In anticipation of Costa Rica's Independence Day, some of the other teachers and I took the fourth- and fifth-grade students to visit Quitirrisi, a village about an hour from San Jose where the indigenous Huetares people live.
We had the great opportunity to enjoy doing lots of fun things like:
Admiring the view from the edge of Quitirrisi
Cooking empanadas over an open fire
Watching artisans weave baskets and trying basket-weaving for ourselves
Surveying the finished products (believe it or not, we didn't actually make these particular baskets...they were made by the professionals)
Painting with dyes extracted from local plants
Steering clear of a car-sized anthill/metropolis
The Huetares are one of eight indigenous groups in Costa Rica. Although they do not retain their original language, they preserve many of their other traditions in religion, dance, and other arts.
During a presentation on the Huetares people during a music rehearsal the other week, a little second grader became very agitated after hearing that the Huetares do not still speak their original language. "They lost their language? You mean they can't talk?!?!" he exclaimed to me in an extremely concerned way. I stifled my laughter as I replied, "No, they just speak Spanish now instead of their original language." Little Daniel seemed relieved to hear that, but his confusion makes a lot of sense, don't you think? Later in the same presentation, when the music teacher announced that the students should bring food and gifts to offer the Huetares people when we visited their village, he called out again: "Oh, I can bring pancakes!" I think it's so cute that he was so eager to share what he loves with the Huetares.