Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School 2016

Le damos la bienvenida a Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School 2016.

Después de tener un martes complicado, al ser las 8:10 pm el grupo Martha’s Vineyard arribo al país, sin embargo quedaban algunas horas de viaje para llegar al destino final en playa Flamingo. Formalmente esta aventura arranco el miércoles cuando después de un buen desayuno el grupo se movilizo hasta Bahía de los Piratas para realizar un trabajo voluntario en la playa y con las tortugas, bastaron pocos segundos para que todos se enamoraran de este hermoso lugar, iniciando con el pie derecho nuestro día, pero lo mejor estaba por venir…

img_8898 img_8927

 

 

 

 

 

Después de un duro trabajo siempre viene la recompensa, un rico almuerzo frente a playa Tamarindo, arena, sombra y una rica brisa de la costa fueron los acompañantes del grupo; luego de esto, una gran tarde a bordo de un catamarán, bebidas naturales, snorkel, cena temprana a bordo del catamarán y al final un hermoso atardecer hicieron de un primer día algo mágico.

img_8968 img_9006

Para nuestro segundo día el grupo Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School 2016 se fue para el volcán Rincón de la Vieja; senderos se recorrieron, arboles de varios tipos, algunos animales, lodo volcánico hirviendo, fumarolas y ríos fueron parte del recorrido de los jóvenes durante la mañana, en el camino disfrutaron de un rico almuerzo y luego nos fuimos para las cataratas Llanos del Cortes, otro lugar mágico que sin duda los enamoró, mezcla perfecta para nadar y disfrutar de la naturaleza.

Una cena en el camino y a descansar que mañana será un día con nuevas aventuras; poco a poco el grupo va entendiendo el verdadero significado del Pura Vida!

img_9106 img_9144

Southwest Anesthesia & Medical Seminars

Bienvenidos Shamila y Jon, anestesistas y ahora estudiantes del programa Medical Spanish for Health Care Professionals, impartido en el CPI Playa Flamingo, Guanacaste, durante una semana estaremos acompañándolos durante esta nueva aventura que ayudara no solo en lo profesional si no también en la vida, esto va a ser una gran experiencia, bienvenidos de nuevo Southwest Anesthesia & Medical Seminarsimg_8638

Fue una semana rápida con mucho mucho estudio, tareas y mas, sin embargo provechosa, los estudiantes de Southwest Anesthesia & Medical Seminars finalizaron hoy el curso y aunque fue duro ellos sacaron el provecho necesario para sus carreras y para su vida en general, agradecemos a Shamila y Jon por la oportunidad de estudiar con nosotros y al señor Richard Saucier por hacerlos llegar hasta CPI Flamingo, esperamos verlos nuevamente y desde ya estamos ansiosos por los próximos estudiantes que vendrán a participar de este programa, nuevamente muchas gracias y pura vida!!!

img_8740                      img_8743

Hola, ¿Cómo estan? Hoy inició un nuevo programa de Southwest Anesthesia & Medical Seminars y con el programa nos van acompañar Donna. Olesya y Emmy a las cuales les damos una muy cordial bienvenida, ellas durante esta semana estarán aprendiendo español así también como ejemplos de diálogos que van a ser de gran ayuda con su vida laboral. Sin duda va a ser una gran semana, una gran experiencia!!!

img_8846

Texas A&M Fall Break 2016!

En el primer día en Costa Rica, Texas A&M Fall Break después de un buen almuerzo típico costarricense se dirigió a la escuela del CPI para tomar el examen de ubicación, la orientación y conocer un poco las instalaciones de la escuela. Un día largo y cansado pero sin duda la playa repone esa energía!img_8369

Ya después de descansar con nuestras familias ticas, nada mejor que conocer la localidad de Brasilito, pero que mejor forma de hacerlo que ir a las playas ticas, con su naturaleza, romance y aventura. Caminar sobre la arena, sintiendo el agua del mar entre nuestros pies hicieron de esta una gran caminata, además el ver como somos uno solo con la naturaleza, empiezan a sorprender este país.

