In our most remote project in Costa Rica to date, 8 college guys from the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and 3 Portland fire fighters headed about 7 hours south of San Jose to Colorado de Biolley. This project was a partnership with Jessica Robinson, a Peace Corps Volunteer, who stayed an extra year in this community (3 1/2 years total) because of her desire to help see this project through to completion.
This project was difficult due to the geographic isolation. Transporting the materials alone cost about half of the normal cost of a court building project. When not enough materials were delivered, the team had to shovel rocks and sand into the back of a pick-up truck to bring to the court site.
Another obstacle was that the welder for the hoop systems backed out a week before the project. Fortunately one of the fire fighters had experience welding and jumped in and created the hoop system, which you see to the left.
Despite the adversity, the team and members of the community worked incredibly hard to finish the court on time and be able to host a camp, play games with the kids and take an excursion to the beach. The community was excited to take the team to a coffee co-op as well as a local artisan’s house to show some of the ways the locals earn a livelihood.
The court has been put to great use already. In the words of Jessica: “The court looks great, there have been people playing non-stop on the court (even people from other communities are coming!) and even the women and girls are coming out to play, so its really fantastic and has completely changed the status of my community.”
And some quotes from some of the guys on the team:
Seeing how happy the kids were when the hoop was finally put up was the most rewarding feelings I’ve ever experienced.
This trip has taught me what real hard work is, and made me realize the privilege I was born into, and how the ‘everyday’ things for me are amazing for others. Things from hot water to a warm, clean house.
The trip with Courts for Kids has taught me many things about the importance of life. The people of Colorado de Biolley had virtually nothing compared to us, yet their happiness was unbelievable. They learned how to cherish things that aren’t physical, and making them of higher importance. I have learned how to hold relationships and social things regarding family to be more important than everything else.