March 24th, 2010 by Peggy Farabaugh
Natalia-Briceño is a teacher at the Portalon School in Costa Rica. In the mornings, she and her fellow educators teach students in Grades 1-4 and in the afternoons, they teach students in the upper grades. It makes for a very challenging day, especially since up until last week, they had no textbooks for their students to use. And Natalia had no desk or locker or "space" of her own where she could store learning and teaching materials.
Lucky for Natalia and friends that down the road from their school is the community-minded eco resort of Portasol, operated by Costa Rican natives, Carlos and Guillermo Piedra. Under the Piedra brothers leadership, the property owners at Portasol have partnered with the village of Portalon in a mission of social and environmental improvement.
The Portasol community has provided uniforms, text books, computers and more for the children at school. Portasol families also "adopt" local families at Christmastime providing necessary food, clothing, shoes, toys and school supplies when needed. How many resort communities have you heard about that partner with local communities like this? None?
It's a first for me too and that's why we volunteered to join the partnership and build furniture for the school.
Now Natalia has a bookcase she can call her own and a place to put all the teaching tools she needs for her heavy workload– teaching 2 different grades each day. We enjoyed building it for you, Natalia and wish you every success in your teaching efforts in Portalon. We look forward to returning to Costa Rica one day. The principal needs a desk.