Omprakash/AM Cross-Cultural Workshop - Part I: Arriving in Costa Rica [Español]

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As partner of The Omprakash Foundation, I applied in March for the Stipend Award for a Cross-Cultural Workshop in Costa Rica. Some time ago Omprakash informed me that they had given me the stipend to attend the workshop. So I got myself prepared to attend the Omprakash Cross-Cultural Workshop in Costa Rica - organized by Opening Minds.  Arriving in Costa Rica… After recently arriving in Costa Rica and coming from the winter of Buenos Aires (5 degrees), the first challenge was to adapt myself to an average of 28 degrees. Having landed at the east coast of the country and needing to travel to the west coast for the conference, (around 5 hours on the bus), my first encounter with the locals was with the people on the bus. It was great to start to get to know the locals from the host country of the event. From the first conversations with the taxi driver, the supermarket attendent and someone who asked for directions, I felt glad for the first time that we speak the same language. Then came the information that they have a female president, they love football, that they don’t have an army, that they have almost inexistent industrial development and that the majority of the people live off tourism. A high percentage of the population speaks english perfectly. On arrival at the west coast on Playa Portrero in the region of Guanacaste, members of the host organisation welcomed me and took me with a local family who would provide me with accomodation for the whole week. I was then ready to rest for the next day when I would give the first presentation of the conference.

Why is it so important to attend events such as this? Because the exchange of knowledge and insight is a fundamental tool for social organizations who, through the understanding and experience of others, can find creative solutions for social problems and in turn know how to manage volunteers to build succesfull exchanges.  

Llegando a Costa Rica… Recién llegada a Costa Rica y viniendo desde el invierno de Buenos Aires (5 grados), el primer desafío fue adaptarse a un promedio de 28 grados. Habiendo arribado en la costa este del país y debiendo viajar a la costa oeste para la conferencia, (unas 5 horas de bus), mi primer encuentro e intercambio se produjo con las personas del lugar. Fue perfecto comenzar conociendo a los habitantes del país anfitrión del evento. De las primeras conversaciones, el taxista, el señor del supermercado, una persona a quien pregunté una localización, surge en primera instancia la felicidad de hablar el mismo idioma. Poder comunicarnos verbalmente es un paso importante al momento de intercambiar. Luego algunos datos como que tienen una presidenta mujer, que les gusta el fútbol, que no tienen ejército, que tienen un casi nulo desarrollo industrial y que la mayoría de las personas vive del turismo. Un alto porcentaje de la población habla ingles perfectamente. Llegando a la costa oeste a Playa Potrero en la región de Guanacaste, me recibieron miembros de la organización anfitriona y me llevaron con la familia local para que me alojara durante toda la semana. Ya estoy lista para descansar y al día siguiente dar la primera presentación de la conferencia. ¿Por qué es importante participar en este tipo de eventos? Porque el intercambio de conocimientos y puntos de vista son una herramienta fundamental para las organizaciones sociales, quienes a través del escuchar y entender experiencias de otros, pueden encontrar soluciones creativas para los problemas sociales, a la vez saber más sobre el manejar grupos de voluntarios para lograr intercambios exitosos.

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