Location: La Carpio

We woke up early today before heading to La Carpio for the first time. La Carpio is a poverty community in which we will do many of our service projects. On the way into La Carpio, we drove past a sewage plant and a cement factory along a road filled with garbage trucks. As it turns out La Carpio is also the dump for most of Costa Rica. We drove through the main road of La Carpio and saw the businesses and homes of the local people. There were many different types of businesses lining the streets. As we neared the end of the community, we came upon the dump. We were informed that this location was located far too close to both the rivers and the houses. We went back into the community and visited a Montessori style daycare setup by the Costa Rica Humanitarian Foundation where we heard a talk about poverty. We then went on a walk to experience the community first hand. We walked through twisted streets and down ramshackle steps through filled with people. One striking note was the smiles of the local people. Many of them both smiled and said hello as we walked past. We even got to tour in some of the homes that the previous group visited to build bunk beds in. After our introduction, we jumped right into work and set up a reading and drawing center for the children of La Carpio. It started a little slow, but within a short time everyone was reading or drawing with someone from La Carpio. The kids seemed to enjoy the books, and we will never forget their smiles. After that, our guides surprised us with a visit to a Carrera de Cintas a local game where Caballeros gallop on horses and try to pass a small spear through a tiny suspended metal loop. It was a cultural experience, to say the least and a sport or trial of manhood far different than any had ever seen before. We then headed back to our hotel for some spicy peppers, a lovely dinner, and some time to relax.