Editor’s Note: This week 30 high school students and sixleaders traveled to Alajuela,Costa Ricato help with construction projects, work with children at a Vacation Bible School program and help meet the needs of the local, under-resourced community. The following is a blog post from one of the students, Kyle Kanode.

This is my first time visiting Costa Rica (and also my first time traveling out of the country), but it is certainly not my first mission trip. Today is day two, and everybody is beginning to get settled.

Today began with a trip to a toucan preserve where we were able to see exotic animals, such as sloths, that many of us had never seen before. On our way out of the preserve we saw an injured armadillo that needed immediate medical care on the side of the road. We were able to get help, and it was a great feeling to know that our presence in Costa Rica will help both the citizens here and apparently some of the animals.

Our afternoon included difficult yet rewarding work. We are working at the complex where we are staying doing various tasks. One group spends their time digging a drainage ditch that will evidently save our hosts $600 every three months. The other group works to renovate one of the living areas, which will allow for more groups to visit the complex, experience the country and lend a hand just like we are this week.

The week has only just begun, but this place already feels like home, and the team has become a family. I look forward to seeing how our team progresses with each other and what kind of impact we can have in this amazing country.

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