Global Volunteers Team 212: Dura Vida?? Pura Vida!

July 25th 2011
What a fantastic day our first day of volunteering turned out to be! We started with a delcious breakfast at the Mar-Inn of eggs, toasts, fresh fruit (watermelon, bananas, and papaya) and then headed out to work. July 25th is the Costa Rican holiday of the Annexation of Guanacaste (Nicoya) so we worked at the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. The reserve opened in early 1992; the land was orignally forest, then cut down to build pastures for cattle, and eventually the reforestacion began.
Walter, one of the reserve workers, introduced us the reserve and the history of it. The reserve works in tandem with the high school in Santa Elena. According to Walter, the highschool orignally offered a lot of agricultral classes that dealt with farming cattle, chickens, etc. Now, they cut back a lot of classes that deal with farming agriculture and introduced botany type agricultural courses for students as well. From my understanding, high school students who specialize in the latter will work at the reserve for class, and after graduation work there for an internshipexternship. Walter also mentioned that him and some of the other reserve workers really enjoying paying futball americano and built a team and they play other teams on a synthetic turf field in town.
At the reserve, we helped haul gravel up a hill approximetly 14 mile up a hill into the forest. The gravel is being used to maintain some of the trails that have been built throughout the years. We started work about 8(?) o´clock. We had lunch at the reserve and it was delicious — we had rice, beans, pork, juice. After all of our trailblazing (not quite, but poetic license let´s be dramatic…) through the forest, Walter and the other reserve workers showed us pictures of animals that their night cameras had caught. There were wild boars, pumas, and a leopord!! Glad we saw the pictures after we out of the forest for the day!

When we returned to Mar-Inn we relaxed, walked down to the town, had a meeting, and ate dinner. I must say, today was a success! 🙂

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