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SJC PoS visits Costa Rica

The two groups of students and parents.

A group of 44 students from the St Joseph’s Convent POS UNESCO club, along with parents and teachers, visited Costa Rica from July 30–August 5. In addition to visiting educational sites such as the Irazu volcano, the La Paz waterfall and the National Theatre, the group also gave of its time to two non-governmental organisations and was fortunate to visit a beautiful church on its feast day.

As our contingent totalled 79 persons, we had to split up. One group visited Hogar Siembra, an NGO which houses 34 teenaged girls who have been victims of physical, psychological and sexual abuse. The SJC students and parents donated toiletries and stationery and spent time interacting with the residents. Together we participated in a zumbathon, learned how to make traditional bracelets and sweets, and played games that really brought the students and residents closer. We ended the day sharing pizza and soft drinks, a rare and much appreciated treat for the residents of Hogar Siembra.  Many tears were shed when we left as the Home is not frequently visited.

The other SJC group visited the Fundacion DEHVI. This is an NGO for children under five years which provides meals, education and medical attention to the poorer members of society. This Home received a donation of educational games and books. Students and parents also assisted in doing repairs to the building, cooking meals, planting a garden and changing diapers. Of course, they could not resist cuddling with the toddlers.

The entire SJC group was fortunate to visit the Basilica Nuestras de Virgen de los Angeles on the feast day and witnessed pilgrims walking to the church– some had walked as far as 350km away! It was a pore-raising experience to witness the sick walking on their knees to the altar as a sacrifice to obtain healing; it was a sight that all of us will always remember.

We thank God for blessing our group with good weather, safety and wonderful experiences. – Alicia Stephens

The two groups of students and parents.
Pilgrims kneel at the Basilica Nuestras de Virgen de los Angeles