July: Facing Challenges (August)
July was a month of challenges for schools in Costa Rica and for the Girls for Success school:
The Public Education Ministry suspended classes throughout Costa Rica from May through July due to increased COVID cases. The GFS school was closed for some time as well. We kept in close communication with the girls and their parents during this pause. 2. Hone Creek and the surrounding area were affected by two natural disasters in July. On July 21st, a powerful magnitude 6.8 earthquake shook Costa Rica. Just days later, a tropical storm with heavy, persistent rainfall yielded country-wide flooding, mudslides, fallen trees and closed roadways. The Caribbean coast was one of the hardest hit areas. The bridge between Limon and Puerto Viejo, the only real access to the southern Caribbean area, collapsed. The areas south of this bridge (including Hone Creek and Puerto Viejo) were isolated for several days, without supplies and without access to the hospital in Limon. Fortunately, the CR government acted quickly and the bridge was reopened to walkers within days and to vehicles in less than 1 week. 3. For personal reasons, teacher Catalina will not continue at the GFS school. Cata graciously agreed to help with the important work of transitioning to a new teacher. Fifteen excellent candidates applied for this open teacher position. We interviewed 6 of these candidates and unanimously selected Jakeline Gonzalez as the next teacher.
Cata’s farewell: “It was such a great experience to be the GFS teacher for these last six months. I greatly enjoyed the girls and their families. My job was to teach but I also learned from each of them. I am thankful to know this program which enriches the girls in so many areas and is a blessing for the community. Though no longer the teacher, I will still be a part of the GFS family. I will support the school, visit the girls and stay connected to this beautiful effort.” We are very appreciative of all of Cata's wonderful contributions to GFS.
Meet Our New Teacher: Jakeline Gonzalez
My name is Jakeline González Barquero. I have worked as an English teacher for the Ministry of Public Education and now for the magnificent team of Girls for Success. I am a native of the Talamanca area. I love this profession, since it not only allows me to teach the English language, but also gives me the opportunity to transmit values and principles to the girls, give them a vision more full of love, tolerance and respect for themselves and everyone who surrounds them; reinforcing in the same way the care and appreciation for our invaluable natural resources. My best wishes to everyone who keeps in touch in one way or another with the great Girls for Success project.