The Other Half

By: Andrew Novinski

Throughout our experience in Costa Rica we have been mainly in the San Jose area. We have been told about the beauty of the vegetation and the landscape and got to experience it several times, but in our Society and Culture classes we have been constantly told how there is more to the culture than the monuments and sites to see and I have been wanting to experience it the whole time we have been here.

This past weekend we got to go to the Caribbean coast where we got to see a whole different side of the country and culture. The town was called Cahuita and it is highly populated by Afro-Caribbeans, who migrated over to Costa Rica in the late 1800s to work on the Railroad used for transporting goods to be exported. The food is also slightly different and the genre of music played there is unlike any other. The type of Music called Calypso and it is so simple and easy to listen to. A local band came to where we were staying and we had a mini private concert where they played for us  and we got to get up and sing with them and dance with them.

I have definitely loved this side of Costa Rica more than what I have experienced so far. The life is so much more laid back and not as rushed and everyone is so happy. Every time I am in a large city I feel so rushed and cramped. I actually had space in Cahuita and time was not a fixed thing. I have not swam in an ocean since I was about 6 years old and it was incredible. The whole point of the weekend was to not only have fun, but get into this different cultural side of Costa Rica.

The rest of the week leading up to the fabulous weekend was very productive and I can tell my Spanish is getting better and that makes me feel accomplished. Despite being enjoying this experience immensely and getting a lot out of it, I am looking forward to some normalcy in the future. It is weird to think this gap semester is really close to done.

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