During Semana Santa, people from all over Costa Rica travel to the Pacific coast and other parts of the country to celebrate this week-long holiday. Some of the AM volunteers and staff members also took this opportunity to get out of Potrero and explore Costa Rica:
Lindsay Losasso- Project Director
Vinny and I traveled to the province of Cartago where we stayed in the mountains in a beautiful little cabina in a town called Cachi located in the Orosi Valley. The area is primarily a farming region, well known for its coffee production. The property, which was also a small goat farm, had 360 degree mountain views and we saw toucans and hummingbirds everyday. We took a hike in the National Park Tapanti and also got to check out the Irazu Volcano. Overall it was a beautiful trip and it was nice to get out of the Potrero heat for a few days!
Samuel Steinman- Lacrosse the Nations Program and Activities Co-Ordinator
I spent my Semana Santa in Puntarenas with Caroline, Emily, Lester, Santiago, and Harry Mushu Potter Esq. We drove through San Jose and spent our first few nights on a horse farm in the mountains between San Isidro and Dominical. We explored waterfalls and rode horses. We also spent a day in Dominical and surfed a little. Mostly, however, we spent our time enjoying the views and the cool weather.
Lizzie Smith- Youth Development Director
I visited my home state of North Carolina over the Semana Santa break. Trip highlights included seeing rain (it’s the dry season here in Potrero) and being cold for the first time in months. In addition to visiting loved ones and eating all of my favorite foods, I also paid a visit to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where I will soon be beginning a Master’s program in Hispanic Literature this August. This meant I had plenty of chances to talk about Abriendo Mentes and joke about whether teaching college students will really be that different from teaching the kids here in Potrero.
Becca Hurliman- Project Co-Ordinator
I started Semana Santa in the back room of the Kid’s Club, singing along to Regina Spektor and making a larger mess of the books and games and toys and pencils before it was all placed back on the shelves in an organized fashion. I sweated more than I care to think about, and I was covered in a thick layer of dust as well. I ended my Semana Santa on the Osa Peninsula, perched on the wooden porch above the palm trees, overlooking the waves of the ocean rolling in and out. In the distance I saw scarlet macaws for the first time. Upon descending the steep hill where our cabin was, I treaded water while slowly spinning in circles: taking in the sunset, the handful of beachgoers like me, the mountains, the lush life of the rainforest. More than once we trekked the hill up into town for some afternoon ice cream. On our final day of break, we rose early to sip some pineapple-watermelon juice and energize ourselves with some scrambled eggs and homemade toast before setting out on the winding road back to Potrero.
Jamie Nabers- Lead ESL Teacher, Adult Classes, Brasilito
For Semana Santa, four volunteers (Becca, Jenna, Javi and Jamie) decided to venture 12 hours south to the Peninsula de Osa, one of the most biodiverse places in the world. We stopped in the cozy village of Manuel Antonio on the way down and stayed in a backpackers hostel with a great view and then continued south. Along the road we went crazy for fresh orange juice, ceviche, granadilla and guaba. We passed through rushing rainforest rivers in our rental car and stayed in cabins overlooking Drake Bay. While we had a few struggles with huge bugs in our room and Becca and I wrestling with a mosquito net, it was absolutely amazing! We had communal dinner every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner and made some great friends at El Mirador Lodge. We soaked up sun rays on the beach and ventured into Corcovado National park where we got to see tons of animals including all four types of monkeys and even two tapirs. Overall the journey was amazing and we had some great laughs along the way. Costa Rica…que lindo!