Posts filed under ‘Latin America’

The One Thing That Really Matters

.:{Hint Hint: It’s Not Money}:.

Tonight was very interesting for me. My host mom’s family that lives in the states, in Florida, is here visiting for the week. They are very nice people, but they embody the “American Stereotype” ie: only like to eat fast food—and a lot of it— like to have a lot of money, and enjoy quantity over quality.

I was talking with the dad, who used to live in Costa Rica, about if he would ever move back here or what his thoughts were about the two countries. His answer was very interesting. He immediately started talking about money. And his job. And more about money. And how he does not like his job at all, but it’s good money. And how life would be better if he didn’t have to work as much. But at least he can go to nice restaurants and has a big house and can buy a lot of stuff right?

It was in that moment, when our conversation straddled my two worlds, that I realized the main thing that I love about Costa Rica.

People here, at least where I live, don’t have a lot of money. I mean they have money, but not in grandiose amounts by any means. They have simple houses, enjoy simple but, delicious, fresh food, if they buy something they take care of it so that it lasts, they reuse most things (ie: almost all the soap in bathrooms here is in old water bottles instead of buying a new bottle of soap every time), they appreciate their health, and they don’t have a lot, but what they do have is plenty. Not once, here, have I heard someone talking about their job as though it is the worst thing ever, as though it encompasses their lives, as though it is the primary reason for living. Not once. Ever. Coming from the states where almost everyone complains about their job on a daily basis, and often center their lives around their career, it’s pretty remarkable. Here they just seem to have their priorities in line, ya know? It’s like, yeah, maybe I don’t earn crazy amounts of money, but that’s not the most important thing in life.

In fact, the other day, my host sister’s husband was talking about this exact thing. He said, “The only that really matters in life is your health. If you are healthy and happy that’s all you need. If you have a lot of money, but have some terrible disease, the money doesn’t matter. Taking care of yourself is what matters”

But why are we so disconnected from this in the states? I mean, it’s not like I have traveled the world or anything, but I have been to a decent number of places and this seems to be the consensus everywhere but the US.

QUALITY over quantity.

The basics of life come first, and are the priority.

It’s an understanding about what really matters in life.

For that, Costa Rica, I am grateful for you.

Muchas Gracias


June 10, 2010 at 9:19 pm 1 comment

LaVida Idealist

.:{Blogging for a Purpose}:.

¡Hola Hola!

I have a fantastic update! In addition to writing on my personal blog, I am also a contributor on LaVida Idealist! What is LaVida Idealist you say? It is a fantastic blog about Latin American adventures created by the folks at Basically, the blog consists of writings from a handful of people who are volunteering, working, living, or frolicking in Latin America. It serves as a resource to those who are interested in community work abroad and strives to bridge the gap between good intentions and action.

Why is this fantastic?

  1. I have been a long-time supporter of (if you have never heard of this site, please check it out). In fact, that is where I discovered the awesome Costa Rica volunteer opportunity and is also where I have found several of my internships.
  2. I absolutely love writing, and am thrilled that I will be able to hone in on my writing skills, be part of a great idea like LaVida Idealist, and share my experiences with others who are interested in working abroad.

You can find my bio and the bios of all of the other groovy La Vida bloggers at the Contributor page.

January 25, 2010 at 11:21 pm 2 comments


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