It’s very rewarding to give back to those who appreciate, like giving your old clothesto the Good Will store in Uvita, it costs nothing for the people who are giving and helps many as all the profits go towards local families that do not make enough income to cover their monthly grocery bill.
Many volunteer opportunities are in the area for those who are able to give back, like volunteering for DAWGs (Domestic Animal Welfare Group) by socializing a dog by taking them for a walk in Uvita or participating in a river cleanup organized by Reserva Playa Tortuga in Ojochal. Your involvement can be as little or as much as you would like, there are always opportunities to give back.People from the community in Costa Ballena show true solidarity, it doesn’t matter where you are from, if you need help people will try their best to help you out. There are countless stories of bad luck striking, only to be resolved by a passerby and then a newly sparked friendship emerged. There are associations, like CAP (Crime Awareness and Prevention), where community members have gotten together to create an influential voice that works on promoting crime awareness and prevention, ultimately assuring the safety and security of every citizen, residentand visitor in Costa Ballena. There are also not for profit organizations, like ForjandoAlas, whose aim is to provide children with a place to go after school where they can get help with their homework and learn diverse skills not taught at school, like how to start your own garden. There is Rincon de Uvita, where there are almost nightly soccer games, a full gym, volleyball court and a skate park for kids. It is a local recreational center that provides a great resource for the community. Every Saturday the Farmer’s market is held at Rincon and because all activities focus on sports and family life, it provides a great environment that keeps kids focused on their bright futures that lie ahead. Brian, the owner, now retired, says it gives him great pleasure to be able to give back and hopes that more people who are likeminded will join the community efforts.
And lastly, to stimulate reflection, an important point worthy of mention is that evenif ‘Ticos’ in rural areas live simply and are poor on paper, they are rich beyond beliefin experience and inherited knowledge. The growth that results from the exchangeswith those individuals who have little material capital is extraordinary.
We begin to understand what it actually means to be poor and it becomes clear that poverty in spirit is much worse than poverty on paper. ‘Ticos’ who still own their land that was passed down through generations, many of whom choose to live simply; they are attached to their land and their way of life. What we may consider poor, to them is not poverty; it is what they have chosen, they are aware there is an alternative but do not want it. When we look at the essentials of life we know that the gadgets, the suits, the jobs, all the “stuff” really are not necessary. And this is when we begin to adopt a different outlook, one that stems from understanding of the core principles of human fulfillment and satisfaction of the Self, we can differentiate what is fundamental and what is not, we are able to clearly see there is no difference between those materially rich and those materially poor. Costa Ballena presents theperfect apprentice opportunity to stimulate this kind of growth, self reflection and togo beyond simply thinking about these principles but putting them into action as well.