A Time for Solidarity

Photo on 4-15-16 at 2.51 PM #2

Dear Friends,

As I begin my writing this morning, the skies are grey and the sun
is struggling to come through. In the midst of the opaqueness, off
in the distance and surprisingly, I can distinguish the sugar cane
flowers and the surrounding layers of mountains more distinctly
than on clear, sunny days. Get outside today even if the weather is
not so inviting. We aren’t made of sugar, won’t melt, and will feel
better after we’ve moved a bit.

Like the sun this morning, I have been struggling for a few hours
to gather my thoughts and share something positive on a day that
feels very sad. The northwestern region of Costa Rica, particularly
Upala (Alajuela) and Bagaces (Guanacaste) were hit very hard by
“Otto”; 9 people have died and widespread damage is evident. We
are in a state of mourning and our President has asked us to unite,
like a national family. This is an unprecedented situation that will
take a while to recover from.

“Black Friday” took on new meaning this year. Most of the counties
in the country organized non-perishable food and personal products
drives and help has quickly been delivered to the most affected areas.
It has been enormously gratifying to hear that many companies (Dos
Pinos, Coca-Cola, Cervecería, and the list goes on) private banks (BAC,
Davivienda, etc.) and countries (USA and Panama to name two) are
also joining the relief efforts.

Closer to home, the Municipality of Atenas, Radio Atenas, the local Red
Cross (among others) have set up collection areas and citizens are lining
up to drop off their donations. On a more personal level, I was touched
when I witnessed how (in a matter of hours and on very short notice),
our local and expat communities answered an appeal for bed linens
and small household appliances which are already on their way to
Bagaces today. Despite all the suffering the media covers, it is good to
recognize that most who live in Costa Rica are strong, have hearts of
gold and do contribute a much needed grain of sand when called on.

Have a wonderful day and a peaceful week, Marietta

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