Costa Rica - Pura Vida!
Hola. Pura Vida! You may not know a lot of Spanish, but in Costa Rica, you learn these words pretty fast. “Pura Vida” means “Pure Life” and just that quickly our mission trip had a simple but powerful theme. When I decided to go to Costa Rica for a spring break “with a purpose” this year, I really wasn’t sure exactly what I signed up for. I had never been on a mission trip. I thought maybe we would meet some new people, see new places, and lots of church services. We did do those things, but what I wasn’t expecting was the close connections we would make with the women and children of the Nambi/ Santa Ana community, the intense Senior Bingo games, the amazing friends that we made, the closeness of our team and oh yeah - the heat! We helped lead a women’s ministry, visited a school, delivered food, helped with construction and played Bingo with the elderly. Though I didn’t think too much about the projects at first, I soon had a lot of respect for the people of the community who volunteer their time every day to work with the church because in 103-degree heat it is not easy to lay concrete or dig a trench! Another one of our favorite activities was going to a local school. We had an hour to play with a class of Kindergarteners, and it was so cute to see their excitement when we pulled out the bubbles, bracelets, chalk, and a soccer ball! After visiting those children I wasn’t sure if the trip could get any better, but the women’s ministry was one of the most impactful things that we did in Costa Rica. The mothers shared their experiences, concerns, and amazing stories with us, and we were able to pray with each of them. We loved all of the amazing things that we did on this mission trip, but the most enthusiastic, by far, was our Bingo party! The Seniors in the community had never played Bingo before, so after we taught them how to play, it was so fun to see how excited and intense they became while playing! While our group was in Costa Rica, we made a lot of connections with the local community that had a significant impact on each of us. Costa Rica is a beautiful country: however it is the people who live a daily routine with a happiness and faith based on the simple yet strong belief, Pura Vida.
- Mattie Garrett