Posted in Costa Rica on March 6, 2023
Blog by Heather Sunday Feb 26
Sunday evening was very informative.
Marcos sat with us and told us about Mar a Mar, the local organization we are working with. The vision behind this project came from him and his wife.
How this vision has evolved and will be so beneficial to the communities along the El Camino trail.
There has been a book published about this trail system sold on Amazon.
A few updates on the trail have been changed and updated since this was published.
I look forward to reading it.
There are so many experiences to share.
And I hope these little bits can help us recall later so we can share with family and friends the bigger picture each of us takes away.
The high school we played soccer with today has 37 students.
High school includes grades 7 till 11
Some of the students go to the school but also have learned to be guides for the trail system. They have passion and are excited to be part of this next chapter.
The high school has 5 teachers and English is one of the subjects. 🙂
We will be attending the school one day and will add more then.
By Geoffrey – Mar 1
Clear skies today revealed more of the surrounding hills (and a distant volcano) that had been hiding in the mist. It felt good to put in a full working day, but it was mucho caliente (very hot). David had our water breaks on a timer and Gabe walked our chain gang at one point asking each of us if we were doing okay.
We were fed well with pineapple epinadas and ice tea (from a neighbour as we passed). We made good progress and are within 300 m of the finish line. The Cabeca team in front of us led the way again and motivated us by their determination. While eating a delicious lunch, Marine related the significant role she played in reducing the Cabecar language to writing and the multifaceted work she does with local women to improve the opportunities for community members. We can tell she continues to learn from and be inspired by these people.
By Evan – Mar1
Could not be more excited to be hanging out in Costa Rica with BFF Gabriel. The sights are absolutely mind boggling and sooo much different than the usual Canadian/Warkworth same old.
The local people seem so happy that we are even visiting let alone helping out. The flora and fauna is the most beautiful and unique part to me. Sooo many beautiful species of birds and trees and plants and to pair all that with the insane views and hills that are most likely teaming with the same species + more that I know I can’t even see. Thank you, David, and DWC for organizing this amazing project. And thank you for the awesome team of volunteers that I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know really well. Looking forward to more tasks tomorrow.
By David – Mar 2
I have been very happy so far that so many of you have been sharing your thoughts and experiences and photos with all of us. Today it is my turn to try and give a flavour of the incredible experience we are having.
As usual our day started with the 7:30 departure for the work site. Carlos the construction manager joins us for the bus ride up and he and Vincente (the driver) have provided a wealth of information on the drive up, sometimes stopping to pick friut, show a great view, or this morning to point out a small flock of Tucans flitting in the trees. These two men, along with Marine our translator and community activist have made us part of this community.
This morning started with a visit to the one room high school which was only built 3 or 4 years ago. So some of the students are older, not having the chance to attend before. One mother attends with her two daughters. Eight of the young girls performed several traditional dances for us, with long flowing skirts in multiple colours. They often looked like beautiful butterflies soaring around the room.
One of the elders from the Cabecar tribe demonstrated the traditional construction of palm frond roofing materials. Traditional homes are always build in a round or octagonal form with eight post to represent the universe.
Finally I had the opportunity to express how grateful the team was for the dance and demonstration, and for the wonderful welcome we have received. We spent a few moments talking about why DWC sends volunteers for community building projects. I was also pleased to share a short photo presentation from my trip to Nepal last November. It was an opportunity for the teachers and students to get a sense of another community that perhaps was not so different from theirs.
From the school it was back to the work site where we started work on the construction of covering dining area next to the camp site kitchen. This I believe will be our work for the remainder of our time here.
I am humbled and so incredibly grateful for this amazing team of volunteers. Each and every one of you are contributing so much to this community and to each other.
By David Lyon–Sunday March 5
The team has just returned exhilarated, exhausted and wet from our weekend rafting excursion on the Pacuare River. We had a half day on the worksite before returning to our hotel for a quick shower and change, then off to a lovely set of cabins close to the rafting putting in place.
After an amazing breakfast Saturday morning we headed for our safety briefing from our rafting guides and then set out for several hours of exciting white water and a chance to swim in this pristine river.
