The pulpería, or corner store, at the community center in Pérez.
The woman sitting in the middle is the mamá of two of the boys (Steven & Junior) that I grew very close with during the trip.
This is Colocho (curly-haired). He is the maintenance/security man at the community center and basically takes care of everything there. When we drove in on the first day he walked up to us and said, “My name in Colocho and I’m here to serve you” (but in spanish, of course). Everyday he would climb the avocado tree on the lot and give us all freshly picked avos.
When I was taking pictures of him it took me some time to change settings on my camera and so I told him, “Espera” (Hold on). He let out a sigh and said, “Cuando? Mañana?” (‘Till when? Tomorrow?), with a big smile on his face. Oh Colocho, always cracking sarcastic jokes :)
The area of Costa Rica in which we spent most of our time is called Perez Zeledon; the people there struggle with many issues such as drug and physical abuse, high rates of crime and unemployment, single-parent families, and poverty. Interacting with the kids there was amazing. From talking with them for even a short period of time, you could feel that there was such a heaviness in the stories of their life. Despite all the “junk” that these kids experience, their eminent joy and vigor for life never failed to amaze and inspire me.
The minimal amount of available leisure activities for the youth fuels their risk for falling into destructive lifestyles; such as becoming involved with the drug and crime scenes.
These social and economic problems have a large negative effect on both young adults and kids of the community. In hopes to create a healthy outlet and home for the youth of Perez, there is a community center that was built just for that; with an indoor soccer field, multiple outdoor fields, a corner store, classrooms, kitchen, and best of all.. a skatepark!
I have put off uploading photos from Costa Rica for some time now. Every time I start to post, I just stare blankly at the “caption” box; I can’t find the words to adequately express the story of each photo and my passion that comes along with them. I felt unable to fully share the magnitude of all that I had experienced, the love and passion in each person I had encountered, and the sheer beauty everywhere I looked. And yet, amidst all the beauty, I saw the pain and suffering and brokenness; and through this, I began to truly understand and grasp the inherent need for us to share God’s pure, endless love with the world.
Imagine; just, imagine.
I’ve had this soundtrack on replay.
Movie may not have been alll that I had hoped… Thanks for that, Maguire. Still, Fitzgerald sure knows how to create a story. I forgot how great it was. Also.. Leonardo is amazing. Period.