I hope you didn’t put the umbrella away yet as a rather sunless Sunday greets us! Although it might rain, it is still a new opportunity to live a good day. Focus on your blessings and nurture the relationships that stretch you and help you develop into a more accomplished human being. Sometimes rainy days encourage the introspection that allows us to meditate deeply and discern what we really need.
Friday was a wonderful day for me in Atenas. My colleagues from CATUCA and I were joined by personnel from the ICT (Costa Rican Institute of Tourism) and FEDOMA and together we took a tour around the county. We began with an early breakfast at Colinas del Sol Hotel and Restaurant where everything is geared towards satisfying the most demanding critic. Afterwards, we set out to the weekly farmers’ market and found each stand colorful and neatly presented. There was an intoxicating (but not frantic) energy flowing from the shoppers and sellers as they greeted one another and negotiated their transactions. I was pleased to notice that the energetic mood was spreading among our group.
During our stroll, I was approached by a young student from the Central School. She handed me an informative brochure on a project the school is undertaking on Renewable Energy. She was accompanied by the school’s director, Ms. Miriam Vargas, who generously said “Yes” when I asked if our group could visit the school as part of that morning’s tour. Although it had not been a scheduled stop, we were delighted with what we found there: a butterfly garden; a proper recycling area; a colorful classroom equipped almost entirely with desks made from recycled tetrapak; the unmistakeable focus on the caring for the environment. We were swept up in the wholehearted commitment with which the children engaged in their recess and reminisced about our own school days.
We departed the school and visited AMASIA (the Association of Women Artisans from San Isidro of Atenas) to see their orchid, ornamental plants and organic fertilizer production. We drove a little further and took an abbreviated coffee tour at APROCAFE which ended with a sampling of the delicious coffee and homemade bread. We headed back to Los Angeles, visited the National Monument to the Oxcart driver and then went across the street and observed as the “pupusas” we would eat for lunch were being made. Our tour ended later than expected, confirming my suspicion that Atenas puts a spell on visitors in subtle ways.
Our stimulating visit, with experts in the field of rural tourism, brought forth an abundance of creative ideas at each stop. We were urged to look at familiar places from another perspective. We were challenged to find opportunities where we have previously seen only obstacles. We were given the suggestion to find and direct our offer to the segment of future visitors most inclined to appreciate it . Sometimes we need another person’s point of view to shine a light on our path; but more importantly, we need to be receptive in order for the light to reach and teach us. I am willing to be reached and taught, how about you?
Have a wonderful Sunday and a very fulfilling week, Marietta