TRIP REPORT: BIOMEDICAL HS GROUP- COSTA RICA- GLOBAL HEALTH SQUAD
This past summer Ms. Cinthya Cisneros, a Chemistry teacher from River City High School in Sacramento California, led a Biomedical Squad of thirteen girls to Costa Rica. The squad arrived at the Cartago Home-Base Saturday night, and they were greeted by a delicious home-cooked meal by our staff. As a Global Health squad, their volunteer activities were based on making an impact in the field of global health. Teaching proper hygiene practices was their main goal, they covered the topics of oral hygiene and handwashing. Every morning, the girls would have a home cooked breakfast and head off to their volunteer site. In the courtyard area, the girls brainstormed on creating a hand-washing mural and handwashing station. They all agreed upon a design, and were guided along by a student artist on creating the mural. The mural beautified the school, and reminded the kids of the importance of handwashing. The girls split up into different groups: some of them helped to manage the classrooms, while the rest worked on the mural. After recess, the girls also hosted workshops for the kids at the schools. They came up with two different skits to teach the importance of handwashing and oral hygiene. After each oral hygiene workshop, the girls distributed packages containing toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss for all the kids. As a finishing touch for the mural, the girls added the kid’s handprints, to make their work truly belong to the school. After installing the handwashing station, the girls handed over the handwashing station to the principal of the school in a small, touching ceremony. The girls also had the opportunity to visit an HIV Home and an Elderly Center to perform their skits and get a wider scope of public health in Costa Rica. A doctor also came to visit to give the girls an overview of the health system in Costa Rica. During the weekend, the girls had the opportunity to explore the beauty of Costa Rica through a journey to La Fortuna. Located at the foot of an immense volcano, the views were stunning. On the first night, they headed over to Baldi Hotsprings, one of the world’s largest hot springs, and had the opportunity to unwind and relax. The next day, the girls embarked on an incredible adventure, zip lining through the canopies of La Fortuna. They were treated to incredible views of Costa Rica’s landscape. After zip lining, they hiked to a waterfall, and spent the rest of the afternoon swimming. By the end of the trip, the girls felt the incredible impact that they made, and loved exploring the natural beauty of Costa Rica. Although teary-eyed, they were proud of themselves, and knew that their impact will be felt well beyond their time there.