Update from Claire – Mariposa intern
This past month we have been busier than ever, with the new Choza (traditional word for cabin) booked full through the whole month of July and more people in homestays than we have rooms in the hotel! The cabin, pictured above, is very cozy with thatched roof and gorgeous deck that overlooks the coffee plants and monkeys. Our gardener, Santos, is currently planting a stunning garden around the building. We’ve put in electricity in the latrine and shower for the comfort of our guests out on that quiet end of the property.
Another development on the Mariposa grounds comes in the form of yet more organic gardening! On the Southeast end of the property, a short walk from the terrace back toward the water tower, we have cleared land and begun planting red onions, soy beans, cucumber, eggplant, and arugala. As we still utilize the first finca from our rented land in San Juan, and we continue developing the property in La Concha (see blog from May 28), this third piece of land has allowed us to expand our volunteer placement in organic farming. Plus we get more veggies!!! We are hoping that during this rainy season, we will be able to produce enough greenery to help supply some of the poorer surrounding communities with much needed vitamins from our gardens.
Recently, a local elementary school called Rubén Darío solicited help from La Mariposa to finance their school party for the Day of the Children. A group of volunteers from La Mariposa decided to take on financing, planning, and preparation of the food and activities. These volunteers have now gone back home and started a fundraising project to help Rubén Darío. We have used this initiative as a basis for further involvement in this school, located just outside of San Juan. Two volunteers, alongside Mariposa staff, began construction of a library about two weeks ago on the school grounds. A family that stayed at the Mariposa privately donated the money to build this extra room. The library will provide a space to replicate the program we have at Panama. We plan to employ a local teacher to work with small groups of children, offering individual attention to those that struggle in the overcrowded classrooms. The money raised from the fundraiser will be put towards books, furniture and school supplies for the new library. This will also become a promising volunteer placement in the near future!
The experiences, reflections and fabulous photos of a recent guest, Juanita, highlight what the Mariposa has to offer! Visit her blog!