Tuesday (3.29.17) we began helping with a project at a local school and we also visited a sustainable farm.
Across the street from the resort we’re staying, there is a elementary school (kindergarten – 6th grade). The students only attend half days due to lack of teachers and classrooms. The older grades attend in the morning, while the younger grades attend in the afternoon. We started our first of four days of community service on Tuesday at the school. We are currently helping to finish the school’s gymnasium. On Tuesday we helped with painting, mixing concrete, pulling weeds, and moving rocks. This project will continue over the next few days we are here. We also played with the kids at the school during their recess. Kevin shares his thoughts on this experience :
- Before we started the service, we got to engage in soccer game with local students during their recess. As a soccer player, I was very excited to share my fantastic soccer skills with the kids. The Costa Rican kids were very friendly and cute. They made regret not wanting a little brother or sister. After bonding with the students, we separated into groups to participate in several activities to enhance the school facilities. I moved big, heavy rocks with Callaway, Tyler, and Sylvan to stabilize bathroom drainage. I was sweating hard, but the thought of the student’s appreciating my work kept me going. I was willing to devote my efforts to those who needed help. There was nothing more satisfying than sharing what I had to better enhance the student’s lives. I hope that the school appreciates our devotion, and the children get to love their school even more. Hopefully, I would be able to come back several years later and be proud of what I did today.
Sustainable Farm –
We visited a sustainable farm yesterday. Daniel, the owner of the farm, created this farm to rebel against his previous farm. Daniel said he used to work at a pineapple plantation, and his job was to destroy the rain forest to clear way for farm land. It is illegal in Costa Rica to destroy the rain forest, so he had to clear it at night. Daniel said that he would clear the rain forest night after night, and sometimes baby animals would come to their nesting area, but the workers would have already cleared the spot. The baby animals would be left homeless and without their mothers. He also mentioned that the farm used many chemicals on the crops. Eventually, these chemicals ran into the streams and killed the fish and hurt the animals. Daniel and a group of 3 others decided to quit the farm and start their own sustainable farms. On Daniel’s farm he raises pigs, chickens, grows pepper seed (which eventually is turned into pepper spices), and grows vanilla. He also uses an organic compost fertilizer made up of chicken, horse, pig, and cow feces processed with worms, supplements of charcoal, calcium, and prosperous. He spreads this on his fields and sells this to other farmers in hopes of making the world a better and safer place for everyone. Daniel gives tours to groups of students and hopes to spread his knowledge about sustainability and how our actions affect the life around us to others.
Caitlin shares her outlook on the sustainable farm :
- Hi! On day 4, we worked in the community school and went to a sustainable farm. We spent about 2 hours touring different parts of the farm, learning about how our guide, Daniel sustains himself and his family organically. We looked at everything from pigs, to vanilla, to homemade gas! Going from commercial pineapple fields filled with chemicals to all organic vanilla bean plants was amazing! We started off with an all organic, homemade lunch, made by the family on the farm. After that we went and saw all vegetarian pigs. These animals were big sources of both food and income for the family. Found right across from that the hens that are also used for food and income! After walking for a few we came across a shelter where we were given a compost demonstration. This showed everyone a more organic and safe way to grow crops in a place were most of the soil is filled with clay. Next we moved onto the pepper plants. Daniel, our guide grows and processes organic pepper. We saw each pepper vine and helped pick the ripe peppers. We learned they then dry each pepper and process them to make money! Soon after hand picking ripe black pepper we moved to a vanilla bean plant and learned how they grow and what they do. We then saw how he made organic gas through fermentation and methane. To end the tour, we had organic coffee and Costa Rican pancakes! Pura Vida! :)
At the farm, we fed pigs, made organic compost, and
– More later !