¡Bienvenidos a Pérez Zeledón, Amigos!
Met with much excitement, preparation, and the smell of typical Costa Rican food wafting out of the kitchen, the 44 participants began to file into Casa de La Juventud, our partner agency on the 2018 Pérez Zeledón project.
We began the afternoon with a group activity to get the energy flowing and, after a hearty meal, jumped into activities outlining the core components of AMIGOS and how these would correspond with the participants’ responsibilities this summer. There is a certain level of commitment that an Amigo must carry; from the community-based initiative process to hosting extracurricular activities with local youth, the participants have a lot on their plate for a successful summer.
After a long morning of travel, we were astonished to see the level of participation and engagement that the participants displayed right off of the bat. They quickly confided in us about some of their doubts going into community in the coming days: “what are things that I can do to bond with my host family?” and “how can I prepare myself for the upcoming dialogue
s in Spanish?” The very next day, participants were answering these very questions themselves by helping out chef Rosa cook platano maduro in the kitchen and learning tico slang from Casa de La Juventud project director Machado.
Throughout the structured days of activities, the participants were able to understand that their responsibilities are vital to be able to formally engage in cross-cultural collaboration with local youth. In addition, we all are continuously learning that oftentimes it’s the small things that count. When we spend quality time and share culture with members of our communities, we are successfully achieving the AMIGOS core mission as well.