The scenery we drove through today is drastically different from that of the Central Valley. The Central Valley is extremely busy. There is always traffic, noise, and people running around. In Heredia there are sodas and convenience stores within a matter of a few meters, shops and establish restaurants very close by, and most of the time the houses are inches apart from one another or even touching. Monteverde, on the other hand, exhibits nature more than anything else. We drove over mountains on gravel road, we saw wild animals quite frequently, and most of the time neighbors were acres apart. As I sit on my bed in El Establo Hotel, the noise I hear are insects, like crickets, and birds rather than the sound of Heredia where cars are bustling, people are yelling, and music is playing.
Since I arrived on Saturday, my perception of Costa Rica has been significantly altered. I almost stereotyped the Ticos; I assumed they all would look somewhat similar and have some similar views, especially views that involved not particularly liking gringos. Residing in Heredia, I realized that some Ticos are classic looking with the popular opinion, in which they find us, gringos, annoying or even obnoxious. However, not all people act in this manner. Most of the time Ticos are very friendly and they attempt to communicate in both English and Spanish with us. Also, especially in Monteverde, all Ticos look different. After hearing about the history behind Monteverde, how Quakers from Alabama built the region, Ticos may look like any one of us. Our speaker is of Quaker descent, yet he is still a Tico. It was wrong of me to generalize an entire population of people to one definition.
The long bus ride today helped me to think about all of the different environments Costa Rica has to offer, there are lively cities, quiet sunny plantations, beautiful beaches, and preserved natural rainforests. So far, this trip has been a refreshing and life-altering experience. I’m excited for our service project tomorrow, and I cannot wait to see all of the beautiful landscapes Monteverde has to offer.