Posted in Costa Rica on May 17, 2023
Day 1-Monday, May 15, 2023
The reality of waking up at a lodge in the middle of the rainforest was not lost on the group. Coffee on the porch overlooking the lush rainforest amazed by the songs of birds most of us had never heard before.
Rumblings of shock and awe followed by a photo of “Bob” the bug – more than 2 loonies- tall who made his appearance the night before- to the dismay of Josh and Lucas. Costa Rica is home to many of the largest bug species in the world- Bob was a prime example.
Not much time to fret about bugs, after a wonderful breakfast from Marine (the hostess with the mostest) and off to catch the local 4×4 transport down the”road” to the worksite.
We were met by smiling Carlos, our site supervisor. We promptly presented him with the gift of a new tool belt sent from the DWC team in March our team couriered down. Carlos was officially outfitted and ready to lead us to the tasks at hand today.
The main work goal for the team at the camp is to build a tent pad, establish rock and gravel paths connecting the site and finish up the second outhouse; A tall order. We broke into the rock sorting team (Jade, Joshua and Paula), rebar bending team (Myself, Sarah and Rakshi) and trail/ tent pad team (Lucas, Kishan , Arvinth and Yathan) and we went to work . Special shout out to Lucas and Krishan for the translation support to help make Carlos’s dream a reality. 3 Local laborers rounded out the team and did a lot of grunt work, plenty of Smiles all around.
We had a special presentation from David of Mar-a- Mar explaining the logistics and vision behind the trail. The potential benefits to the surrounding community are endless.
The huge and delicious lunch was served by the women of the local community association. A siesta would have been nice- but nope- back to work, we had jobs to to!
After a couple more hours of work, Marine organized a coffee chat at a local Cabécar home: A thatched roof home made using all natural materials using their integral connection with the land and incorporated spiritual symbolism in the design.
Alexandra, the 16-year-old from the Cabécar community, was the star of the coffee chat, as she invited our whole team to come and help her practice her English. She asked us about ourselves and was very courageous to take this on in her third language. She hopes someday she will be a guide for woman hiking the Mar-a-Mar trail. She thinks that they would prefer a female like her to explain the traditional practices of woman in her community as she escorts them through her lands.
The team came back to the lodge after this long day to a delightful dinner of a local squash dish followed by some cards and chats. The things that can happen with no WIFI! Amazing to hear the chats and laughter of a room full of Salesforce volunteers.
Day 1 is in the books all that is left is the symphony of crickets and rainforest critters serenading us to sleep.
Joy- Team Leader
Day 2- Tuesday, May 16, 2023
Breakfast starts at 6:30 am with eggs, chorizo, fruit, toast, and brioche! What a great way to fuel up!
There are 2 trips to the camp site leaving at 7 and 7:30 am.
Couple of people had their clothes washed by the indigenous tribe neighbors.
There were many jobs to be done. Mine was sorting and moving rocks for the walkway and drainage. Then these rocks were moved into wheelbarrows.
Others had jobs digging and using putty for the seams to connect sheetrock.
Another group rolled a huge ginormous circular drainage pipe and dropped it in a hole. It was a team effort and all hands-on deck.
We had delicious pork chops for lunch.
We had a special event tonight! So, we all showered in the campsite facility built by another team. Perfect water temperature and refreshing.
We ate dinner at a nice lady’s house and there was an amazing band and dancing. Food was delicious!
Yoga tomorrow morning!
Day 3- Wednesday, May 17, 2023
By Krishan Patel
The Cabécar are an indigenous group of the Talamanca region of eastern Costa Rica.
I speak on behalf of the entire Developing World Connections team when I say thank you for inviting us into your homes and selflessly sharing your incredible culture. To me, the appreciation of Cabécar traditions begins with recognizing the profound knowledge and understanding that they hold about the natural world. We are privileged to share this experience and only hope that this initiative continues to flourish in the years to come.
Over the course of the last week, this group of fellow IT professionals stowed away the computers and picked up shovels to help establish campsites on Cabécar grounds. We learned a multitude of hands-on skills using almost entirely natural resources and handmade tools.
I encourage you all to experience something like this!
We shared laughs, compared language similarities, and enjoyed one another’s company. We’ve made friends for life 😌🧡
What an experience. Thank you.
Shoutout the best team ever: Lucas Rosado | Josh Luetkemeyer | Arvinth Vijayanathan | Yathan Vidyananthan | Jade Leong, MBA, PMP | Sarah Ferrolino | Paula De La Trinidad | C. Joy Demsey | Rakshika
Day 5- Friday, May 19, 2023
The last day of our adventure started amazingly as usual; A delicious breakfast followed by a brief team meeting to discuss the day’s plan. We then made our way to the work site to meet our hardworking friends one last time before we head to our busy suburban lives back home.
Carlos showed us once again that he’s a man of many skills, this time climbing onto the roof of the structure he designed and built with the team. Talk about trust in your work! The day’s main objective was to finish the roofing on the new tent camp and to pour gravel onto the newly dug up paths. Seeing the fruits of your labour come together is truly an amazing feeling! Carlos was pleased and grateful with the work we did and we are thankful for his patience and teaching lessons.
We then said our goodbyes and headed back to Alajuela where we enjoyed one last team supper together. We shared our favourite memories, exchanged contact information to stay connected, and wished sent everyone off one by one. We cherish these memories that will last a lifetime.
To Marine, thank you for inviting us into your home and treating us like family. Your work with the community is inspirational and life changing to say the least. We appreciate your support and hope for nothing but the best moving forward. Thank you.
So that’s it for now! We’re wholeheartedly appreciative of the trip and especially to Joy for holding the family together. Back to our everyday with incredible memories.
Posted in Costa Rica on May 17, 2023