Sunday, July 22, 2012
Turrialba, Costa Rica
The great thing about Turrialba (which is a short five minute cab ride from CATIE or a 30-40 minute scenic walk) is how friendly the people are. Ever since we have been here we have been treated so well be the local people. I always keep in mind that I am a guest in this community, so I try to be as respectful as possible, observant of the locals and how they act, and also aware of my surroundings. Overall I feel very safe and comfortable here. In fact, we already joke that we are becoming part of the community!
The plaza in the middle of town is a congregating place for the community and you will frequently see people of all ages hanging around down there. A lot of great restaurants and nightlife spots surround the plaza, which is very convenient. There is a Friday and Saturday market (which we have yet been able to attend) which sells crafts and local food items. A local CR ice cream chain called Pops has great sweet treats and there is also pizza, fried chicken, and Chinese food places as well in case you get home sick for some common US foods. However, as we have been discussing in our course, these establishments have to expend far more resources than usual to appeal to tourist taste buds, so if you can, try to eat local-based dishes with foods that are grown or produced in the local region. Plus, food is a HUGE part of culture, so by eating local cuisine you will have a much richer cultural experience while in Costa Rica. I personally like the local food better because it is much healthier and although it seems like all we do is eat, I still feel like I am losing weight instead of gaining it!