• Day21

    Visiting the Cabecar @ Alto Chirripó

    September 12, 2015 in Costa Rica ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Our social project I'm volunteering for in Costa Rica aims to bring education to the indigenous people in Costa Rica. After years of planning, with this trip to the Cabecar, one of the most isolated indigenous tribes in Costa Rica, the education program initially started with an intensive 2-day first aid course for 23 indigenous students of various ages. The classes were held by another volunteer from Venezuela working at the Red Cross (la Cruz Roja).

    To get there it took us 4h by car, another half an hour with a jeep, a 4h walk on a muddy and steep trail down the mountain during night time. We had to cross 3 rivers in the dark and the food and equipment we brought could only be carried by horses. For the way back we left earlier so that we were climbing up the mountain during the day for an seemingly endless time of 4h, however through an unbelievably beautiful rain and cloud forest.

    The impressions we got there were a life changing experience. We saw indigenous people, even children and women with their babies, walking the 4h way up and down the mountain. In order to be able to study at university in San José, some of them start walking at 5am in order to get the bus to the city. There are still more than 6.000 indigenous living in this territory, all in open and kind of flexible family structures. One of the men in the course couldn't even tell how many children he has, but estimated them at around 15. Not surprisingly many of the students looked similar.

    During the classes it was amazing to see that there was no boredom, no talking, but instead a crowd of students that couldn't wait to learn. While practicing you could see the ambition, the enthusiasm and the gratefulness in their eyes. Finally, it needs to be said, that all the hard steps and all the sweat to visit this place were worth it! It not only taught us that hard work pays off, but also how grateful we should be about our lives!
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