January: The summer vacation is almost over and Lapa Rios decided to invite the kids to the Dolphin tour as an award for their efforts. They went with Mareijke and Katie. They had a really fun day swimming with the dolphins and having lunch at the beach. They are excited to begin the lessons again.
February: School started. Grace is going to be the teacher again. We hope she will commit to this year of schooling with the kids and have a better relationship with the parents.
March: Jorge had a meeting with the parents about new ideas and projects for the school. He made clear that Lapa Rios can help them with the projects but the community must agree and support them. They are willing to cooperate with the improvements and move forward to it. Marijke and Jorge gave gifts to the kids sent by our guests. It was nice to see their happy faces when they opened the presents. Now they are enjoying their new soccer equipment and are listening to music with the new recorder.
April: The kids of the folkloric dance group have inquired for the possibility to learn more dances. They have received invitations from other lodges to perform their dances, however, because of the distance and tight schedules with the school, it is difficult that they can do it. Jorge and Marijke had agreed to contact Roberto and see the possibility for him to come back and teach new dances to the kids.
May: The kids started again with dance lessons from Roberto. He will come once a month to help our folkloric dance group coordinate new presentations. The kids will also explore a little bit more than just folkloric rhythms and learn some modern, southern daces. The kids are excited with the idea and have showed a lot of enthusiasm. Soccer is the big passion of Costaricans in terms of sports. Even women are very much into it. A group of women and girls form the Matapalo area gathered themselves to from a female soccer team. Immediately they started with a few soccer games against other teams. It’s good to see that they found something in common and it seems there are starting more new friendships around here.
June: The children are studying hard for their midyear exams at the end of this month. After the exams they are going to enjoy 2 weeks of vacations. Karen and Jorge had a meeting with Rafael, one of the members of the school board. Rafael was interested in painting the school and making some other physical improvements to the school. He also called for a meeting of the parents of the children and the owners and management of Lapa Rios. The idea of the meeting is to explain to everybody how the Asociacion de Educacion works and how decisions are made what is spent on what out of the school budget. We scheduled a meting for the fist week of August when Karen will be in Lapa Rios again.
July: Two weeks of vacation started first week of July and most of the kids left the Matapalo area to go to Puerto Jimenez, Perez Zeledón and even San Jose. Many visit with relatives.
August: We have requested support to the government to built a bridge over Carbonera River (the last river before arriving to Lapa Rios). When it rains hard the level of the water gets very high and it is difficult for the kids to pass safely on their way to the school. The community is willing to cooperate on building it. We (Karen, Jorge and Hans) had a meeting with the parents of the school. We explained how the money that was donated by guests is being spend and what the proposed projects are on the horizon. The idea is to support other schools in the area that have less teaching materials and not as good of an infrastructure. For the Carbonera school, painting with the help of Lapa Rios staff and the parents was scheduled for after the rainy season. Some parents are willing to put their share but others are still not that enthusiastic. It is a constant effort to motivate them and explain how important the education of their children is.
September: Lapa Rios hired Felipe as a Sustainability Coordinator, a new position in our organization. He will be in charge of all the issues related with sustainability. He has delivered educational materials among five schools in the Osa. The professors and students were so happy with the contributions. The idea is to support other schools nearby Lapa Rios and helping more kids.
The Carbonera School students celebrated the month of independence with several civic acts. The National Anthem was sang on the 14 th at 6:00 pm following the tradition, also the school was decorated with the Costa Rican national symbols.
October: A beach-clean up activity with the students is set up for the 28 th, which will cover from Matapalo to Carbonera. Lapa Rios donated some plastic containers and are already set up in the school and will function as recycling recipients. Felipe took some materials to the kids about recycling and explained it to them. The idea is to start a recycling center in the school, managed by the kids and for the use of the community. The Pto Jimenez Red Cross and the MINAE will also participate in this the first of many activities still to come.
November: This has been one of the toughest months for the children. It was quite difficult for them to attend lessons every day due to the heavy rains we had this month. For several days there was no way of crossing the rivers from Matapalo or Puerto Jimenez to Carbonera. Even though, the children studied really hard because the final exams are coming closer…
December: The last month of the school year started good. First of all the school exams for all grades, every kid passed them well and are allowed to continue the next grade. Then the 4 sixth graders prepared themselves really well for the Ministry exams and all four graduated! They had a small ceremony to celebrate all graduations and then all children left for their well deserved vacations.
This month we also had a change regarding our sustainability coordinator. Felipe doesn’t work with us anymore and Marijke is our new coordinator.
The Carbonera School is a success due to the contributions of many people with many skills. When thinking about who we are because of our own education we can appreciate that education needs to be shared and available to all. The world will be an easier place to live—for everyone. If you would like to share in the ongoing building of the rural Osa Peninsula schools, make your tax deductible contributions (memo: “School Association”) to: Costa Rica-Minnesota Foundation, 2424 Territorial Road, St. Paul, Minnesota, 55114. If you are in Lapa Rios make out a check to ASOCIACION de EDUCACION. Drop it in the general tip box at the reception desk.
Lapa Rios, Box 025216-SJO706, Miami, FL 33102
100% of your gift helps continue building the Osa Peninsula rural schools.
Lapa Rios, phone: (506) 2735-5130, fax: (506) 2735-5179 email firstname.lastname@example.org September 2005.