Adam’s Song: Potrero Fiestas

Good day to everyone out in the world following the wonderful achievements and service of Abriendo Mentes in the town of Potrero.  Believe it that life here in paradise has not much changed; the sun is still shining, the birds are still pining, and the children are all still smiling.  I witnessed this firsthand earlier this week when walking home from the mercado, I noticed Meredith and a few volunteers with their students on the cancha central de Potrero.  I am not sure as to what exactly the activity was, but the students and teachers alike were smiling and laughing, enjoying life and learning together, celebrating the day.  If a smile is worth a thousand words, together they formed the text of an incredibly inspiring novel.

The dust finally settled around town from the storm caused by the Potrero Fiesta Civica the past week.  The entire village seems a little tired, a little weary, a little worn out from the extensive celebration of culture, friends, family, and life.  I myself had to have eaten over 5 pounds of friend chicken, and my heart is just now pumping to its maximum capacity again.  For an insider’s view on the fiesta, read Andy’s wonderful article on the Potrero Post.

Amid the aftermath, peace and tranquility emanate from the gathering.  Life in Costa Rica is rugged, the sun and land are harsh and unforgiving, it begrudges no handicap to anyone.  The energy expended in survival is the same energy that permeates our community, and after hard work and struggle comes great enjoyment and play.  The mindset of the people is one that applies to everyday.  We work, but so that we can live fully, so that we can be to our heart’s content.

After I think about it, I notice that life in Potrero is always a fiesta.  Yes, it is great when the bulls come, the food vendors, the bailes, the games and rides.  But our town is full of people who survive a harsh environment, cut their niche of happiness into the world.  And to these people, to me, everyday is a fiesta.  Every day is a celebration of life, of people coming together for a common goal, of service, of sacrifice, and of love.  Joy and happiness are readily readable upon faces, old and young alike.  The vibration is refreshing, one of happiness, and life is lived for the sheer pleasure and merriment of it.

Adam Lanka is a freelance writer living in Potrero, Costa Rica. He volunteers his time to write for Abriendo Mentes. Contact Adam at or follow his blog The Wanderlust.


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