We arrived at Ave Sol, were assigned our cabins, and were served lunch in a dining area with the most amazing views over the rain forests, and mountains receding in the distance. The afternoon was spent relaxing with the views or swimming in the river. Our three young men had a great time jumping from the rocks along the river into the water. The afternoon finished with the arrival of a large group of students from Algonquin College. They were all in the outdoors adventure/tourism program and were spending a week exploring many of the amazing places in Costa Rica.
Sunday morning was misty and damp, but that did not dampen the spirits of the team who knew they had a full day of rafting ahead of them. The first day took us through some class 2 & 3 rapids, while Sunday added in some unbelievable class 4 rapids. The scenery was superb as we passed through two narrow gorges, the second one in a heavy downpour of rain. Didn’t matter one bit, the rain just added to the whole experience. Several team members didn’t have to be invited twice to jump off the rafts for a swim in the rain.
We spotted many birds, a few frogs, butterflies, and a sloth high up in the forest canopy. All this was icing on the cake for a most extraordinary weekend.
By Catherine – March 6
By Heather – March 7
We are starting out perfectly.
Yesterday after hearing about Vincente’s bag being mistaken for someone else’s with all his clothes in it, we offered our gratuity to him early.
This morning he came with gratefulness from his family and himself. He went and purchased some new cloths to get by.
On the drive up to the work site, Turrialba Volcano was in plain view, just beautiful
People in the community are taking turns making us our lunch and snacks, we stopped and picked up our empanadas. Hmm they smelled wonderful.
This morning we got to work mixing concrete and finishing 1 of the 3 slabs.
The 3rd dump truck of gravel arrived, sorry Tom, haha
What an amazing process, the local helpers we have are so strong, and hard working.
After an amazing lunch we got back at it in the pouring rain to complete slab 2.
Our jobs were shared but in general and pls correct me crew……
Carlos and David and Jules work on the tin roof and leveling concrete
Evan and another Carlos worked in leveling the poured concrete.
Geoff was in there working with mixing concrete, helping Carlos.
Tom and I were the wheelbarrow haulers,
Cathy helped keep the dogs and chickens off the poured concrete and helped Marine with setting up lunch.
But again this crew pitches in wherever needed and kept pushing through in the rain to get the second slab completed. One more slab tomorrow.
Showers will feel great.
By Jules Richer – March 8th
After the very bad day we all had yesterday, and all the hard work we have made, it was hard to have the same energy has day 1. But everyone has been good.
The day started by a visit at the ranger station, with a presentation of a ranger call Diana. We have a little invitee, who was a sloth. She started by explaining us her job, what she was doing and also the history about the ranger station and the national park called Barbilla.
After this great morning, we joined the five local guys and Carlos that is the guy in charge of the construction, by finishing putting the cement. After, we had had lunch in the ranger station, we started recovering the trench and the hose, and making a lot of little adjustments. We ended the day with a snack in the bus on the way back to the hotel.
And Vincente (the driver) found his bag of clothes that he lost, so he was very happy. We also left them a small souvenir by putting in the cement a small Canadian pin.
By Heather – March 10
Last day. Water was completed and running to the community campground. Carlos, our fearless local leader, could not be more proud and grateful to share this moment with us. Amazing last lunch with our new family, food has been wonderful.
The gratitude will keep us all warm for a very long time.
We have donated as a group to so many causes close to each of our hearts outside of DWC.
Helping the dogs with food and medicine.
Helping the girls with feminine products.
The schools with some supplies paper, craft rope, etc.
Also, leaving funds to help build a better trail to the elementary school.
Lastly, so many of us donated our boots and clothes. I know they will be well appreciated and used.
The roof is the last thing to be added to the eating area. We will see the photos when completed, and the Cabecar crew will be proud to do this last step for us. They are such hard-working young men.
We even started the next group’s pathway to the final area, four more tent platforms, and a bathroom to finish.
Cheers to this experience
Love and kindness to all..
Posted in Costa Rica on March 6, 2023