Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Washing Machines

One of the most important realizations I’ve had since arriving in Costa Rica is just how much I have as a native resident of the United States. For example, my family of four in the U.S. owns three cars while my Costa Rican family of five doesn’t even have one. 

my family's home
Not only am I blessed with many material possessions, but also access to education and a wide range of opportunities. I constantly see a large gap between my life and the lives of my female counterparts here in Costa Rica. In the recent past, women had very few opportunities outside of the home and even today, I've been told that school attendance is only officially monitored up to sixth grade. In an area where families struggle to produce a sufficient income, I'm sure many students fall between the cracks and move on to the work force (or stay home to help with siblings) instead of continuing their education. 

my sweet sister Vivi standing in the road on which our house is located

The people who live here in La Virgen have access to the resources necessary to meet all of their basic needs, though they may struggle to pay for them. Houses are hooked up to running water, electricity, and in some cases even internet. There are local markets and other stores within walking distance in which to purchase food and supplies. Though my new life here has at times been shocking and difficult - I think I’m accurate in saying that one of the harshest realities of La Virgen life for each of us students is the lack of hot water - we are still far from outright poverty.

room at the back of the house complete with a washing machine 
Despite all the materials I am so accustomed to which are lacking in my Costa Rican life, I am still living with many more conveniences than the majority of the world (approximately 70%.) As part of one of our classes we watched this video, and it really put my experiences in perspective. Please view using the link below, and know that in each of our homes in La Virgen exists a washing machine. 


view from outside my bedroom window (this orange tree - in addition to a nearby cemetery - is used to denote my family's home address as very few roads in Costa Rica are officially named)



4 comments:

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