La Gloria

Published: November 25th 2010
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Yesterday was a big day, not only was it my 25th birthday, but it was also site assignment day which is when we all find out where we're going to live for the next year or two years for most people. To make the day more interesting and enjoyable Peace Corps was kind enough to bring us all to a nice country club outside of San Jose. This club was equipped with several swimming pools, lounge chairs, hot tub and sports facilities and it was a beautiful sunny day. So I got to spend my birthday basking in the sun by the pool, couldnt ask for a better day (Thanks Posh Corps). At lunch, we had a delicious thanksgiving meal that the staff made for us with turkey, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and stuffing. The only thing missing from the day was a pina colada in my hand by the pool, but you cant have everything and later in the evening I was able to consume my favorite drink, nice cold fresh strawberry margaritas. Right when we got to the club the site announcements would be made and I was already expecting some kind of elaborate game of torture that they would play with us to increase the suspense. Since it was my birthday along with another girl, we got the honors of participating in a pin the tail on the donkey type game of being blindfolded and directed by our peers to where our site was on the map of Costa Rica. I took off my blindfold and quite honestly was a little disappointed by where i found myself pointing. My site,called La Gloria de Puriscal, looked to be very close to San Jose which is the opposite of what I was picturing. I was expecting to be very far from San Jose and rural. But after reading up on it more, I found myself much more content with this placement.
La Gloria is a small very rural community of about 300 people, 2 hours south of San Jose. My counterpart is the president of the local ECC (Empresario Credito Comercial), a micro credit institution which provides loans to micro entrepreneurs, and most likely I will be working with this institution with business planning and management. There is also potential to work with small farmers and the local womens group who requested business help with their bee business, which should be very interesting to learn more about. I could also be teaching computer and english potentially if there's interest. It is really hard to tell without going to the community what it's going to be like so I'm keeping an open mind. Next week we have a workshop with our counterpart at a retreat center in Tres Rios and then we go to visit our sites with our counterpart for 6 days. At that point I should have some more information and pictures to share of La Gloria. More to come soon...


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