Blogs from Central America Caribbean - page 6


In November of 2014, I felt the New Year creeping up on me fast. I wanted to do something different than the traditional countdown at my uncle's house. I wanted to get away, and go somewhere I haven't gone before. And I did just that. Spending the New Year of 2015 in Puerto Rico, has to be my favorite New Year's celebration thus far. I was able to travel with my very own tour guide! My boyfriend, Adrian, born and raised in the island of Puerto Rico, was able to plan our entire trip and help maximize our time there. It was a vacation filled with adventure and love. Meeting many of his family members and being accepted by this loving community of native 'Boriquas'. Upon our 9am arrival on Dec. 31st, I was welcomed with ... read more
Culebra, Flamenco Beach
Cueva Ventana
Cueva del Indio

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Matanzas March 22nd 2015

Teaching in Matanzas (blog post by Kim) My teaching at the Evangelical Seminary of Matanzas has been a divine blessing. I have taught Conversational English, Integrating Theatre into the Church and I am currently teaching dulcimer lessons. I look forward to hearing some salsa rhythms being hammered away on the dulcimer! I am also continuing to teach classes in Theological English. These classes assist students in being able to use academic resources that are in English, such as Bible commentaries, theology and church history books and articles, etc. It has been my privilege to work with these students, to learn from them and to listen to their testimonies. One of my favorite parts of my teaching has been to integrate Biblical passages, such as the parables of Jesus, into the class. It has been especially gratifying ... read more
Dulcimer student
English students
Morning Fog over the Bay of Matanzas

Off to La Fortuna to brave fate that the volcano will not blow it’s top while we are there. I suppose living here is like living in L.A. or Vancouver. People just go through their lives knowing that they risk certain death waiting for “The Big One”, which will dump them into the Pacific Ocean. The road was much better than I had been led to believe. Paved all the way and only a 50 km section that wound its way up and down, round and round the mountain range. Not being sure of the local bus service or road conditions, we hired a tourist van for transport. Well satisfied with this so we will continue with this option for the rest of the trip. We arrived at our destination about noon and were warmly greeted ... read more
Arenal Volcano from our Room
Good Restaurant
El Novillo Steak House

This is the second part of the Combo Tour we took in Costa Rica. After the visit to the Doka Coffee Estate our party of 13 with our guide and driver, continued to the Poas Volcano National Park. Again, the journey was mostly uphill along winding roads. I thought to myself at that time that I wouldn't want to do this on foot! On the way we stopped at a store where we were offered free samples of the local wine and fresh strawberries. Although I am not much of a wine drinker I opted for it. It was quite good but didn't really slake my thirst as they were served in tiny cups! Anyhow, after the usual restroom visits we got back into our van and reached our next destination, the Poas National Park in ... read more
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Alajuela, Costa Rica

January 5th The title says it all, right? I confess that occasionally I feel so overwhelmed by what has happened in the course of a day or two that I don't know where to start writing. Today felt like an initiation day. I met all of the teachers and cooks: Maribel (secretary and my co-teacher for the first couple of months), Cristy (the director of the school), Carina (cook), Silvia (cook), Carolina (1st grade), Blanca (2nd), Wendy (3rd and Kaqchikel teacher, which is a Mayan language), Daniel (4th), Walter (5th). I was feeling slightly timid, but the language barrier obviously was making it difficult for me to be out-spoken. I understand about 75% of conversation, the little connecting words to bigger nouns and adjectives are what I don't always catch. However, I'm still getting context when ... read more

Like many airports around the world, as soon as you clear customs, a swarm of hawkers offering lodging and transport surrounded us. Claudette got disorientated but was sound enough to choose the right coloured taxi. Thirty seven dollars Can. to downtown. Our hotel, the Fleur de Lys, is a converted old colonial mansion about a 10 minute walk from the centre of town. The renovations are tastefully done with respect for the original fabric. Lots of fine wood wainscoting. Many grand open public spaces on each floor. Colourful artwork on the walls. Our room was large with high ceilings. We went for a walk to stretch our legs after our long flight. The city is quite clean. Very little litter. Not even many cigarette butts. We saw very few people smoking. No smoking in restaurants ... read more
Fleur de Lys Hotel
Terrace  Hotel Fleur de Lys

This is the first part of the Combo tour we took in San Jose, Costa Rica in April 2013. This tour comprised of the Doka coffee estate, Poas volcano and La Paz Waterfall Gardens, all of them located in Alajuela province. On the morning of the tour we managed to have a quick breakfast at our hotel before the tour van came to fetch us at 6:30. We were the first to be picked up, and 11 more people from various hotels around San Jose got on the van to make a total of 15 (including the guide and driver) in our party. We didn't complain about our early pick up though, because we had the chance to see different parts of the city as we went from hotel to hotel for the other passengers. Our ... read more
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Alajuela, Costa Rica

The alarm starts beeping at 5:15am to let me know it's time to wake up. I jump in the shower and my body is severely asking for caffeine, too bad I don't drink coffee or tea. 5:50am rolls around and I put my valuables in the safe. It was highly recommended to do that while you are away from the hotel. My tourism bus is about 10 minutes late, but after noticing yesterday's insane traffic I seriously can't blame them. They read off the roll sheet to make sure we have everyone. After all is accounted for we leave and head to Dorka Coffee Plantation to see how coffee is grown and made. I'm the only one on the bus that is by themselves and it's quickly noticed by the other tourists. We get to Dorka ... read more
restaurant art
Coffee Beans

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua With high winds blowing we relaxed on the ship, had a leisurely breakfast in one of the dining rooms, then took the elevator down to deck 4 to get a tender to town. Wow what a choppy boat ride into this small port and town. San Juan del Sur is a small town on a horseshoe shaped harbor. Even though we have been told there is not much to see here (many people have opted for the long ride to Grenada or Managua) we elected to poke around today. Today we are happy to just wander around, shop, have a great local lunch and check email. We get off the tender and find ourselves at the far right of the harbor. There is nothing here and only a dirt road heading ... read more
2. Cope at the church
3. Buying hair clips from an artist
4. Lunch with chicken and plantains

Puntarenas, Costa Rica: Coffee Farms, Ox Carts and Sand Sculptures After 3 days at sea coming up from Lima, Peru we are in Puntarenas, Costa Rica in middle of Central America. We are quickly reminded that we are, once again, in the land of very hot and humid. The air feels great. Well, it turns out that we have a brand new Marcopolo bus today. It is the inaugural run and Miguel will be our driver. Both Miguel and our tour guide, Jonathan are very proud of this bus, as well they should be ;-) It has leather seats, sits 18” higher than their old buses and has, according to Miguel, a huge engine ;-) We are heading out into the mountains and countryside today. As we leave Puntarenas, we have water on both sides of ... read more
1. Coffee Beans
2. Coffee Seedings
3. Cope Drying the coffee beans

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