Conchal, nuestra segunda playa en el día, parte conchas parte arena más blanca, listos para disfrutar un día de playa, agua de coco fría, playa, sol y frutas tropicales, esto es Costa Rica, Pura Vida!!!

img_8047img_8062img_8080

img_8125Y llegó el domingo…

El domingo fue un gran día, muchas actividades, un canopy lleno de aventura y adrenalina hizo que el grupo de Texas A&M Fall Break disfrutara de un encuentro único con la naturaleza, zip line, ríos, arboles enormes y montaña hacen que la aventura y la paz interior se mezclen creando el más hermoso sentimiento del Pura Vida; pero no es todo, todavía faltaba que “las chicas y el chico” se relajaron de una forma sin igual, baños de lodo y termales son la mejor combinación para esto!

img_8102

img_8240

img_8274Para el final de la tarde, un pequeño tour sorpresa, para nadie es un secreto que el café costarricense es de los mejores a nivel mundial y por supuesto Texas A&M Fall Break no podía dejar de lado la  posibilidad de conocer esta parte de la cultura costarricense, conocer un cafetal, el proceso del cultivo y tueste del café, así como una degustación fue parte de este tour; sin embargo el conocer un poco de la actividad agrícola de la zona también fue parte del tour, caña de azúcar y árboles frutales formaron parte de la charla. Ahora si después de un par de días recargando energías estaban listos para iniciar las clases.

Lunes, iniciamos con el programa de español para Texas A&M Fall Break, luego de un buen día de lecciones de español, vinieron las clases de cocina latina, un plato típico costarricense fue preparado por los estudiantes, “el típico casado” que ellos cocinaron estuvo delicioso, una combinación de arroz, frijoles, pollo en salsa, ensalada, pico de gallo y tortillas acompañado con un fresco de tamarindo fue el almuerzo del grupo ayer al medio día.

img_8301 img_8307

img_8326

Después de las tareas, Costa Rica y el cielo se encargaron de regalarnos un increíble atardecer donde en una mezcla de colores dio fin a un gran día de estudios y nuevos amigos

img_8342

img_8345

 

img_8414 img_8416Martes, ni te cases ni te embarques (frase típica costarricense, solo un chiste), hoy sin duda alguna fue el día mas caliente desde que el grupo llegó a Costa Rica, sin embargo nada mejor para combatir ese calor que después de clases adentrarnos más en la cultura tica, clases de baile pusieron a mover el cuerpo de las estudiantes de Texas A&M Fall Break, ritmos como la cumbia, salsa y bachata calentaron aún más la pista, vaya manera de terminar el día. Pura Vida!!!

 

 

Hoy miércoles fue un día mas que emotivo, nuestra aventura llevo hoy al grupo de Texas A&M Fall Break hasta la escuela de Huacas, fue un día de trabajo voluntario, de mucho aprendizaje para todos, los niños aprendieron mucho vocabulario en ingles, Texas A&M Fall Break aprendió mucho mas de la cultura costarricense, su sistema de educación y lo duro que puede ser, sin embargo lo mejor fue la sonrisa de los niños y la satisfacción del grupo de Texas A&M por la ayuda brindada a la escuela y la comunidad; para cerrar el día un hermoso atardecer en playa Flamingo, un atardecer que enamora…

img_8461img_8460  img_8497

El jueves, nuestro grupo Texas A&M Fall Break, disfruto de una tarde libre en playa Tamarindo, compras y caminata por la playa fueron la prioridad en esta visita, sin embargo no se podía dejar pasar la oportunidad de bañarse en esta hermosa playa, sin duda una gran tarde para Texas A&M fall Break.

Viernes, ultimo día de escuela, pero no el ultimo día en Costa Rica, un día muy especial para los estudiantes de Texas A&M Fall Break, hoy fue la graduación de ellos y con esto se empiezan a mezclar sentimientos, la satisfacción de haber logrado cumplir con el objetivo de estudio y la nostalgia de despedirse de los que ayudaron a formar esa parte académica durante esta semana, una experiencia única que va acabando desde el punto de vista académico en Costa Rica, pero un nuevo inicio en la parte de formación de vida de las chicas, Pura Vida!

img_8530 img_8537

 

 
El sábado la aventura llevo al grupo de Texas A&M Fall break hasta La Fortuna de San Carlos, cerca del volcán Arenal, un largo trayecto pero con vistas únicas, rodearon y nos detuvimos en el lago del Arenal para capturar con las cámaras pero principalmente con nuestras retinas ese hermoso paisaje. Inspira paz el solo estar ahí… después de arribar a la fortuna y realizar un pequeño tour por la localidad las chicas se fueron de compras. Para el resto de la tarde nos fuimos a las aguas termales y una gran vista del volcán, claro está, esto después de un gran y delicioso almuerzo

img_8548img_8541

 

 

 

 

 

 

El domingo fue la despedida de Texas A&M Fall Break, el grupo regreso a la universidad a poner en práctica lo aprendido, esperamos que esto fuera una gran aventura y una enorme enseñanza para ustedes, esperamos verlos pronto, muchas gracias y pura vida!!!

