Costa Rica Service Trip Introduces a New Perspective

MVA embarked on a service trip to Costa Rica over the break. It was an impactful trip that for the seven students and adults who journeyed to Costa Rica to help others while enjoying the people and culture of the beautiful country.
The project the group worked on was building a sidewalk with water drainage for a community center near La Fortuna, a rural community three hours outside the country’s capital of San Jose. The service work was some of the hardest physical labor that these students have ever done. There was shoveling and leveling of the ground to prepare for the sidewalk, followed by mixing and pouring of the concrete. The entire process took an intense two days of laboring to fully complete.
When the service aspect was complete, the MVA group visited a nearby school for a cultural presentation. Students welcomed the group and invited them to be a part of their dance followed by a guided tour pf the community.
“I was pretty impressed with the technology at the school. This elementary school has the same projectors as MVA and new, HP laptops,” said John Weaver, Director of Multicultural Programs, Community Service, and Student Leadership. “Although overcrowded, the school’s solution is to allow half of the students to attend school during the morning, and the other half attends in the afternoon to ensure as many students as possible have access to education.”
The group got to see how chocolate was made and had the opportunity to roast cacao beans and make hot chocolate on the spot. A nearby stop to a waterfall followed, making the visit even more incredible. They also went rafting in the river rapids in a nearby rainforest. The trip ended with a visit to a souvenir factory where they saw how jewelry and trinkets were made from raw products.
Being immersed in a different culture was an exciting experience that provided our students with a new level of respect for the Tico culture, newly formed friendships and the hope to participate in another service trip.