We arrived in Costa Rica safe and sound on Sunday afternoon, and have been going breakneck speed every since. As I write this, it's 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning, and I'm sitting in my bunk in a large dorm room of a Catholic boarding house -- around me are the peaceful forms of 8 or so sleeping teenage girls, who are all about to get awoken before we start our second busy day.
The trip so far has been really good -- the young people and adults I'm traveling with are just superstars, full of joy and fun and mischief and light. While we're here, these wonderful young people are working with Hogar Escuela, (literally "Home School") on the outskirts of San José, the nation's capital. This school is really special: it is designed to support to mothers of a nearby neighbourhood, one that suffers from severe poverty. The school provides a safe, supportive, loving place for children, ages 6 months to 12 years old, to get hot meals and the equivalent of a private school education, while their mothers work or receive an education of their own -- all at no cost to their families. It's really stunning the work that Hogar Escuela is doing: despite the fact that many of the stories of these children are incredibly difficult, there's no denying that these kids are absolutely thriving in school -- engaged, developing strong relationships with each, not to mention their beautiful, bright, smiling faces (some of whom you see above).
The teenagers are doing some manual labour around the school -- painting fences and walls -- and then doing crafts and singing songs with the kids. I, of course have been photographing their activities, specifically for the purposes of keeping their parents back home up-to-date on their adventures every night when we get back to our boarding house.
To be honest, I haven't seen much of Costa Rica other than out of a bus window, so I'm hoping that in the days to come I'll be able to do a better job of grabbing some shots of Costa Rica proper; however, I can tell you that Costa Rica is a dead ringer for Trinidad, save for all of the signs in Spanish. It is a country that feels incredibly familiar, in all of the best possible ways.
I'll try to pop in later this week to share another image or two -- but no promises, because our days are really long. Hope you're all having stellar weeks wherever you are -- and, as the Costa Ricans say, here's wishing you pura vida!