 

img_8566

 

TAMU Biomedical in Costa Rica

On a late Sunday afternoon the Texas A&M Biomedical group arrived at the CPI Heredia campus for oral testing and orientation to homestays.

img_5163

Games were a part of our time on campus and a bit later the families started making their appearance. It was fun to see the interactions and before we knew it all the students were settled in to their new homes.

img_5132 img_5136 img_5135

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

img_5159 img_5157 img_5156 img_5154 img_5152 img_5151 img_5149 img_5148 img_5146 img_5145 img_5143 img_5140 img_5139 img_5138

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first week in Heredia was full of classes and learning. The mornings were spent in Spanish classes and the afternoons in the field visiting different sites that spoke to the students’ majors.

The first full day we went to visit a veterinary clinic; the biggest one in the Central Valley. Doctor Andrés was very knowledgeable and toured us around the clinic, showing us the many rooms that made up the clinic.

img_5166 img_5168

From the reception to the physical therapy room, from the lab to the grassy back yard, it is a professional and successful clinic. We got to see some patients in different stages of care, and it was very clear this clinic gives its all to make sure the patients have the best treatment.

In the afternoon it rained cats and dogs and to take advantage of the weather homework was done and everyone spent time with their home stay families.

Tuesday dawned bright and early and again Spanish classes were in order for the morning. In the afternoon a visit to a private hospital was scheduled.

Our visit to the private hospital CIMA was a success. The hospital in one the most prestigious in its class in Costa Rica. Spacious hallways and rooms, state of the art equipment, friendly staff, and an overall sense of knowledge and competency left no doubt in our minds as to the quality of the services offered at CIMA.

img_5186 img_5184

A dynamic and interactive white board in each room drew our attention. This gives the opportunity for patients, family or friends, and hospital staff the chance to write down questions, comments, important information (be it medical or personal), positive thoughts, things to remember, etc

img_5193

The following day was full of cultural and interesting activities. We had our latin cooking class where we had to prepare our lunch.

img_5201 img_5205 img_5211

Our menu was picadillo de papa con carne, arroz, frijoles, ensalada, y tortillas. Picadillo is a tradicional Costa Rican dish and it can be made of finely cut up vegetables: potato, chayote (type of squash), arracache (Arracacia xanthorrhiza for those exacting science types. This is starchy root tasting a bit like a cross between a carrot and celery), ayote (squash), zanahoria y vainica (carrot and green beans), and many more. Ours we made with potato, onion, bell peppers, ground beef, celery, garlic, and cilantro. Or culantro, as it’s called in Costa Rica.

img_5219

 

img_5215 img_5223 img_5224

Our lunch was delicious and then it was off for the walk about San Joaquín. The afternoon was threatening rain quite seriously but we decided to brave the weather, armed with our umbrellas and rain jackets. Since most of the group knew where we and other important landmarks were, our tour was spent talking and pointing out other interesting cultural things. A couple of girls tried out the Costa Rican snow cones: Copos or Granizados

img_5229img_5230img_5231

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Costa Rica, along with the other Central American countries, became independent from Spain in September of 1821 and for everyone to know this great news a group of people was sent from country to country, beginning in Guatemala, to make this announcement. History tells us that the very first time a man from Guatemala ran through the streets carrying a lantern symbolizing hope for the future for all citizens. Present day torch runners from each country run the length of Central America (approximately 350 kilometers) with a lit torch and kids from all ages meet the torch at key locations throughout the countries to receive this fire and take it to their home towns and schools.

img_5233 img_5235 img_5237

 

 

A couple of groups of school kids waiting for the torch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every year on the 14th of September this event occurs and TAMU was privileged to be part of this celebration this year. We saw as the main torch passed by the main street in San Joaquín and its fire was shared to the other school kids waiting impatiently and with patriotic pride to carry the “good news” back to their home towns. Everyone cheered loudly as the main torch kept going; on to the original capital of Costa Rica: Cartago.

img_5242

As if the heavens knew and were waiting for the torch to run through San Joaquín, it all of a sudden started to rain, one of the hardest downpours so far in TAMU’s Heredia stay. All of us got soaked!

