by Dr. Danny Recio, PhD
The Bridge ~ Costa Rica will begin a hibernation period as our last student returns to the USA on July 17, 2020. For how long? We are not sure yet; it could be a few weeks, but it could end up being longer than that. The progression of the pandemic will dictate our actions.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we decided to remain committed to guiding our enrolled students to appropriate closure of their process with us. And we have. We exercised tons of creative power to provide them with the best experience given the circumstances. And now, as Costa Rica’s borders are staying closed, and strict guidelines of social distancing continue, we feel it is best not to take any new students for the time being.
It felt important to our integrity to stay on with the students we had, and it feels important to our integrity now to only take students until we can fulfill our mission in the way we have designed it; or until we design something else. The Bridge has been designed to have the world be the main therapist and teacher: the ride in the public bus into the city, the journey and immersion in a rural community, the local friendships, the perfect internship with a caring mentor, going to college in a foreign country. Those are all attenuated or dormant under our current conditions.
So, we have decided to take a nap…and do what people do when they sleep: reenergize, dream, assimilate information and learn from experiences lived!
As I begin to reflect on these experiences lived, tons of images flash through my head and I experience immense satisfaction at feeling like we have fulfilled our mission:
“to support societal and global wellbeing through providing small scale experiences that will guide young adults to become more responsible, fulfilled and compassionate members of society on a larger scale”
Thus, just like the world has been our main therapist and teacher, it is for the world that we have worked hard for the past 8 years. Yes, for the young men of course! But not so they become more self-centered and focused on their own pleasure seeking, but so they become empowered agents of change, so they realize that the world needs their own unique talents, even if they felt most of their life they had no talents or direction, and had to come all the way to a foreign land to find them.
I am convinced this is a good mission, and we have data from our participants, publications, and research to support it. I am sure this mission will prevail because it helps its primary clients, it helps the world, it is resilient and it is adaptive. We are immensely thankful to all of you who have participated of our community. Rest assured that we will improve this mission and continue it, like the life that magically springs in a forest after a devastating fire.
And yet, I wonder if when the day arrives, I will feel like we are taking a nap or we are waking up from an 8 year dream. If that is so, I am sure I will regard it as one the most amazing dreams I have ever had…
Thank you all for your continued support of The Bridge - Costa Rica. We do believe that now, more than ever, the cross-cultural experiences that we provide are crucial to awakening empathy, equality, equity and life long learning and connection.