Our day began when the roosters once again crowed their morning alarm in Cuajiniquil. To kick things off, we made our way toward Elliot and Veronica’s home, where an American breakfast awaited us. As we ate, each bite reminded us of the home that felt a world away. During the following hours, students made progress on their independent projects by interviewing locals, uploading photographs, or editing videos—and worked on perfecting their Spanish in the process. A few visited Playa Junquillal, while others finished painting the salon or played soccer in 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, without any interference from the notifications, sounds, and beeps brought by 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 remained as groups once again parted ways to work on collaborative projects. Art and sports camps opened their doors, students hopped into pickup trucks bound for the beach, and others stayed home, basking in pure bliss. As the sun began its journey toward the horizon, some of us had the fortune to observe Elliot cooking dinner—who knew frying fish could be so captivating! I’ve come to notice that the smallest, most usual things are 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 bonded 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 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 slept too, resting up 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.