Authors: Rene Antillon, Lucille Glassman, Shannon Johnston, Jared Lopez Morales, Ethan Mills
Service Project #1
During our trip to Costa Rica we were scheduled to do three service projects, but because of our delayed flight, we missed the first scheduled one. For our actual first service-learning project, we went to Buenos Aires Elementary School. In a classroom, we did a fun repeat-after-me song that the kids really enjoyed. Near the playground we helped paint a mural that shows the bad effects of bullying. There were outlined pictures for us, so all we had to do was add the color! It was kind of hard because we had to be very careful to stay in the lines, but it was fun. We also added a few quotes in Spanish for the students, things like, “Se respetuoso, se simpático,” (“Be respectful, be kind”). We also repainted the faded trash cans to beautify the school and remind kids to responsibly throw away their trash. We got to play lots of soccer and pato, pato, ganzo (duck, duck, goose) with the students. We had so much fun getting to try out our Spanish skills with them!
Service Project #2
For our other service learning project our group split up and went to two different places. One went to a local park to landscape, and the other to a soccer field to repaint the bleachers. At the park we outlined a path with rocks so that people could see where it was and to make it more appealing. We carried at least one hundred rocks to do this task and had fun seeing who could carry heavier rocks. After we finished the path we took a break and played on the big tire swing contraption. When our break was over we noticed a small drainage gully that ran through the playground. We didn’t want the children to trip in it, so we leveled it out using a large pile of dirt. We moved the dirt with wheelbarrows and packed it into the ground with our shovels. Sometimes during our work we had to use a pickaxe to get big rocks out of the pile of dirt we were digging from. The other group went to a soccer field nearby where they used a paint scraper to get all of the old paint off of spectator seats. After the paint was off they repainted the seats to make the field more beautiful for everyone. The seats were alternating vivid blue and green to go with the lush vegetation and bright sky. After each group finished we met back at the San Luis Community Center to have snacks and drinks. We had some cookies, biscuits and they offered us some coffee and watermelon juice. We had such an amazing time helping the community.