2020 was in some ways a satisfying year for our community work in Costa Rica. We have always put aside savings for the next big project (renovation or replacement of the swimming pool at the children’s home where we often work) and were able to use these savings from good years and additional donations to help with Covid-19 relief. We were also able to help staff to find other work using a vehicle and tools that weren’t needed to support our usual community work.
The hope is that having seen the countries and organizations of the world humbled by this juggernaut, we will be more open to honest and dynamic cultural interchange. I have great admiration for people who are still leaving their home countries and families, some for the first time, during a pandemic, to experience how other countries and cultures are handling this cosmic curveball.
With this backdrop 2021 has been an interesting year, with many older, Spanish-speaking, participants who have brought useful skills beyond what they signed up for. They took the opportunity to be freer out of lockdown Europe and make a real effort to mix with the community here, rather than just staying in our Centre with other participants.
We still can’t play team sports in schools and must maintain distance from children in child care, but English, farming, and to some extent construction is up and running, along with the chance to construct nature trails or clean beaches.
The country is breathing a sigh of relief now that the infection rates are very low, and there is a holiday feel with Semana Santa coming soon. The sun is shining and tourism is bouncing back.