Community Service in Costa Rica

Story by Jacob Hill, Staff Writer

While some students may have sat on the couch every day this summer, senior Shea Smith decided she wanted to do something to help the less fortunate. Being able to do that in Costa Rica was definitely a plus.

“We went to this place called La Carpio where Nicaraugian refugees are,” Smith said. “We built bunkbeds, mixed concrete for houses, played with the kids, and built a house on the beach.”

While it was hard work, it taught her the value in working with her own hands and making a difference.

“We had to mix the concrete by hand and haul it over in wheelbarrows,” Smith said. “But in the end, it was worth it because it looked so good.”

While there was a language barrier, playing with the kids was Smith’s favorite part of the trip.

“We colored, sang songs, did stupid dances, played house, and made pictures with those night bright things,” Smith said.

Shea said she thought the kids also enjoyed themselves. One love-stricken boy even drew her friend, Ellen Orr, with a heart with the words “I love you” on it.

While this does sound almost like a real vacation, she had to get down and dirty at one point, bagging a whopping 400 bags of manure for a local farm.

“While that wasn’t my favorite part of the trip, I knew that the people really appreciated our help,” Smith said. “That made it worth it for me.”