Tag Archives: La Carpio

Preparing for 25 years

Creating something beautiful and impactful always has its challenges. We have done a lot of activities to give people a chance to showcase their work over the years. I’m glad to have had past experiences to keep me calm for this upcoming event at the Marriott; Sometimes I don’t know what possessed me to try this experience. But, here we are. The people are so serious and committed to creating a wonderful evening.

The montesori kids have to hold a candle..they practiced yesterday how to hold the candle with Reverence. They have worked so hard to create their visual display of their hero. And they are so attentive to our instructions about how to listen to the music to know when to turn around, when to hold the candle up, when to hold hands…Full attention to our instructions and giving ideas as well. The same with the minis. They are so excited to be dressed as flowers and sun and rain. They are learning that they ARE the flowers in the garden of life.

And the soccer boys…just amazing to see those big strong guys lifting their trophies into the air. The teachers and the Auto Mercado staff and the former street . kids are all preparing their displays to showcase the work they do day in and day out. The grandmothers are practicing their play and creating handcrafts. The teen girls have revamped the scenery for their play and it is so impactful. Harold is creating a scary looking airplane for the scene about Ukrania. We will be making a bus as well. The two French volunteers are hard at work making a giant spiral out of hula hoops. And Katya is busy at the computer creating all the pamphlets and publicity and lists and instructions.

And the indigenous are coming in all the way from Talamanca with their crafts and their necessary presence.

I have a lot of errands to run to keep everyone supplied with what they need. No matter what happens, they will all have the satisfaction of knowing that they have worked hard as a team to create something epic. It won’t be perfect but it will be heartfelt. I doubt I’ll make it through without crying…not for sad, but for happy.

“love grows one by one two by two….four by four…love grows…round in a circle…comes back to …you and knocks at your front door”

What’s it like to visit CRHF in La Carpio?

Welcoming

First, you will be greeted at the street as your bus or car drives up. We accompany you up the stairs and our team will be on hand to greet you in our center. A short tour of the place ensues with explanation of each room, its role and its importance. Sewing and creative room, office and storage of tools and dry goods, reception area where thirty families per day await the arrival of food from Auto Mercado, Fruit and vegetable distribution area, kitchen where hot meals are prepared every day, bathroom, lunch room, english classroom, model Montessori classroom, library, elementary classroom. When we started the space was just one vast area dedicated to provide space for a church. Each of these areas is now furnished with donated items and lovingly cared for.

Next, we will sit together and I will share a bit about our spiral model of development and how it applies to our daily work. Lately I have also been sharing with volunteers about their experience with COVID and now, more school shootings.

Service Field Visit

After this, we take a break, making sure everyone has water and head off to our designated project site. During the walk, we greet people and talk to them so they can tell their stories. We also tell the stories of the houses because we know who has lived there from 25 years ago! Projects include a hands on light construction project like painting the walls of every house in a particular sector, or making bunk beds for families, or distributing plants or even setting a big blanket on the ground and doing art with a sector of children.

Lunch Break

After about 2 hours, we will walk back to our main Montessori center where a delicious, healthy buffet meal will be waiting. We include a protein, green salad, fresh fruits, vegetables, rice, bread and a drink. As we are eating, the teen girls and grandmothers are setting up their crafts fair so we encourage everyone to wander around in order to see what souvenirs they would like to buy. These two groups run their own small business and the Foundation leaves the pricing and administration of the crafts up to their creators.

Debrief

While you are wandering, we are reconfiguring the classroom into a theater venue and voila…when you finish with your purchases, you return to the “theater” and one of our five productions will be presented. These plays are true stories about issues we deal with either in La Carpio or the world. They are all interactive and the audience gets to become part of our story. We then have a round table discussion with the actors followed by a short debrief with me.

Finally, as a tribute and a thank you to all our guests, we present everyone with a symbolic gift made by one of our grandmothers.If you are here for longer we have projects that are more complex and more time to spend with the beautiful, open hearted children of one of our three centers.

Your bus will pick you up right in front of our building and, safe and sound, you will be on your way.

What is the purpose of your visit?

First, we are proud of what we have accomplished thanks to all of you. We want to share our experiences and show you how we are all so equal dealing with the same human difficulties. We love to talk to you…in spite of some language differences. However, the kids have gotten over their shyness of volunteers and eagerly await the chance to practice their English and to be part of your project – helping to paint walls, install bunkbeds, mix cement, paint a mural.

Second, our medium term goal is to educate the children with the reading of interesting and informative books.We want to promote a population of readers. Most of the kids don’t have computers in their houses but are adept at using their phone. However….research is beginning to show that too much tik tok may not be so good after all. We want the children to find joy and enchantment in the act of reading.Our final goal which is long term, is for you to go away with hope, joy and commitment to the cause of easing suffering and not being afraid to try. There are so many things you can do right in your own neighborhood/country to make life better.

Also, we want to show everyone that this neighborhood called La Carpio is not the drug infested, violent place that it is often portrayed as in the press. it is a place of families and community that shares their victories and sorrows and sticks together.

If you would like to program a visit – it is NOT a tour – please give us a call or click here for more information on our volunteer programs.

Thank you

End of Year Teatro Expresivo

Pedro and Gail take some of the kids to el “Teatro Espressivo”.

Our end of year activities included a visit to Teatro Expresivo to see the delightful play ” A Christmas Carol” adapted to Costa Rican culture. Our chosen kids, who all got highest grades, laughed and got somber at the antics of the actors. Afterwards we treated them to a Cafe Britt hot chocolate and cookie. We are so grateful to Britt for making this activity possible for our population. La Carpio presente. In the front row….interacting with the actors on stage.

Alan Support

I dont usually ask this…but here is Alan. One year ago he fell from three stories in a construction site. He has fought all year to heal his broken legs successfully. But..he is back in the hospital with a high temperature of unknown origin. They are doing tests but if he doesnt improve he will go into icu. Where his mother died just two weeks ago. He has a rock solid relationship with an amazingly compassionate and kind woman, a sweet ten year old biological son and an adorable 4 year old stepdaughter. He has everything to live for. I am reciting psalm 23 to him whenever he calls me. I hope that the Lord is a good shepherd to Alan. I ask that people of faith hold him in their prayers.