Impression: Sierpe is special because of the tight knit community and the connection that everyone there has with nature. This connection allows them to focus on what is important and not fall victim to the consumerism seen spreading throughout much of the world.
Reflection: This experience of working in Sierpe has been powerful for me because it allowed me to use skills I enjoy using to do something positive for someone else, all without really feeling like work.
Most Memorable Experience: The most memorable experience for me was spending time with Benedetto’s son, Lorenzo, and letting him use my videocamera. It was moving how excited he was just from seeing the camera. Despite the language barrier I could see him being inspired which was something I never expected to experience at my age.
Take-aways: This experience has definitely helped me recenter myself and focus on what is important again. Oftentimes in our overly accelerated daily lives we lose sight of how fortunate we are and how amazing the world can be.
Advice for Tourists: Be prepared to say “yes” to adventures and experiences that come your way. If you do, you won’t regret it, and if you don’t, you certainly will.
Impression: Sierpe is incredibly scenic and sort of off the beaten path. It’s not a place where one would find a Marriott or Pizza Hut. Like many towns, I think the people really make it special.
Reflection: I think any time you can step out of your comfort zone and experience another culture is extremely valuable. It is certainly an experience I will not forget.
Most Memorable Experience: The natural beauty of the area is quite memorable. I like to say it is like the Discovery Channel in real life with the amount of biodiversity that surrounds you pretty much everywhere you go on the Osa Peninsula, in particular.
Take-aways: I will certainly retain a great fondness for Sierpe and the people we met.
Advice for Tourists: Just take it all in. Whether you want to relax and really get away, or enjoy one, or several, of the tours that are offered, it will be an unforgettable experience.
Impression: Sierpe is beautiful, and hot. You are constantly surrounded by nature and the river offers a gorgeous view. People need to know that when you go to Sierpe you become part of Sierpe and it will impact the way you live.
Reflection: I am much more environmentally aware than I was before I visited.
Most Memorable Experience: Snorkeling. It was amazing to see coral that old and natural. It really put into perspective how important protecting the eco system is.
Take-aways: I am already trying to live a more environmentally friendly life. I keep the thermostat lower, try to walk more, and generally try to have a friendlier attitude like the people we met.
Advice for Tourists: This is not a typical tourist destination. You are there to get an authentic piece of Costa Rica. There aren’t 5 star hotels, wifi across the city and air conditioning in every building. Sierpe is for people who want to be part of a culture and want to see an untouched side of Costa Rica.
Impression: The natural beauty of Sierpe initially stunned me. There weren’t many buildings or many people around, so I just was taken aback by the scenic views of the riverside. After a few days I began to recognize the locals and they would always wave or flash a friendly smile.
Reflection: I am so grateful for this experience! Acting as the writer/interviewer has helped me to improve my writing and communications skills. Also having the opportunity to talk to the people was awesome. I wish that I knew a little more Spanish so that I could’ve talked to more of the locals.
Most Memorable Experience: The most memorable experience was probably seeing the love that the locals had for the town. They cared about the animals and the environment and I really respect that. Almost everywhere we went there were multiple recycling bins.
Take-aways: I will definitely be purchasing some pineapple. I know that it won’t be the same, but eating pineapple every morning was a real treat.
Advice for Tourists:
- Bring sunblock and bug spray!
- If you don’t know what to say, say pura vida!
- Also, learn some basic Spanish if you have time.