Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Happiest Place on Earth

Saludos desde el lugar más feliz del mundo!

Greetings from the happiest place on earth! And the one of the most productive!
In the past 6 months, volunteers contributed 720 hours to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women, Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality, Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health and Goal 6: Combat Diseases. In addition, the volunteers provided a total of 936 hours of labor, working hand-in-hand with our dedicated community partners on achieving their own locally defined development goals.

Cañitas: This lovely tiny town hosted a strong and dedicated team of volunteers. Upon arrival, they witnessed firsthand the consequences of flooding, as the village health clinic was submerged in mud. Patiently, work was initiated by cleaning and scrubbing the inside of the structure while on the outside the garden also needed maintenance. This crew also dug enthusiastically a large dry well next to building, and cleaned the surrounding drainage and property to ensure the effectiveness of the structure during the rainy season year. A walkway was built to enter the building securely and a wall was built inside to separate the infirmary from the doctor’s office. The fence was welded and got lots of green paint! The outside of the building was painted cream and the window frames got chocolate color enamel. And in between all the hard work, a few soccer pick-up games, Costa Rica vs. USA, friendship scored!

CASEM: We supported our dear CASEM this past summer by helping them build a new diner! Faced with difficult economic times, it is their goal to increase income by serving wonderful local cuisine. At the beginning of the year the wood for the diner’s furniture was scraped, sanded and perfected. The first chair rolled out of Faustino´s hands and the others came quickly! Another team built and painted additional storage space at the back of the building to provide room for the new traditional kitchen stove. The tabletops were also sanded and prepared. We celebrated the 200th Team to serve in Costa Rica after 18 years of service in the Monteverde area. This team moved and stored the materials into the newly built storage and prepared the back room for the new chairs and tables.

Join us again: I would like to share what some of our volunteers said after experiencing the service program: “If we get to know people from other countries we will lose distrust” – Pat. “I learned the way the women never gave up during our work and kept trying until everything was done” - Zack, “Speechless at the sincerity of the of the local peoples’ gratitude” - Donna.

Come and work hand-in-hand with people you get to know and support. Let your friends and family know about your experience and encourage them to do the same, or send someone you love to perpetuate this chain of goodwill and peace. Entertaining rides guaranteed! The only line you will have to stand in is to get a shovel or a brush! Adventure in Service, smiles waiting to greet you!

You may also contribute to the priorities of all of our host communities in Costa Rica by clicking here to make a donation to the general Costa Rica fund.
Mil Gracias to all the dedicated volunteers’ families, mother and daughters, college and high school students, friends and colleagues, retirees that refuse to give up work that brings joy, enthusiasm, and knowledge to this happy place. You have made it even happier! So, in the words of Ben Franklin: “Well done is better than well said!"

Tropically yours, Costa Rica Country Manager Nia Salas