Thanks Pack for a Purpose for enriching our wedding and honeymoon experience!
My now husband and I announced our engagement in July 2011, and for the following months were excitedly planning our big day, along with the ‘trip of a lifetime’ to Costa Rica for our honeymoon. One of the first accommodations we booked was the Selva Verde Rainforest Lodge along the San Juan – La Selva Biological corridor in los Bajos de Chilamate in Sarapiqui.
Our booking confirmation then lead us to the Pack for a Purpose website and the affiliated Sarapiqui Conservation Learning Center. For almost 20 years the Center has provided environmental education, community development, conservation, and tourism support to the local area. With guidance from PfaP, we were able to establish a list of resources required by the Center, and then set about spreading the word to our family and friends: Wouldn’t it be great if we could collect the resources in lieu of wedding gifts?
Before long, we had our daughter’s (Johnna 10 yrs and Jasmin 8 yrs) on the case, and they decided they would collect resources at school, too! As the wedding day rapidly rolled around on August 10th, 2012, we already had a pile of school supplies and crafts.
The icing on the cake was the additional items generously donated by our wedding guests- backpacks, journals, art supplies, and even inflatable globes!
Needless to say, we ensured our person packing for the journey from Canada to Costa Rice was as basic and light as possible, and used our checked luggage allowance for the resources. From San José, our itinerary took us via some wonderfully beautiful places to the Center in Sarapiqui, where we met with Executive Director, Yazmin Iglesias. There are no words to explain how this place is situated in the lush, damp, humidity of the Costa Rican rainforest, and how apparent the challenge is for sustainability. Volunteerism, as is so often the case, appears to provide the engine to the center – but of course the struggle for resources and effective maintenance affects the overall drive.
We are honored to know that with the support of our friends, family, and community, we were able to contribute this small gift. There are children in the Sarapiqui area with brightly colored erasers on the end of their shiny new pencils today. Is it strange that those red and white erasers are in the shape of the Canadian Maple leaf? Hopefully not. Our daughters proudly collected them, and in the process learned so much about the world, its places and people. It is our hope that some of those people can continue to grow and flourish in the manor that all living beings deserve.