The weather didn’t deter our trip that evening to the nearby town of San Lorenzo. The festivities continued that evening as the torch was received, the National Anthem was sung, and other speeches given. There was no rain that night at all. The only evidence of the inclement weather of the afternoon was the muddy soccer field.

img_5252

 

 

 

 

 

 

The popular place to be was the soccer field of San Lorenzo as the town council had made arrangements for marimbas to be set up in each of the field corners, a stage was set up (later we would see why!), and the traditional Desfile de Faroles, or The Lantern Parade, started from this point.

The Desfile de Faroles represents the Guatemalan delegates of yesteryear lighting lanterns to symbolize the receiving of the independence torch. To this day every town and city in Costa Rica holds this tradition dear. It has become, in some places, a competition of sort with the locals making the most beautiful “farol”. Both young and old make these hand crafted works of art.

A couple of our girls bought faroles and proudly showed them off. Little Mandy Lu also joined the festivities with her own farol!

img_5251img_5254

 

img_5255

After we had walk a few blocks around San Lorenzo with our faroles it was time to switch modes. Marimbas were playing and people were milling about and eating the food that was for sale. It was then we found out why the stage had been put up. A national TV comedian, doña Merry Christmas, was invited to perform for the town. She, or more correctly “he”, embodies a typical Costa Rican homemaker, from humble origins, hard working mother, cleaner extraordinaire, loves to cook, and must look nice: at all times!

img_5264 img_5257

She/he got the show going and asked for volunteers. Before we knew it one of our own, David, was up on stage participating! 😀 David won by a long shot!

img_5269

The night ended with an absolutely spectacular show of fireworks. They were set up in the middle of the soccer field and once the authorities made sure everyone was out of harm’s way the amazing show got underway. It was loud and colorful. It seemed to go on forever. Just when we thought the show was over more fireworks would paint a magnificent design in the night sky.

img_5272 img_5273 img_5276 img_5277

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Independence Day dawned hot and the sky was bright blue; the fluffy clouds giving no hint of rain from the day before. The civic act and speeches started very early, and the parades started after that. Sun block and water were key to have handy this day.

img_5290 img_5289

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The streets were filled with people enjoying this meaningful patriotic day. The parades started off with the smallest kids and their schools. The high school kids followed. The well rehearsed moves showed off the dresses, flags, and the privilege to be in the parade was clear in everyone’s stance and face. There was even a band made up of alumni from a well known nearby high school. There were students in the parade dressed in beautiful typical dresses, dancing to the tune that the band behind them played.

img_5306

img_5304

 

 

 

 

 

 

img_5321

 

img_5308

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Mandy Lu was dressed beautifully for the occasion!

 

 

Lots of people took their dogs. There were lots of sizes and colors and they didn’t seem to mind the loud drums, music, and crowd.

img_5312

img_5319

 

 

 

 

 

 

People were obviously proud to be Costa Rican this day, showing off the red, white, and blue colors of the flag. TAMU Biomedical was privileged to have been part of this celebration! ¡Viva Costa Rica!

img_5296

Our next event was a talk on the pharmaceutical guild in Costa Rica. Dr. Marvin Gómez is an expert in his field. The talk was enlightening and professional.

img_5330 img_5331

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dance class followed Dr. Gómez’s talk. Geraldine took over and it was a great way to finish the day. She was animated and lots of fun. She showed us three rhythms: merengue, salsa, and swing criollo. This last originates in the 1950’s combining Colombian cumbia and US swing. It was started by the working class in the Costa Rican Central Valley and has its own moves; it’s not comparable to any other style of dancing.

img_5333 img_5335

Geraldine and her partner made sure everyone was out on the dance floor and having fun. She even gave us a small presentation for swing criollo. A fun afternoon, to be sure!

img_5357

img_5353

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday morning we went white water rafting. Some of us had done it before and others hadn’t. That didn’t slow anyone down, however! It was an adrenaline filled day; it had rained the night before and the river was medium high and super fun! The guides got a kick out of teasing the group and splashing us repeatedly with water. Most everyone slept on the bus for the two hours back to the Central Valley.

The second week TAMU Biomedical was in Heredia was again full of Spanish classes, site visits, and time spent with host families. The CPI teachers expressed their satisfaction as to how well the group was advancing in their Spanish. Yay!

One of our guest speakers was on medicinal plants in Costa Rica. What they are, where they grow, their historical uses, present day uses, etc. The talk was given by Dr. Rafael Ocampo, renown author, researcher, agronomist, and as he puts it, a bit crazy! He brought in examples of different medicinal plants and books to share.

