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Carbonera School Journal 2000 - 2001

26 June 00: One of the U.S. neighbors wasrecently telling me how delighted she is to witness progresswith the little girls of her caretaker. She feels the childrenare learning some English and having a better year at schoolthis year. With this woman as an example more of our "oncein a while" neighbors will take more interest in childrenof their caretakers. Almost 75 percent of the children atthe school have parents working for non-nationals who havevacation homes. What a shift since 1993.

While visiting with guests I met our neighbor woman who hadstarted cooking for the children. She helps with cleaning,too. The on-going battle of the uncut grass on the playingfield continues; although the soccer field gets cleaned manymore times per year than does the area near buildings.

I finally took a whole afternoon to rearrange all the giftsof books to the school, weeding out unusable books and distributingthem to the high school and other recipients in the village.During the process some of the children helped me clean outseveral years’ accumulation of termites, wasp nests,spider webs... Now the books are clean and invite readers.The new "library table and 8 chairs" has divideda classroom with a small space called, The Library.

Mid-August: Over the weekend the school wasrobbed. This time vandals took the bank of batteries and inverterto the solar electrical system. Yet again the community realizedtheir assets were at risk. Most rural schools commit a familymember to live at the school compound during the teacher’sabsence. No one here wants that responsibility. I was approachedwith a need to repair the electrical system. The replacementcosts will exceed $3,000. "The Association is willingto assist raising the money IF the community organizes a guardfor the school, equal to your homes."

Atthe request of the Rio Oro teacher, José, I went tovisit the little school near the Corcovado Park, 16 kilometersfurther up the mountain. They need financial help to offerbetter education. Nine children attend school, all sharingdesks, have no blackboards, books, etc. One family sends their3 children on one horse and José said they are alwaysin school, in spite of the 1-hour ride. This school has agarden of edible plants—extra education teaching an alternative/additionto rice and beans.

Sept.: The badly neglected Gestetner mimeographmachine finally was repaired. (The San José technicianreported never having seen such mold and insect accumulation."Never underestimate the power of the jungle", Itold him.) The teacher seems pleased with an alternative tomultiple carbon copies. Will he use it?

Nov.: It appears that almost all twenty childrenare prepared for the final exams. Excitement is high. Themimeograph machine is still not being used, lacking teacher‘confidence’. Talk is high about a graduation partyfor 3 students—to be held at the Lapa Rios Eco Lodge.

20 Dec.: Three families came to witness andcelebrate the sixth grade graduation with Fabiola, Jessicaand Mayra. In this part of Costa Rica graduation probablymeans the end to formal education, though Fabiola talks aboutgoing to San José for high school, along with her oldersister Dyana (sadly, last year’s graduating sister returnedhome after 1 month in high school). Jessica is awaiting theinvitation from vacation homeowners near the Matapalo Pointto attend high school in California, living with the family.The party was a big success—no cake remained.

2001: Feb. Jorge, our new teacher, appears eagerwith 14 students awaiting his guidance (more will come, surely).A jaguar reported near 2 farms is keeping 7 children at home.Watching parents in San José accompany their childrenhand-in-hand to school merely 2 blocks from home makes mewonder why parents here can’t share some of those samestandards. Jorge already has spent 3 years teaching at anotherrural school even more remote than the Carbonera so his ‘new’experience will include larger classes and many more supplies :-).

Jonathan, a teacher sent by World Teach, will live with theChavarria family and teach English lessons 1/2 hour per day.Hopefully his enthusiasm to live in the Osa will spread beyondteaching only the children: so many adults wish to learn Englishdue to their exposure to tourists.

Mar., ’01: After separating the numerous giftsfrom generous Lapa Rios guests—pencils, Crayons, markersand other goodies collected during the school holiday—theAsociación was able to present 10 Osa schools withsupplies. The decision to assist other schools in the SouthernOsa has been made based on observation and requests; manyschools have no blackboards, desks, and the necessary fundamentals.The Carbonera School has been built.

Paso Canoas Peace Corp Volunteer Megan organized 3 studentsfrom Goshen College in Indiana, USA to finish labeling andcarding all the donated library books lining the many shelves.Thanks Rachel Beyeler, Mindy Holsopple and Marc Jantzi foryour time and effort.

May: There is electricity once again at the Carbonera School. Thereplacement solar equipment finally arrived and was installed.GREAT Newsflash! The Rio Oro School will dedicate their newlyrebuilt classroom, thanks to the active Rio Oro communityof parents (and Goshen students for several days of labor).The Asociación-installed solar electrical system willalso be acknowledged on 14 June! How marvelous to spread themission of "building for education" to other schools.
Fortunately for our students Jorge is decorating the wallswith charts, pictures and many visual aids, providing stimulate/visuallearning during the children’s "sit time".

While visiting with guests I met our neighbor womanwho had started cooking for the children. She helps with cleaning,too. The on-going battle of the uncut grass on the playingfield continues; although the soccer field gets cleaned manymore times per year than does the area near buildings.

The school is a success due to the contributions of manypeople with many skills. When thinking about who we are becauseof our own education we can appreciate that education needsto be shared and available to all, especially in areas impactedby tourism. If you would like to share in the ongoing buildingof the Carbonera School, make your tax deductible contributions(memo: "Carbonera School")

to: Costa Rica-Minnesota Foundation, 2424 TerritorialRoad, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55114.

If you are in Lapa Rios write a check to ASOCIACION deEDUCACION de ESCUELA CARBONERA and leave it in the generaltip box at the reception desk. 100% of your gift helps continuebuilding the Carbonera School.

Lapa Rios, phone: (506) 2735-5130, fax: (506) 2735-5179, email: school@laparios.com


The school is a success due to the contributions of many peoplewith many skills. When thinking about who we are because ofour own education we can appreciate that education needs tobe shared and available to all. The world will be an easierplace to live-for everyone. If you would like to share in theongoing building of the Carbonera School, make your tax deductiblecontributions to:

Please Note New Address 8-2001:


Costa Rica-Minnesota Foundation,
2424 Territorial Road ,
St. Paul, Minnesota, 55114.

Tel (651) 645-410
Fax (651) 645 - 4684
Email: lupita.barahona@2424group.com
Contact person: Lupita Barahona

If you are in Lapa Rios make out a check to ASOCIACION de EDUCACION de ESCUELA CARBONERA and leave it in thegeneral tip box at the reception desk. 100% of your gift helpscontinue building of the Carbonera School.

Lapa Rios - The Carbonera School, Costa Rica. phone: 011(506) 2735-5130, fax: 011 (506) 2735-5179,