Costa Rica ~ January 2006
This first trip was a perfect start to 2006! A dream team of contractors and skilled laborers from the Boston area partnered with a church in Alajuelita, Costa Rica to finish a school building project.
The team arrived on Saturday and was eager to work right away! However, Pastor Alberto Castro had other plans. We spent a day and a half getting to know the different ministries of the church. We visited both the men and women’s drug rehabilitation centers, the homeless facility for the elderly, the childrens feeding center and became acquainted with the private school at the church. Instead of just going in and doing work, we were forced to stop and take a look around to see not just the projects but the people. We had the opportunity to see the faces, meet the people and hear the stories of the people that we were serving. If we would have jumped right into laying tile or pouring cement we would have worked hard. However, with this moving experience, we were able to see our participation in this project in new light. There was more of an emotional ‘buy in’ that motivated us that much more as we tacked the project before us.
Once the team started work, we laid over a thousand square feet of tile, primed and painted much of the school as well as built and plumbed an entire septic system. There were many memorable moments; one being the night we worked past dark, using light from the team van to finish pouring the tank. One group reinforced the walls of the tank below as the rest of the team made and wheel barreled cement, pouring it into the form.
Our reward for all of our hard work was a day and a half at the beach. Most of the team played as hard as they worked. Half of the team surfed until they could barely drag themselves out of the ocean and the other half took a canopy tour, soaring over a hundred and fifty feet above the forest floor. It was great! The whole week and experience was amazing; the community and team unity that was built, the work that was accomplished, the lives that were impacted and the ongoing ministry that will take place as a result of our time in Costa Rica is immeasurable.