This is the Talamanca village we love to meet at. It’s where we learn from each other, pray, and where hopes and plans are made. This year we were part of bringing in a copier for Talamanca area youth to copy college textbooks [legal in Costa Rica]. As word got out, they came from distances to attain their inexpensive copies. Thousands have been made available by this means with a fairly low cost investment on the foundation’s part.
In recent months we convened to discuss the future of the village. Fifteen of us, young and old and in between, gathered to participate and each was asked what skills or training would be most helpful for them to improve their financial circumstances. English learning was a high priority, to enable them to do small tours when visitors come, and enter a better job market. Sewing courses and sewing machines, baking, assistance with tilapia fish farming, aquaponics, simple home appliance and small engine repairs, computer and office skills, business training, were among the most common needs expressed.
Incredible sacrifices are made, sometimes at the risk of lacking food, for young people to attend higher education schools and courses. One young man is the first in the village to teach English at the high school an hour away. In order to maintain study credits for his position, he has to travel on Friday night after teaching to San Jose 5 hours away, study, and return to continue teaching on Monday.
Laptop computers are urgently needed to download information required for their tests. Pursuing higher education to attain an improved social and economic state is perhaps relatively new, at least at this level of intensity. Some travel from villages hours away on foot for the opportunity.
The Indigenous are known to have a very high level of intelligence, and we were told last year that a young man of their people was selected among only a few in the country for a position in technology.