Written by Rob Matchett, student
Edited by Mr. Moreland
Today was our first service day in La Carpio which was a real eye opener for me. When we first arrived on the tour bus I started looking at the places in which they live. La Carpio is basically this town of houses that are made of sheet metal, built very close together, with many of the roads unpaved. Garbage lines the street; it is community that at first glance seems to be dilapidated. However, the residents really trying to make improvements to gain title to the land. You are reminded of how lucky you really are to have the things that you do, because these people have very little. However, they never let that get them down and they really value family.
When we got to La Carpio we met some really cool people that we interviewed. One of the things that I keep seeing down here is the value of family. Chicho (a community leader who is a legal immigrant from Nicaragua) said though that none of his family is here but he is close to his neighbors.
When we were done with the interview we paved a part of a street. This was so crazy to me because I don't do such strenuous work at home, but here I don't know what got into me (maybe it was the rice and beans). But I was hand mixing cement with shovels and transporting materials in wheel barrels. It was a demanding process and the people there helped us. It was super cool to just help these people because they really needed it, due to the fact that they are trying to get the rights to this land so they can permanently reside there.
The second cool thing we did was interviewed the Costa Rican Minister of Culture who was really cool. He was the first person that really shook all of our hands and initially instead of separating from our group he sat next to one of us. One of the things that I really liked was when he talked about environmental science and humanity's impact on the environment. He said that the problems with the environment are a result of a lot of people and that it would take more than just a day to address these problems because they are so extensive.
He is a very inspirational figure and his views were so interesting. I mean the guy even gave us free access to a guided tour in a Costa Rican art museum. I loved seeing the contemporary art. I liked the the exibit on death. The artist used a lot of symbolism in their artwork and it was amazing. For example in the one picture there was a person laying dead in the tub with a mirror and the woman giving the tour said it was symbolic of vanity and that the clock next to that symbolized time.
Its only been three days but I can already see changes in myself and the group.I was reading a book that talked about a eureka moment, but i cant help but thinking that maybe this whole trip is my eureka moment.