Another great visit was to the Medical School of the Universidad de Costa Rica. The dean of the school received us and gave us a lecture, then toured us around the school.

img_5396

img_5398

img_5400

img_5403

img_5407

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was interesting to learn the way medical professionals are formed and their careers afterwards. We also learned how the students are chosen, how the admissions tests work in Costa Rica, how foreign doctors can come to Costa Rica and practice medicine in country, and other practical and logistical aspects. We saw how medicine is intertwined with everyday life and how our daily decisions when we are young affect our future, medically speaking.

img_5410

One day in the second week a trip to the local Heredia market was planned. To make the experience more interesting we took the public bus. Public transportation in Costa Rica is overall safe and reliable. We waited a few minutes at the bus stop and then piled in the crowded bus. Some of us got seats and some had to stand. The ride was around 20 minutes, spent taking in the scenery and taking pics.

img_5430 img_5434

 

img_5433

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A market is the predecessor of the modern mall. Most Costa Rican cities have a market and it’s a great cultural experience. One can find all kind of things one needs, and doesn’t imagine needing ever! The sights are colorful, the cacophony of sounds fills ones ears, some of the smells are unidentifiable, but all around an entertaining experience. The hustle and bustle of a market has a life of its own.

Lunch was eaten in the market, not all of us in one place since each food stand is small and can’t host a big group. Things tried and tasted were tamales, corn tortillas with cheese, plantains, chicharrones (pork rinds), local drink made with lots fruits, and many more.

img_5435 img_5437 img_5436

The group was split into smaller groups and the assignment was to interact with the locals, ask about different fruits, products on sale, and purchase a few examples of local and unusual fruits. Later, all the information was to be put together in a PowerPoint to analyze and study.

img_5445 img_5448 img_5446

After the market activity we walked to the famous Fortín. This is a tower built in 1876 to defend the city and now is a landmark in Heredia. It measures 13 meters high with a steep spiral staircase going up the inside. We were lucky to have had permission to go to the top since a lot of the time this monument is closed to the public. Only five people at a time are allowed to go the top and then for a short time. The view from the top of the edifice gave us a real sense of the Central Valley: its surrounding mountains and the ever growing city.

img_5451 img_5459 img_5452

 

 

We also got a chance to walk through the main church, La Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción. Built originally out of wood in 1704, it was torn down and the now impressive church started construction in 1797 and finished in 1804. The quiet and peaceful interior gives one a sense of awe. Of note are the stained glass windows brought over from France. Although it started as a small humble parish it is now the best known church in the town of Heredia.

img_5461 img_5466 img_5464 img_5462

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our afternoon finished off with a trip to get ice cream. Yummy! Then back on the public bus to our homestays.

img_5467

The following day was our visit to one of the biggest and most important public hospitals in the Central Valley: Hospital México. Designed by specialists from the Mexican Institute of Social Security, it was inaugurated in 1969. The Mexican institute played a big role in its design, blueprints, and technical advice and therefore the name: Hospital México. This hospital is a modern and renowned facility where many complex and delicate cases and transplants are seen and operated.

img_5474 img_5476 img_5475

Fabián Soto was our guide and we began in the pharmacy section where we learned there are five different pharmacies in the hospital. The one we visited is the central one. This day it was being manned by 15 pharmacists and many pharmacy technicians. Almost 100 people work to fill prescriptions. Wow. We saw how the prescriptions were received and processed. We were impressed as to how complicated and detailed the process is.

After the pharmacy we saw different sections of the hospital: outpatient care, oncology, urology, radiology and imaging, cardiology, etc. etc. The hospital was bustling with people in all stages of care.

We then proceeded to the emergency room. This was seemed pretty calm and fortunately no emergency came while we were there. We got to meet and get toured around by one of the head doctors of the ER. He talked about the “shock room” or trauma room, surgery, the triage system, and their organ donor program.

img_5478
img_5479

When we were finished in the ER we had a small section of Q&A with Fabián to finalize our afternoon visit.

img_5477

img_5491

img_5492

 

 

 

 

 

img_5494

Our second cooking class was spent making the very typical arroz con pollo. Doña Eugenia, our cooking class teacher, explained all the ingredients: cebolla, ajos, apio, zanahoria, vainicas, etc. Music was put on and those carrots and green beans were chopped and cooking in a heartbeat. Another yummy meal!

img_5500 img_5504 img_5501 img_5507

img_5506

img_5508

Following our cooking class was another special guest speaker: Gail Nystrom from the Humanitarian Foundation. She has worked in Costa Rica for over 20 years with the marginal and immigrant people from, not only Costa Rica, but also from different Central American countries. Her selfless work has been outstanding and generous. Her talk was inspiring and gave us lots to reflect upon.

img_5509

The following day was Saturday and our group was scheduled for a San José city tour. Our knowledgeable guide, Juan Carlos, talked a lot and showed us interesting historical or cultural landmarks and gave us some history to go along with the showing. It was a fun day and we were back to our homestays by late afternoon. Our day finished with a torrential downpour and we were happy to be inside!

