Day 3 – January 5, 2013
Going for a 5 hour hike through the Costa Rican mountains will whip you into shape faster than any other workout, guaranteed. I have the burning quads to prove it. Despite not being able to walk down the steps like a normal human being today, the intense work out was quite worth it. The Costa Rican landscape is gorgeous. I can see why CODECE’s mission is to conserve the land and all of its natural resources, it’s just beautiful. Our hike was led by Don Rigo of CODECE and assisted by a man, Rafael, a woman who volunteers her time with CODECE, a student of the local university, and two police escorts (nothing screams American tourists more than police officers protecting you as you walk around foreign land). We were grateful for all of the help though, I think we all would have broken some bones in the Agres River and smashed a few cameras along the way if they hadn’t lent their hands to keep us safe (literally) as we hiked through the hills. At one point I thought I was going to witness Jake (one of my classmates) and Rafael cascade down the waterfall as if they were water themselves, but with the quick help of one of the police officers, they were saved. Thank goodness they weren’t relying on my help, because I froze the moment I saw them slip. Overall, it was such a fun hike and I’m so glad we got to see the land that CODECE is working so hard to protect.
Now that you’re in Costa Rica, what observations have made an impression on you from a visual design standpoint? I really love the colors that pop up everywhere in Spanish culture. The bright purple flowers, the little houses painted royal blue and teal, the lush greenery of the hills, the multi-colored graffiti on cement buildings…it’s all so energetic, vibrant, and inviting. Costa Rica really has its own unique flavor and its easy to draw inspiration from the color palettes that naturally occur here. There are also so many great textures around that can provide design inspiration from the jagged edges of the rocks cemented in by the pool and the smooth, glossy tiles of the hotel walkways to the rippling water of the waterfall and barbed wire that tops fences throughout the town. I also love the brujas (witches) that are sprinkled throughout San Jose and Escazu in unsuspecting places. There’s a legend (which I hope to learn sometime soon) that involves a witch, so it pops up everywhere here – from neon signs in a liquor store window to the shirts of CODECE volunteers.