This is Lisa, Jill and Kiley giving you an update on our immersion trip in Costa Rica. We had a very busy week visiting the neuropsychological clinic at UNIBE, learning and improving our Spanish, volunteering at an elementary school, and attending a lecture on mental health in Costa Rica. Given that other students have focused their blog on the neuropsychological rotation and the lecture, this blog will primary focus on our time volunteering at the elementary school.
I have really enjoyed my time at the elementary school (Miguel Obregon). It has given me (and us) the chance to truly understand the context of a child’s life, here in Costa Rica. It has been a humble experience to get to know the kids and engage with them in class and recess. I have especially enjoyed recess and feeling as though I have my own fan club! Every minute I have with the children at the school I try making it a teaching moment, in hopes of leaving an imprint somehow.
In hopes of somehow having an influence over the environment and children at the school, the administration sought our help in having a discussion on bullying to certain groups at the school who have been identified as “problematic.” We presented on bullying in two classrooms and designated some students as school “ambassadors” in taking a stand against bullying. Some of the kids were very enthusiastic about this role, and my hope is that they do take a stand and act when needed.
Overall, our experience in Costa Rica has been incredibly beautiful, emerging, fulfilling, and informative about Latino culture and mental health.
See you next week!
Lisa, Jill and Kiley