Upper School Boys Share Life Changing Costa Rica Trip Experience
A warm welcome in Spanish from ninth grader Kilin Tang '17 kicked off the Wednesday Morning Meeting on April 19. This was followed by a beautiful cello quartet consisting of Skyler Brozyna '21, Charlie DeMarco '21, Jeremy Negrin '21 and Jack Reilly '21. They played an arrangement for a cello quartet of the overture from "The Magic Flute," by W.A. Mozart.
"How many of you feel you have made a difference?" was the question asked of the boys on the last day of their service learning experience in Costa Rica. Samara Spielberg, Spanish Teacher, explained that some of the boys answered, "yes," while others said they wish they could have done more.
Throughout the morning meeting, eighth and ninth graders who had been on the trip took turns sharing various aspects of their Costa Rica experience, whether it was the time spent with host families, the construction work building or painting homes in La Carpio, teaching the young children, or the fun had zip-lining and going on waterslides.
"We really connected with the people there," said Nicholas Simonian '18.
Jack Klein '18 said, "The food was one of my favorite parts of the family stay."
Lucas Villamil '18 described the first time he stepped into a house in La Carpio, "Walking down the stairs of the construction site and walking into a house, I saw no light - just a single chair and out of the dark a woman walked to me and helped me get water." He noted just "how happy and eagerly the people of La Carpio were to help even when they have so little."
Zale Peart '18 said he received one of the warmest welcomes he can remember from his host family and felt compelled to call his host mother a few days upon his return to the States to check up on her and the family.
One thing that always strikes Ms. Spielberg when in La Carpio is just how much the children there value their educational opportunities. With only one school to share for the roughly 20-25,000 children in La Carpio, the children make sure not to miss what limited school time they get, jumping up in the middle of an activity to run to school for their turn to learn.
Kilin said, "I loved working with the kids." Designing their own lesson plans, Haz Goldberg '18 and Kilin Tang, along with other boys, taught the children things like colors and numbers in English and Spanish as well as general hygiene tips, such as how to brush their teeth. They did literacy activities with the book, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar," and "Brown Bear, Brown Bear." The teachers at La Carpio said this was incredibly useful for them for sharing in the future.
Every member of the group who traveled to Costa Rica talked about the impact it had on how they perceive their own life. Ms. Spielberg closed by saying "I think the question about making a difference should be rephrased as 'How many of you feel changed?'" She took this opportunity to thank everyone for helping to support La Carpio, whether through bake sales, coin drives or actual time spent there.