Youth Service Project

On one of my walks to town the other day these high school aged kids did not see me snap a photo of them with my phone. They were evidently doing a service project, possibly through the school, painting this public picnic table at the City Sports Park next to the covered Basketball Court. Hopefully they are painting all of the several at this park which are always full at lunch time with a very popular empanada shop across the street in one direction and fried chicken (el pollo frito) a block the other direction. 🙂

Teenagers painting picnic table in a public park, Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica.

¡Pura Vida!

Angel Tree Project

Trees in two places to get sponsors.

I volunteered through Su Espacio and met today with some of the other committee members to discuss the approach this year and how we will secure sponsors of 300 very poor children (no parent working full time). We also need to pay for food and entertainment at the party in December when they receive their gifts. I suggested that in addition to angels which is the child a person buys a gift or gifts for, we sell “party angels” to pay for the party. Susan (also from Su Espacio) suggested we make those stars. So now people can take an angel from the tree and get gifts or pay cash for a star to pay for the party. My first contribution to this project.  🙂

Of course Susan and I are in charge of the stars and tomorrow we go to Escazu to see if anyone has silver and gold poster board from which we will cut the stars. Silver for 5,000 colones ($10) and gold for 10,000 colones ($20). David and Corinna at Su Espacio are interviewing the parents to see if their children really qualify for the free Christmas gifts and will host the party. We will all help cut out the angels and write names and Christmas wishes on them. Susan and I want to recruit children to color the angels. We will have a big tree at Su Espacio and a smaller one at Kay’s Gringo Postres where we met today and where we should sign up a lot of gringos. Plus we are promoting it at Kay’s Gringo Halloween Costume Party with a raffle to earn some of the party money.

I’ve become David’s flier maker, so expect I will be doing that again pretty soon about the Angel Tree. And some of you thought all I did was sleep late and sit on the terrace photographing birds!

On Aprendo Espanol en Atenas I tell about Spanish learning for free at 

Great Neighborhood Project!

Except for Atenas Central, there are few sidewalks (like Donelson-Hermitage)
So in the neighborhood between Roca Verde and Atenas Central, the neighbors
got together and decided to build their own, since government isn’t doing it.

Today it was young adult volunteers mixing & pouring cement, other times
have had some older adult men doing it, at least a quarter mile finished now!
The orange roofs on hill at top of photo is a part of Roca Verde.

Today’s young men shoveling cement into the forms. Great!
I gave them a thumb’s up and said “Muchas Gracias” as I walked by.
Again you can see one Roca Verde hill in distance.
This is an earlier photo I took going down the hill toward our gate.
I feel much safer walking on a sidewalk than in narrow streets or very
rough shoulders if any! The closer to Central Park, the more sidewalks.
First shift leaving high school.
Almost all students walk to school here. 

It is interesting to watch how many people still walk in the street, possibly from years of habit, I would guess half. Of course further up you have no choice and that includes walking by the high school where there are no sidewalks. Gangs of teens leaving or arriving just fill the streets and cars wait (photo below or at right).

But it was sad to see in Tico Times recently that Pedestrian Deaths Outnumber Drunk Driving Deaths in Costa Rica.  Speeding and irresponsible lane-changing are the top two causes of road deaths here.

Maybe this one more sidewalk will save another life or two. Everything is not perfect in Costa Rica! Infrastructure is still lacking in many areas.