Costa Rica

“Rice and beans are a staple of the Costa Rican diet, but I admit it: I’m tired of rice and beans. It’s the repetition. If someone scheduled an orgasm three times a day you’d eventually say: ‘I am so sick of orgasms. Can we have pizza instead of an orgasm?’”

Don’t get me wrong: I like rice and beans. And the pineapple we devoured each morning was the best I’ve ever eaten. My wife and I taught English for two weeks on a volunteer trip through Cross-Cultural Solutions (CCS). Costa Rica is like the Switzerland of Central America: the military was abolished after a coup in 1949, allowing the government to invest in health care and education. The poverty rate is lower than in neighboring countries, which has attracted a stream of Nicaraguan immigrants. We grew fond of the people and the green countryside (the Arenal volcano, which you see above, was about an hour from our base in Ciudad Quesado), though the humidity was intense even for a native Virginian like me. One of the CCS staffers noted that our home base offered hot showers purely for its gringo visitors: he couldn’t fathom why anyone would bathe in hot water in hot weather.

Photo Gallery

Check out these shots of Costa Rica’s lush countryside, from the Arenal volcano to Monteverde (the horseback pics), followed by shots of Ciudad Quesado (the town where we stayed), the Cross-Cultural Solutions house (our home base), and the Escuela Cuestillas school. These shots were taken by my wife.