For most of March and April, Potrero and the surrounding areas have been plagued with a smothering red tide. The combined smell of the ocean and dead fish made a venture on the beach into a somewhat nauseating experience. The ocean that is normally so inviting and a fundamental part of life here is now alarmingly absent. Thankfully, suprising April rain and the passing of days finally rid us of the oppressive tide, and the beaches and sea are again free to be enjoyed fully.
During this time, the focus was shifted inwards towards community, family, friends, and togetherness. In record numbers people were flocking to the fields for futbol and sheer enjoyment of the beautiful Costa Rican day. Abriendo Mentes was especially busy, with field trips to multiple places, swimming, and simply having fun together. Everywhere people were living with ‘pura vida’ in their hearts, making the most of each day together here in this amazing town.
With the passing of Semana Santa and the gradual transition into the rainy season, our community begins to shift again. The number of tourists and visitors decreases, and many locals end their tenure in paradise to return to their homelands. But while these changes happen, the community itself continues to grow and become stronger, thanks to projects like Abriendo Mentes and other volunteers. The rainy season brings people together even further, strengthens ties between neighbors and families, and knits a much tighter group of people into a larger whole.
While this season plans to be different with the completion and continued growth of the Las Catalinas development, and the continued growth of Costa Rica, a few things are certain. The sun will still shine over the mountains, the waves will still crash on the beach. The wind will still blow through the fields and trees, and the roosters will still ring the day in. The children will play futbol on the field still each day, and a each face will be graced with a smile.
Adam Lanka is a freelance writer living in Potrero, Costa Rica. He volunteers his time to write for Abriendo Mentes. Contact Adam at email@example.com or follow his blog The Wanderlust.