The Little Things Matter The Most

The Little Things Matter The Most

Cora Nicolaisen

Heart of the Jungle in Costa Rica 2021

Cora is a student at Weston High School who is going to graduate in 2025. She plays goalie on the school soccer team and she hopes to continue her love for the environment throughout high school and into college.

All photos provided by Cora. Read her story below!

My whole life I have grown up in or just outside of Boston. I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel the world with my family. Although I have been to many different places, I have never experienced the culture like I did on this trip.

I remember the first community center that we went to, which was in Uvita. The center was used to teach local children to speak English, and was also used as a local market. It gave the community members a chance to sell goods that they might have grown in the backyard. The community center helped many people during COVID-19.

We built ramps so the handicapped could also take advantage of this experience. We also helped paint the walls. Although it was amazing to see how we improved the center, we did not get to interact with the community as much as the second place in Puerto Jimenez.

We were also working on an improvement plan, but this time it was for a library. This area was a place for children to play and read books and for the community to come together.

Sadly, we learned that during COVID-19 many people were struggling and took it upon themselves to steal things (like t-shirts) from the library. Selling these t-shirts was one of the ways that this library made money to support themselves.

Our job was to paint the outside/inside, work on the gardens and build a wall. Although all we did was paint on walls it was amazing to see how grateful the locals were and how welcoming they were.

I have never been in a community, in which I was not from, that was so welcoming to others. They brought us into their life and culture. By far this was the most important aspect of the trip to me.

Through this trip we also participated in amazing activities. We went snorkeling, surfing, repelling off waterfalls and much more.

Although all these experiences were awesome, my favorite part was helping out the different communities. You could see how the people that were part of these communities were so grateful for what we did.

In conclusion, throughout my experience I learned to be grateful for what I have and how much I could help people through what I thought was something small.