Connecting Through Service
When asked about their experience in developing these projects in Costa Rica, this is what our students had to say:
Doing community service is very rewarding; you can actually see the difference in what you do, especially with the one at the preschool. People walk by it everyday, people see that kids can now play. It's a great way to interact with the locals, with a wide variety of people. It takes me to different places in Costa Rica that I wouldn't go to as well as gives me connections and friendships.
The people who receive the help are gracious for the help in ways that I have not seen before, they provide direction but they don’t feel the need to oversee; there is an inherent trust in the people. They all treat us as friends. I’ve gotten out of it a renewed desire to learn the language and a respect for the costa rican culture that runs deeper than I expected.
Our students engage in meaningful community service projects all over Costa Rica with local Ticos. This allows them to connect with different populations in need and learn to value their own contributions as well as the relationships that one can develop with any human being.
Bridge students will do at least 50 hours of community service, and easily reach 150 before they graduate.
A couple of students recently shared a morning with the center for special needs in our town, where they made breakfast, danced and taught them some English. The gratitude and bond was visible and reciprocal.
We were part of Costa Rica's biggest pilgrimage, walking 15km to the famous Los Angeles cathedral. We supported the thousands of other pilgrims in their petitions and also petitioned for our friends and family.