Local Roots Fellow Mariah

“My experience in Costa Rica thus far has been an amazing one. In the home stay, it’s incredible to feel like I actually belong in this community. At the beginning, I felt a bit lost and couldn’t understand much around me, but as time has gone on, I feel at home. I’m comfortable around my host family, and they truly have become a family to me. I’m able to laugh and crack jokes with them and I love being fully immersed in the culture. I’m not able to speak any English with my host family and I can keep up with most conversations and what is happening. 

It’s a challenge for me to convey what I want to say to my family and tell them stories with them actually understanding what I am trying to say. We all have to figure out how to communicate with our families and that has become one of the biggest accomplishments because we have been able to become a part of a family that speaks a different language. Nothing could take away from this experience. It’s so beautiful to connect with so many different people and completely live a different lifestyle. It’s hard to consider that this is almost over, because it seems so short and this time has flown by. I know that as we grow, we will always take a part of this trip with us”. -Mariah

Local Roots Fellow Michelle

“The trip of our lives is nearing its end. Nobody wants this trip to be over no matter how excited we are to see our families and be back home. We formed a bond with each other automatically and within a few short weeks have become a family. We really connected and are already talking about having a reunion. Being with such a cohesive group makes the experience even more amazing. We are not only sad to leave each other but heart-broken to leave our homestay families. They welcomed us with open arms and took us in as their own children. My parents even refer me as their own daughter or “hija”. San Gerardo has become our home away from home and we are not ready to say good-bye”. -Michelle