Our homestay experience in Costa Rica
Hello from Costa Rica! I hope you can join me on this tour of this little but fascinating country. Today was the first day of our eight-day tour organized by Intrepid. I like their motto – real life experience, that’s why I chose this tour organizer this time.
We met in the capital of Costa Rica, San José, yesterday in the evening. There is twelve of us in the group from Canada, USA and United Kingdom. Our first adventure is a homestay experience.
We traveled in a small bus to Santa Rosa de Pocosol, approximately 3 hours from San José. What was great about this first portion of our trip is that we began visiting the country by meeting its people.
Here are our lovely hosts from the Juanilama Community. They introduced themselves to us and told us about their roles in the community. Their kindness was overwhelming. This community was created to preserve the land on which they live and to promote rural tourism in the country. This initiative, started around 20 years ago, promotes local traditions, respect for land and nature, and it offers its visitors an authentic experience of rural Costa Rican life.
First meet my hostess, her name is Sandra:
The smile is always on her face. She is the woman who describes herself and other women from the community as “valientes.” Once you learn the history of the community you realize how much they have accomplished. They received the land, with nothing on it so they had to start from the beginning by building the road, their homes, schools and other facilities.
Sandra’s house was very small at the beginning. With time, as she was able to save some money, together with her husband, they added more rooms for their three children and for guests. Five years ago, Sandra learned how to use a computer and now she has an important role of accepting reservations, organizing programs and promoting the project. She is a very energetic, enthusiastic and generous woman. These powerful Costa Rican women also call themselves “impulsadora.” It was an honour for me to meet Sandra in my life.
Juanilama community offers many different activities. The first one was a trek to see local waterfalls. As we were walking there, we found out that the path was built by volunteers from Canada and Australia.
When you travel to Costa Rica you should remember that “dry season” does not mean no rain, it means a little bit less rain. The weather is very unpredictable, and we need to be ready for rain and mud everywhere we go. If we want to see the rain forest, we have to expect rain.
Rain was useful for washing mud off our shoes and clothes.
After our walk, we had a wonderful time with our community preparing food, eating together, dancing, and singing. What a wonderful opportunity for us to become friends with local people on the second day of our trip.
I am ending this post with Costa Rican wisdom: