Location: Central Valley

Strolling through the streets of La Carpio, the group was faced with circumstances we’d only heard about on documentaries or the morning news when something particularly shocking occurred. We learned of the struggles weighing on Nicaraguan immigrants such as the lack of access to employment, education, and healthcare. A captivating lecture given by a figure from the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation opened our eyes to the realities of the authoritarian, pyramid structure of government and resulting lifestyle in Nicaragua, which leads many citizens to seek refuge in Costa Rica. After the speech nearly brought us to tears, we were hit even harder by a visit we made to a local family. Following a hike down a narrow, muddy path to the bank of a river, we were ushered through a crude, tin door. We met a family – a Costa Rican husband and his Nicaraguan wife with their two children. Their struggle makes me want to rethink everything I’ve ever complained about; I can’t imagine selling everything in my possession and still being unable to care for those I love. I can’t fathom the very floor of my home flooding with rain. However, they showed hope beyond compare through their determined attitudes as they spoke to us. Hope for their home, which was getting a concrete floor thanks to the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation. Hope for their daughter, who quite literally kicks butt in her judo competitions. They gave us hope too. Then we ate tacos! Hope and tacos – what more can one ask for?