An Intersection Between Class and Community in Costa Rica (Written by Sidra)

Authored by:
Janet Akselrud

Janet Akselrud

Today's blog is written entirely by a global navigator, Sidra, in climate change mitigation cohort 2. Here, she reflects on our class visit to Cerro Plano from Friday. Enjoy!

"The bus rattles to a halt by an ancient, rusted out arena; sheets of corrugated iron scream against the structure’s skeleton frame.

A woman in a broad hat perches in the shade. She speaks softly of the arena’s history, how the scarlet blood of bulls used to soak the parched ground. Wind whistles around her, over our crossed arms and squinted eyes.

It’s unusually sunny out again. Another relentless reminder that the climate crisis is upon us; heady, immediate, consuming. Our boots grind into the hard earth as we troop in. The air is heavy with sunlight and an old, sneering waft of death. We walk knowing this place brought terror to the town, and today we facilitate its rebirth . They’ve been building a garden, the woman explains. Inside is completely unexpected; twisted branches outline soft, dark beds of soil, harboring vibrant clouds of leafy greens.

The spoils of this bounty go to the families of Monteverde, benefiting the schools as well. Hours drift away as we haul dirt, weave branches, pull weeds. Young hands dedicated to a greater cause. This scarred place has been transformed; we bury the wounds of the past year and plant hope, courage, beauty for the years to come.

We sow the dreams of Monteverde children, praying they’ll one day come to fruition. The pandemic hit hard here. It’s obvious in the edges of the town, worn down by a year of suffering. Of hunger. This garden is a new beginning, and it’s been an honor to help it come to life. "

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