Sunday dawned bright and early and it was time for TAMU Biomedical to say good bye to the families in Heredia and move on the new adventures. It had been a great two weeks in San Joaquín and everyone’s Spanish had much improved. Although goodbyes are hard the next expedition was calling: Manuel Antonio National Park and some beach time.

TAMU Biomedical was only saying “hasta luego” since in a few short weeks we would receive them again, this time in Flamingo.

**************************************************************************************************

TAMU Biomedical was due for a week at the CPI beach campus after having spent a month doing other activities and classes for their university.

The weather had been raining and wet but Flamingo welcomed us with an abundance of sunshine! The day was hot and the reflection off the sand and ocean made wearing sun glasses a must. The very first day the ocean’s call was loud and everyone went to test the water for a couple of hours.

The group was divided into their respective classes and the schedule was much the same as the Spanish classed in Heredia. The food at the break was awesome; the fruit being especially refreshing.

The homestay families welcomed our group with typical Costa Rican hospitality. Although the region and families were different than the first two weeks in Heredia, the warmth and generosity was the same. The food contrasted with the meals served in Heredia but again, it was delicious!

The first full day in Flamingo we had Spanish classes in the morning and went wandering the beach in the afternoon. It was a hot and sunny afternoon and the white sand soft to our feet.

img_5677 img_5676

The ocean was an amazing blue, its water a nice warm temperature. Someone mentioned how salty it was and it was interesting to explore that idea; how salty, or not, it was in the different places we had visited. The afternoon wrapped up having a few drinks and snacks at a local restaurant.

img_5682 img_5684

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of our lunches was a cooking class at CPI. We had rice, beans, cabbage salad, chimichurri, tortillas, and chicken. It was a yummy lunch followed by going back to homestays, changing into our bathing suits and going to the beach.

img_5688 img_5691

img_5689

img_5697

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a relaxing and fun. The water was calm, the waves coming and going in that ever mesmerizing rhythm. Several girls made sand chairs, while others walked the beach; everyone took lots of pictures. The day finished with a beautiful sunset and we walked home to our homestays.

img_5698 img_5712 img_5707

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One day we went to Liberia to visit a Veterinary Hospital and a private hospital (for people) It took us an hour to get to the vet hospital and were received by several dogs and cats, all vying for our attention.

The head vet gave us a tour around the clinic, proudly showing us her clinic, the patients, and ended the visit with moving comments as to why she became a vet, what drives her, and what she would like to accomplish.

img_5722 img_5731-copy img_5725 img_5724

Our next stop was the private hospital, also in Liberia. It is a well established and respected hospital. We were shown the pharmacy, imagining section, private rooms, waiting rooms, etc. If one were to choose a hospital to go to this would definitely be a great choice! Our visit ended with a stop in the ER to chat with the doctor on call. He was helpful and answered all of our questions.

img_5753img_5754img_5757 img_5764

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of days later we had a talk by a doctor from a doctor stationed in Flamingo. He talked to us about the private clinic in this rural area, the challenges, goals, examples of different cases seen, and even brought their ambulance so we could see it first-hand.

img_5788 img_5792

Friday dawned clear and bright: graduation day had come! There was some commotion getting things ready and everyone was excited.

img_5835 img_5838 img_5837

 

 

Each group presented a small part of a couple of songs that had been assigned to them. The songs are very much tropical and dance-able, but the lyrics are meaningful and have a social awareness impact that one would not think to pay attention to.

