Thank you so much for taking time to look at our blog! We are a group of edical students who are passionate about training and in underserved areas. This January and February, we are in Peru, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica internationally as well as locally in Flint and Lansing completing volunteer service, rotating in hospitals and clinics, and learning about international medicine and local underserved health care. We appreciate any time you take to read our reflections and any donations you might offer.

Please click the “Donate” link on the side for more details on how to give directly to these communities.

Sunday, January 17

Costa Rica - Weekend Update

 After a wonderful first week in Clinic, the #treschicasinrica were able to have some fun-- we headed to the Arenal Volcano as a part of a tour package that included travel, two meals, and some time in the relaxing natural hot springs that are warmed by the heat from the volcano. Along the way, on the three hour journey to  La Fortuna, the district where the volcano is, our wonderful tour guide Edgardo pointed out beautiful landmarks and educated us on the rich history of Costa Rica. 

One of the most interesting things about Costa Rica is that it is such melting pot of culture. About 9% of the population consists of people born in Nicaragua, escaping the circumstances of their country. They are the largest ethnic group that our clinic serves outside of Costa Rican locals. Because many of them are undocumented citizens, they are not eligible for the social insurance, and must pay out of pocket for healthcare costs, or come to clinics like ours. However, their children are still eligible to go to schools here; not only are they eligible, but it is mandatory; parents who do not send their students to school (Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans alike), may face a fine or worse consequences. 

Huda & I with two of our fellow FIMRC volunteers, Courtney & Sabrina at Volcan Arenal

In addition to citizens from other countries in Latin America, the Caribbean (east) coast of the country is home to a large percentage of citizens of Jamaican descent that migrated decades ago for better work opportunities. As our tour guide put it, Costa Ricans welcome other cultures as their influence as far as food, and music only serves to enhance Costa Rican culture!

Volcan Arenal, which is active but has not erupted since December 2010. 

Some of the hot springs we bathed in at The Springs resort near Arenal

We will update with  more of our service projects in the coming week! 

Pura Vida!

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