Day 4 (Part 2) Service Project and Day Camp

Day 4 (Part 2) Service Project and Day Camp

After breakfast, we drove from one side of the mountain valley (Escazu Region) around a round-about way to traverse to the other side of the valley.  The other side is Pavas.  There is only one way in and one way out due to the natural terrain and the fact that the valley does not have a bridge.  Pavas was originally a huge coffee plantation, and in the 1980’s there was a large influx of Nicaraguan refugees fleeing war.  The Costa Rica government did not know what to do with the refugees, so they gave them land – and told them to figure out how to make structures.  Fast forward to today, the area is very poor. The definition of poor is different for every country or area.  Regarding feeding a family of four, the poverty level in Costa Rica is about $400 USD. However, most people in Pavas are dealing with the equivalent of $100-$200 USD per month.  To put this in perspective, a gallon of milk costs 4,000 CRC (or about $8 USD)

There is a central road in Pavas Region and then small sections of the town spur off from the main path – and the further you get from the main road, the poorer you get.  This area is largely run by gangs, drug lords, and it is in general not a safe place. This place is in need of HOPE.

We first stopped in to the HOPE center and got a quick tour, and then we boarded the bus and crossed the street to the public school where we worked on the paint preparation as described in Part One. After a brief introduction, we learned the theme-song dance for the week, we prepared and readied the rooms for the crafts and activities.

At the appointed time, the kids started to arrive. We played games on the floor, coloring, Jenga.  I (Todd) created a Bob Ross picture on the floor with markers, and I got to practice my Spanish with one of the young girls. She had the colors I needed, and I realized I knew more Spanish than I realized -  Rojo por-favor…  Verde por-favor…. Gracias…..  and then a Bob Ross painting popped out…
Then the service started and we all went crazy with the theme song
At this point, all of the symbolic scraping and sanding that we did in the months prior kicked in and we executed the activities and crafts with greatness. That does not mean there were not hiccups, but we worked through them.

The bottom line was a change in the faces of many if not most of the kids. Many came in without expression – and some of them left clinging to their American (affectionately called Gringo).  Lastly we have been instructed that hugs are important to these kids, and one girl came up to Kaylee and literally held the hug for 20 seconds or so.

God is using our team to help make a difference in kids lives, and in this community. Thank you to everyone who generously gave toward this trip, your gifts are making a difference!

  • Please pray that we get rest, that we experience an infusion of God’s power and strength as we are working hard during the morning, and then get to bring the A game yet again with the kids in the afternoon.
  • Pray for health and safety.

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