 

 

Then came the certificates; both teachers and students proudly posing for the camera!

img_5850 img_5868 img_5865 img_5861 img_5857 img_5851

Dancing is a big part of the Latin American culture and we couldn’t not have a dance class at least one time in Flamingo. Our teacher went over basic steps for bachata and salsa.

img_5870 img_5876

In the afternoon it was time to laze in Playa Conchal. This is an awesome beach made up completely of broken shells. The whiteness of the “sand” and the clearness of the water make this beach one of the most beautiful beaches in Guanacaste.

img_5880 img_5890 img_5883 img_5882

Almost as a must-do activity in Flamingo is the catamaran snorkel cruise. We spent Saturday morning touring and chilling in the town of Tamarindo, followed by a delicious lunch.

img_5907

The catamaran was right after lunch and it was the highlight of the day. The water was clear, as was the sky, the drinks refreshing, the crew most helpful, music to dance to, and all around TAMU had a wonderful time.

img_5938 img_5922 img_5915 img_5910

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snorkeling and paddle boarding were part of the lazy afternoon. A late lunch was served after everyone had gotten tired from swimming and snorkeling. And the sunset from on deck was fully appreciated by all.

img_5945 img_5949 img_5950 img_5951 img_5993 img_5995

Sunday was the last day in Flamingo. It was time to say goodbye. It was a bittersweet moment; it was time for new adventures and yet it was a bit sad to say goodbye to the families and good times in Flamingo and CPI.

Thanks for coming and spending time with us at CPI! Until next time!

img_6019img_5673

All the best to TAMU Biomedical!!!! :)

PURA VIDA!!!

 

 

 

 

El Paso Community College 2016, Summer in Flamingo

A small group from El Paso Community College arrived in Costa Rica a warm Friday afternoon to enjoy a few days in Heredia before going on to CPI’s Flamingo campus. They had a tour of the capital city, San José, saw the sights of the Gold Museum, National Theater, and had lunch at a local restaurant. The following day the group got up bright and early to have a good time at Café Britt. They learned about the coffee process; from the time the seed is planted to the time the coffee is poured into the cup. It was informative and fun! Lots of coffee savored too!

In the afternoon the group got in the van for the long ride to Flamingo in the Guanacaste province. In Flamingo they met up with the rest of the group that had arrived that day and the adventure began in Flamingo.

IMG_4691 IMG_4695 IMG_4694 IMG_4693 IMG_4692

Monday dawned bright and hot and the CPI staff in Flamingo received the group for placements and orientation. The group was split into several smaller groups for Spanish classes and it was an entertaining and pleasant experience the rest of the week.

IMG_4700

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two of the experiences that highlighted the week were dance class and cooking class. The teacher was energetic and lively.

IMG_4719

IMG_4732 IMG_4728 IMG_4724

For cooking class the group had to prepare a typical meal for lunch. This time it was casado con pollo; a typical Costa Rica dish consisting of rice, beans, salad, and chicken fixed up with lots of condiments. The meal was complimented with a natural fruit juice: cas. A little tart fruit, cas is in the guava family and is smaller and more sour.

IMG_4744 IMG_4741 IMG_4743

 

 

 

 

 

The week went by with Spanish classes in the morning and activities around the Flamingo area in the afternoons. Not everyone did all the activities together although it happened many times that people chose to the same things together.

One afternoon Playa Conchal was chosen to visit. This beach is known for its beautiful white sand and broken shells. The name, “Conchal” comes from “concha”, or shell. The sunset was an amazing sight!

IMG_4750 IMG_4759IMG_4751

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4761

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the evening the group ate out at a local restaurant. A bit of time was spent doing homework before calling it a day.

IMG_4765 IMG_4770

IMG_4769

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday was the day chosen to do the catamaran cruise after morning classes. The catamaran set sail from the nearby town of Tamarindo. That afternoon was awesome! A sea turtle swam by and was seen by lots of people from on deck.

IMG_4776IMG_4785IMG_4780IMG_4777

There was music, dancing, and food was served. Snorkeling was an option as well as paddle boarding. The sunset was another spectacular sight, made more special by being on the catamaran.

IMG_4791IMG_4808IMG_4803

Playa Danta was another destination and this was spent exploring the beach, kayaking, and relaxing in the shade. The onsite restaurant was yummy!

IMG_4815

IMG_4819

IMG_4817

IMG_4820

The week was going by all too quickly and it was time to go shopping and exploring in Tamarindo. Yet another beach to explore! Gelato (Italian for ice cream) was a popular choice of snack for the afternoon too!

Friday was graduation day! Spanish classes continued in the morning as normal and the graduation ceremony was held near lunch time. The teachers had all kinds of nice and complimentary things to say about their students for the week and all who studied were presented their diploma.

