During the week of April 15th to the 21st, CIRENAS conducted the first short course for 2011 to nine students of Belmont Day School (BDS), Boston, Massachusetts. During the five whole days of the course the students got to participate in a range of activities, from seed germinating, horseback riding, to meeting local school kids, and hikes among Cabo Blanco and Caletas- Ario Reserve, among others. The main objective of the Belmont Day School course was an immersion into Spanish culture and language, accompanied by ecological and social lessons of the local area.
The BDS students were able to fully grasp the CIRENAS values and mission.
“…we got to experience some of the things that many people in Costa Rica do every day. In addition, while we were here, I felt that the things we did were productive and will really help the environment and people around us.”
The two days that were spent with the local Quebradas de Nando school kids was the highlight of this course. They spent two days sharing with the kids, first in a visit to the school for lessons of Afro-Caribbean dancing and Picadillo and Tortilla cooking lessons; and a second day where everyone got to enjoy the beach and a friendly sand castle building competition. For the majority of the BDS kids, these particular activities helped them see a reality that is very far from their own back in Boston, and they themselves realize the impact this will have in their future.
“I also learned that we take for granted everything we have. Seeing children with so much less than we have, yet so happy, it teaches us that we don’t need things, cosas, to be happy, feliz…Being here is the greatest gift I ever received.”