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Cartago y Caribe: Empanadas, School, and Tortuguero

This week was really eventful! We participated in multiple activities, one including a talk about race and ethnicity. We talked about the similarities and differences between race and ethnicity and how it shapes the world. We also learned how to make bracelets; the community members taught us how to make bracelets using three strings. They turned out super cool in the end! After making the bracelets, they taught us how to make empanadas. We made the dough for the empanada, called “masa”, and stuffed them with cheese and beans. After frying them, the empanadas turned out crisp and delicious.

We also visited the primary school in the community. When we arrived at the school, the students were friendly and playful. Although it was sometimes difficult to communicate with the students, we were still able to connect with them and have a good time. We play many games like red-light and green light, frisbee, soccer, tag, and duck, duck, goose. Some of the kids also showed us their drawing skills. Once the kids were done playing, we went back to our hostel. In the afternoon, we had our last dinner at Olga´s house, where after dinner we had ice cream and said goodbye to ASTOP. Parismina was amazing!

On Saturday morning, we boarded the boat to go to Tortuguero. The trip was about an hour by boat. During the trip, we saw many different creatures including crocodiles and birds. The boat ride was smooth, scenic, and a great way to travel from point A to point B. Tortuguero is a small resort town on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The city offers a variety of different restaurants and shops, each selling many different items. Between our arrival and lunch, we visited many of these little shops and found ourselves in a few places to eat. Many of us buy different souvenirs such as clothes, jewelry, and trinkets. Many of us bought food including snacks from various stores and ice cream. It was incredible! After lunch we had debriefing activities such as a Ted Talk on how sharing a single story affects the perspective toward others and an activity including keeping in touch with AMIGOS. Another activity we did was giving people praise anonymously. The activity was done by standing in a circle, with eyes closed, with three others in the middle. Those in the middle then tapped on each other´s heads if a positive statement applied to them. At the end of the activity, we all felt happy about what was applied to us.

We also had a canoe tour around the Tortuguero lagoon and the river, it was an excellent experience to be able to navigate the water by ourselves with a paddle. We closed our stay in Tortuguero with a candle ceremony and a very fun night of Karaoke.

We are very grateful to conclude this a great adventure, full of learning, fun experiences, and many moments that we will remember forever.

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