its production process by talking with people…

Letters from Costa Rica: Mil Gracias!

Posted by Heather Tang in Costa Rica

As 2012 comes to a close, the WorldTeach Costa Rica volunteers are preparing to leave the schools and communities of which they were a part for the past year. In reflecting on the time spent teaching and learning from their students, the teachers came together to release their second newsletter of the year. In it they shared the pictures, thoughts, lessons, and stories from Costa Rica that they will bring with them wherever they are off to next!     The newsletter opened with some moving letters that the volunteers wrote to their host families, students, and the entire country of Costa Rica. Here’s one by Meggie Heffernan that truly captures what volunteering is all about:   Dear Costa Rica,…

Roller Coastering in Costa Rica

Posted by Heather Tang in Costa Rica

Since January, Aeriel Kay has been volunteering in Costa Rica. Faced with her return in December, Aeriel writes about her loves, fears, and hopes – the roller coaster of her life in Costa Rica.   Dear United States of America, I miss you. I miss sitting in a cafe and writing and being anonymous. I miss being able to pick up my phone whenever I want and call whoever I want. I miss cooking my own food and eating entire meals of vegetables. I miss listening to cheesy American pop music on the radio while driving with the windows rolled down. I miss meeting friends for coffee. I miss meeting friends for drinks. I miss meeting new people. I miss…

What Once Seemed Strange…

Posted by Heather Tang in Costa Rica

WorldTeach volunteer Kiana Curry has quickly adjusted to Costa Rican culture. Now, Kiana writes, things that originally seemed new or bizarre have become custom. Read on to discover the odd bugs, weather, food and gossip that have become part of Kiana’s daily life as a volunteer. Thanks for sharing, Kiana!     I would like to start by saying the idea for this entry is completely stolen from one of my fellow World Teachers. She had such a great idea to do an entry about things that once seemed or would’ve seemed strange, but now seem so normal. I decided to do my own spin on it and write about some of the things I have learned during my seven…

More Than Just Surviving

Posted by Heather Tang in Costa Rica

Sara Eckstein has just recently reached the halfway mark in her time as a volunteer in Costa Rica. This milestone has caused Sara to experience a wealth of different emotions. In her recent blogpost, Sara notes the memorable experiences that she “could not have anticipated even if [she] wanted to.” Her passion for teaching and experiencing foreign cultures is undeniable; according to Sara: “To everyone else in Curré, this is life. But to me, it’s unexpected and exciting.” Check out what else Sara has to say about her time in Costa Rica thus far!     On this day in Rey Curré, I noticed that half a year just went by. The good news is that half a year remains….

What It Means To Volunteer in Costa Rica

Posted by Heather Tang in Costa Rica

Sara Eckstein is a WorldTeach volunteer teaching English in Costa Rica this year. She has fully embraced the people and culture of Rey Curré (the village in which she teaches) and has also embraced what it truly means to be a volunteer. Check out Sara’s awesome perspective on volunteering and learn more about her daily experiences in Costa Rica!     On this day in Rey Curré, the sun rose above the tree-covered hills, lit up the Inter-American highway snaking through the little pueblo, and danced on the steadily rising river before rolling back over the hills, casting red streaks in its path. The day came and went just as it has been for centuries. Only on this day, and…

Teaching Ticos

Posted by Heather Tang in Costa Rica

In this post, Mark Sobel, who has been living and teaching in Costa Rica, discusses the sometimes extreme ups and downs of daily life in the classroom, teaching us that the best way to face it all is with a healthy dose of humor and honesty.     Teaching is sort of like…eating a jawbreaker.   Wait, wait: hear me out. You start out full of hope and excitement, looking forward to the long journey ahead, but then after hours and hours of work it seems like you have made zero progress. It started out so sweet and new and full of color, but now at times it just seems bland and monotonous. But then, wait! Could it be that…

The Major Milestones of Life

Posted by Heather Tang in Costa Rica

WorldTeach Costa Rica volunteer Leah had a laundry list of things she wanted to see, do, and experience during her summer as a volunteer. Here she recounts how she was able to successfully check them off her list.       I have been very fortunate while I´ve been down here to be able to experience many different traditions and festivities. Once accepted to this program, we filled out a form sharing our preferences on where we wanted to live and some of the things that we wanted to be able to do in our area, or with our families. One of the things that I stated in my form was that I wanted, if possible, to be able to…