Last summer, I was funded by the CCE with Beyond El Campo, a rural education initiative whose mission is to provide quality educational opportunities to students and families of an under-served region of Costa Rica. Beyond el Campo has successfully opened the first public library of the region the town of Santa Cruz, which not only provides books (over and other vital resources but also offers educational programming, summer reading camps and after-school study support.
I lived with a host family who spoke only Spanish. As an intermediate Spanish speaker, my Spanish improved RAPIDLY–like magic– as I had to use it 24/7 to present myself to the community (with occasional assistance at first), taught classes (Latin and African Dance, Yoga, English, etc.), hosted events (Cafe Con Leches, Compromiso con La Comunidad and ministry work, etc.), started groups (book club and youth ministry), and occassionally funded events at the library with the funds I received from the CCE along with a donation at the end of my trip. In addition, I traveled around the city I worked and met amazing people who invited me to outings, their cabin houses and more, engaged with the community and participated in local events. made new friends that I stay connected with, and went to Manuel Antonio where I lived in a Selina hostel, went to the National Park, at yummy food, salsa-ed, bachata-ed, and reggaeton-ed the night away at a local club, and went on amazing adventures, before returning to get back to work and reunite with my host family in Santa Cruz. It was such an amazing journey, and I can’t wait to go back to Costa Rica, if only for a vacation. I’d definitely love to do it again!
Happy internship shopping, and if you apply for this one, good luck!