IMG_4845IMG_4857IMG_4856IMG_4854IMG_4853IMG_4851IMG_4850IMG_4849IMG_4848IMG_4847IMG_4846

IMG_4858

Saturday was full of fun and adventure. The activity planned was an all day trip to Rincón de la Vieja with horseback riding, river tubing, lunch, canopy tour, and finally relaxing in the volcanic mud baths and hot water pools.

IMG_4873

The day was overflowing with activities and the trip back to Flamingo was a quiet one since most everyone was happily tired.

IMG_4869

The week for El Paso in Flamingo was coming to a close and it was time to say “hasta luego”. It had been a pleasant week full of fun. Spanish classes had been engaging and filled with learning.

IMG_4771

¡Hasta la próxima El Paso! ¡Los esperamos muy pronto de nuevo!

The Last Few Days…

Wednesday, the group enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Ram Luna, with views overlooking the city lights at night. Everyone enjoyed a buffet dinner before the show started at 8pm. The show included a traditional dance and music of Costa Rica. One of the students was invited to dance with some of the dancers at the end of the show! It was a night no one will forget anytime soon.

20160713_203216 20160713_210058 20160713_211112 (2)

Thursday, the group had dance class in the morning, where they learned Salsa, Bachata, and the Merengue. Everyone was paired into couples and had a great time learning the steps.

20160714_105108 (3) 20160714_105212 (2) 20160714_105422(2)

After dance class, the group had a cooking class with the chef at Heredia. The group helped with chopping vegetables, making the rice and preparing the chicken for their chicken and rice lunch. It was absolutely delicious meal, that everyone enjoyed after all their hard work!

20160714_122656(0)

La Carpio Round 2!

The group was able to return to La Carpio this past Tuesday to volunteer with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation. In the morning the group split into 3 different teams to paint houses, work in the montessori and to work in the small library with children. The morning was filled with lots of smiles, laughter and hard work. It was extremely rewarding for the group to spend their time getting to love on the children in La Carpio.

20160712_091649(1) 20160712_103749 20160712_111156(0) 20160712_112108

Continuando el Voluntariado

El día de hoy los estudiantes de WiHi tuvieron otro día de voluntariado y pudieron comenzar el segundo proyecto, pintar el centro de Salud del pueblo. Algunos estudiantes se quedaron con algunas personas de la comunidad terminando los detalles del Salón Comunal mientras que el resto del grupo comenzó a pintar el centro de salud. Hoy fue un día muy ocupado para los estudiantes porque había mucho que pintar sin embargo lograron hacer un muy buen trabajo y dejar la mayoría del trabajo listo para continuar el día siguiente.

IMG_6603 IMG_6609 IMG_6612

Volando por los aires

El día de hoy fue un día ocupado para los estudiantes. La primera actividad que realizaron fue hacer el canopy. Había unos estudiantes con miedo pero al finales les gustó mucho lo que estaban haciendo. Lo que hacía la actividad más interesante es que había mucho viento y algunas veces no se podía ver donde terminaba el cable. Después de haber los 8 cables todos estuvieron muy contentos y estaban listos para la siguiente parte del día. Después fuimos a el centro de Santa Elena en donde los estudiantes pudieron visitar varias tienda de souvenir para comparar recuerdos para ellos y sus familias. Al final de las compras no dirigimos al restaurante La Cuchara de la Abuela donde disfrutaron de una comida típica antes de regresar a el CPI para sus clases de español.

Voluntariado y Deliciosa Comida



El día de hoy los estudiantes tuvieron otro día de voluntariado. Hoy volvieron a trabajar en el salon comunal al pintarlo con dos tipos de pinturas. Ellos fueron muy eficientes ya que tenía menos tiempo que ayer porque tenían que ir a clases del cocina después. Todos se dividieron en grupos para poder pintar más rápido. Algunos estudiantes pintaron con rodillos la parte de arriba de la pared y otros pintaban con brochas en la parte de abajo de la pared. Hoy también tuvimos la oportunidad de escuchar más sobre la comunidad y la importancia que tiene el salon comunal para la comunidad.

Después de el voluntariado, los estudiantes regresaron al CPI donde tuvieron sus clases de cocina. El grupo de dividió en dos grupos y cocinaron tortillas muy hermosas porque tenías diferentes formas. El arroz con pollo o vegetales también estaba muy rico y también hicieron una ensalada rusa para acompañar el arroz. Todos los estudiantes tenían mucha hambre y les encantó la comida que hicieron al final fueron a clases contentos y con una panza llena de comida.

IMG_6562 IMG_6590 IMG_6593