When we arrived on Saturday, the culture shock hit me so hard. I wasn’t able to fully comprehend what I had got myself into. Here I am in a land where I don’t speak the language and don’t know my way around. I initially thought of Heredia as a dangerous place where I have to afraid of everything. But after spending a few days there, I’ve learned that it’s much safer and fun than I could’ve ever imagined.
Today, as we drove through the countryside, I saw that the further away we got from the city, the less stores and homes we encountered. I found it interesting that there were many more stores than homes on this route. The towns that we passed through were compact in the sense that they had what they needed in the town: a church, grocery store, and doctor’s office.
Something I found quite interesting was the amount of buildings on mountain sides. As we got closer to Monteverde, the mountains got larger and larger, but that didn’t stop people from building on them. There were farms and homes and even some villages in the valley between mountains.
When we were driving, I found that there were more street vendors compared to Heredia. In Heredia, there are many stores and sodas that line the streets. Once you leave the city, there are many vendors who sit on the side of the road selling fruits, drinks, and fresh food.
Since arriving Saturday, I have found that Costa Rica is a very large land with many opportunities within. From traveling to San Jose, Heredia, and Monteverde, I’ve seen people living in different situations and thriving in different ways. My overall understanding of the country has shifted away from the idea that it’s old and not modern at all. Costa Rica is a thriving country with rich history and lovely people. It’s modern and constantly evolving.