Our day began as the roosters crowed their morning alarm, once again, in Cuajiniquil. To kick things off, we made our way toward Elliot and Veronica’s home, where an American breakfast awaited us, offering an array of traditional foods we would normally find in our pantries. As we ate, each bite reminded us all of the home that feels more than a world away. Not a crumb could be found on the plates as we finished. During the following hours, students made progress on their independent projects by interviewing locals, uploading photographs or editing videos whilst, naturally, perfecting their Spanish all throughout. A few visited Playa Junquillal, while others finished painting the salon with Agusto, our local program coordinator, or played soccer through the streets of the village. For lunch, we returned to our ordinary, yet delicious, plate of rice and beans. We cleaned up, walked back to the house and for a moment, time stood still—we were relaxed, truly together, without any interference from the notifications, sounds, and beeps brought about too often by our constant focus on technology.

Pranav and Rasika, enjoying an American breakfast in Elliot and Veronica’s home.

Pranav and Rasika, enjoying an American breakfast in Elliot and Veronica’s home.

Our peace kept its presence as groups parted ways once again, and embarked on their collaborative projects. Art and sports camp opened their doors, students hopped into pickup trucks on the way to the beach, and others stayed home, basking in simple, pure bliss. As the sun began its journey south, some of us had the fortune to observe Elliot’s cooking before dinner—who knew frying fish could be so captivating! As a matter of fact, I noticed that the smallest, most unusual things are the most appreciated and held sacred here in Cuajiniquil. Everyone acknowledges the virtue of simplicity, and doesn’t spend a day without paying their respect to the basic necessities that keep the families, and this beautiful town, running.

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After dinner, some students fell in love with Veronica, Elliot’s daughter. Time flew by as we washed the dishes together, and she led us to her bedroom, where we played Spotify’s Top 50 in Costa Rica. We laughed, talked, yelled, and gossiped to the extreme until we had to make our way back to our ‘home.’ We showered and ran around, until the only thing left was silence. The roosters rested too, as they got ready for a new day.

Check out more photos from our adventures in Costa Rica!

Enjoying the sunset in front of our Playa Junquillal campsite. Photo by Chloe M.

Enjoying the sunset in front of our Playa Junquillal campsite. Photo by Chloe M.