During week two, it was clear that learning Spanish at El Rancho is truly a lot of work. We have six hours of class instruction Monday through Friday and then homework each night. However, it is not all work, we get two hours for lunch at twelve each day, cooking classes each Tuesday night and dance class on Thursdays. This past weekend, our entire group visited Porto Viejo. The Afro-influenced culture of the Caribbean are just as beautiful as the rest of the Costa Ricans we have met thus far. We were able to visit a Psychiatric hospital this week and were able to make clear observations and comparisons from the treatment offered at US hospitals. These comparisons include, separate psychiatric hospitals for children, adults, and people with court ordered hospitalization. Also, the clients in the hospitals were able to make crafts, volunteer in eco-friendly agricultural work, and produce other artifacts for sale. Costa Rica has a universal health care that allows for people to have easy access to services but unfortunately, there just is not enough psychologists, psychiatrists or clinics available to address the intense need.
We are now in week three and loving the culture!