Hi! Mu’izza and Sophie here, writing from Cerro Punta/Guadelupe. We just arrived yesterday for our second homestay. For the past four days, we our at Cotito. This year is the first time this trip has ever been there. Cotito is a farm, a small coffee plantation and a hotel all in one. Everyday there were optional trips to the nearby hot springs, which were beautiful. Nicolas, one of the main caretakers for the site, took us on a tour of the coffee farm. Afterwards, we spent the afternoon working on independent projects. I (Sophie) studied the hot springs through a scientific lens and a cultural lens. I (Mu’izza) took a more artistic approach and created a digital collage made from photos of various sites there.
Other people shadowed workers on the farm, learned more about the coffee making process or made a photo series. On the last night we presented our projects to everyone.
After spending four nights at Cotito, the ten of us all piled into two four by four jeeps. An hour and a half later, after a thoroughly bumpy ride down, we arrived at our new school. We started classes right away, playing an assortment of interactive games. After class we were given time to wander around the last day of carnival in Cerro Punta before going off to our homestays.
This morning, we went to school at 10 and continued to practice our Spanish. We learned about Panamanian music, dress, dance and history. We also played lots of games. Including a very vigorous game where we tried to beat each other with a newspaper. We ate lunch at a local restaurant, and then given a lot of time to wander among stores near the school. Many people bought clothes, food o r board games. We have the afternoon to explore the town and spend time with our homestay families. Tomorrow we are going to classes again and then spending the afternoon with AMIPILA, a local environmental organization, working on a mural. ¡Nos vemos!
~~Stay tuned for more pictures~~