Last weekend at Matapalo Beach, a surf and volleyball tournament was
held in benefit of the Carbonera School. All the parents, the teacher and the
neighbors helped in one way or another to organize this special activity for
the people of the community and for the kids.
People came from everywhere and enjoyed the activity in peace. Everyone
had a great time and the parents raised a lot of money that will be invested to
improve the infrastructure of the school.
One of my students participated in the tournament; he loves to surf and
he´s really good at it!
Everyone was happy, the parents were proud because all their hard work had
paid off and the kids were happy just enjoying themselves.
Some time ago, I took two couples on a tour to the school who were mesmerized
by the way the children here grow up. I remember they were in shock because the
kids go surfing by themselves, but also I remember how defeated their eyes
looked when I asked them what do they prefer, to have their children surfing
alone or to have their children playing videogames all day long without any
supervision? At the end, what is worse?
Here kids don´t have full access to internet to check their facebook
every five minutes, but they still have the freedom of taking their shoes off
just to run through the damp grass; they do not need a virtual life because,
even with all the needs they may have, they are occupied
living a life where creativity and dreams are allowed.
Wild nature, adventure, good food and a lot fun are all things you can expect when you come to Lapa Rios. However that’s not
everything you can come for, connecting with the customs of locals is part of the eco-traveling
philosophy.It has been proven that a
great way for our guests to interact with locals is through sports and what is
better than playing the national sport of ticos, “mejenga” or soccer? Every week
we at Lapa Rios arrange soccer matches that involve guests, Lapa Rios staff,
Carbonera School children and other members of the community.
Through sports like soccer, guests practice Spanish
and learn more about the way of the people living in the South of Costa Rica.
Additionally, playing soccer has healthy benefits like getting rid of the
stressful life in the city and offers a great work out. You
don’t have to be a Ronaldo or a Leo Mesi to play this sport, the only thing you
will need is a little of sense of fun and a pair of sneakers.
See below the pictures of the match held last week.
The final score was guests 4, Locals 0. Hard to believe it ehh? : )
While staying at Lapa Rios, everyone goes on our
fantastic hikes with the guides into the reserve. But aside from those, we also
offer several outside excursions that are definitely worthwhile. One of these,
waterfall rappelling, is done only 15 minutes away from the lodge and challenges
you down to four amazing waterfalls, the last one about 70 feet high.
important for our front desk and reservation staff to understand how these
tours are done, so we took them on this tour last week and we all had a blast! We
definitely recommend the waterfall rappelling!!
WR1 pic: from left to right: Royer (front desk), Carlos
(reservations), Greivin (front desk), Marijke (GM), Kyra (reservations) and
The Carbonera Area is one of the most spectacular ones of all the regions that function as natural corridors among adjacent areas and the Corcovado National Park. One of the main factors that keeps this area untouched and biodiverse intense is the distance from civilization. The difficult access and the transportation challenge show the commitment that the local lodges have to maintain sustainable practices in their operations that include the social- cultural, economic, and environmental aspects.
The population in this area is not very large and is formed by small towns and houses scattered in the area. Most of the children have the possibility of an education by assisting to one of the 3 small schools in existence, but in some cases they have long walks near the jungle or they have to take a truck/bus, a pick-up truck with a cattle bed with no special customizations, to go to school. Albeit they have access to primary education, there are many other services that are not easy to acquire and that require a trip to Puerto Jimenez. That trip takes more than 1 hour. Most families do not own a car, making it necessary to take a “colectivo”, the same truck/bus mentioned before, that transfers people to and from Puerto Jimenez twice a day. This difficulty means that in order to have access to other services, primarily health and dental care services, it will require a full day trip.
Being aware of these difficulties, Lapa Rios, the Social Program of the Universidad de Costa Rica (a Costa Rican public university) and some of the local lodges; started last year with a Dental Health Care program that brings dentists and assistants to this remote location, to check out all local families, free of charge. This year we hosted this program again around the end of May.. People from the different local communities, children from the Carbonera, Rio Oro and Rio Piro School and staff of the lodges, had the chance to see these professionals within the Lapa Rios property.
During these days, the dentists from the Universidad de Costa Rica performed more than 60 dental procedures. They also took the opportunity to educate the children from the schools, and the staff at the lodges, on preventive dental health care and the importance of having good dental hygiene habits.
The work to make this all happen was by no means small, from organizing and inviting people, to the actual transportation of professionals and their equipment in 4x4 vehicles, to setting up the temporary clinic and lodging for the days they stayed and so on... But today, we all agree that those warm smiles waving goodbye were well worth the effort, even more now because they are healthy smiles.
Puerto Jimenez Arts Festival for Young Adults
Author: Estíbaliz Hidalgo Castro
Last Friday, Puerto Jiménez High School organized the Festival de las Artes (Arts Festival) opening showcasing artistic scenarios for the students that attend this institution. They presented different activities like dancing, singing and theater.
I was invited as a judge for the different categories and although during my teenage years I participated in activities related to visual arts, I have never been involved in music or acting, so I definitely wasn´t the best choice for this job, but at least I had a good time.
The most important thing that I noticed right away was that all the students there cheered and supported their fellow students who were doing the presentations.
Everyone seemed to have a great time and the presentations were really creative and inventive. These kinds of activities are really important for the development of youth, especially in places like Puerto Jiménez where healthy and creative recreation spaces are rare.
An Ecolodge in Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, Lapa Rios offers a rainforest vacation you will never forget.