“Our home stay in Lagartillo was a completely different experience, nothing I’d ever been exposed to. The community was much smaller than what I’m used to. The Lagartillo lifestyle has the foundation of a deep connection to nature, as well as one of simplicity. Although the differences between my old and new life were clear from the get go, my host family welcomed me with open arms.
Most of the families in Lagartillo were related to one another, so the support system was amazing. The homes were very close to each other, so our group had a great time finding out which host families were related to each other and who our “primos and tios” were. We learned a lot about being courteous to the environment, so we used latrines, minimized water usage, and tried to limit the amount trash we produced.
If I wasn’t already woken up by the roosters, I would get ready and try the new foods my host mom prepared for me each breakfast with my 11 and 8 host brothers. My Spanish level allowed us to enjoy limited conversation, but my mom was a teacher and gentle guided me with her better English skills. After that, we would attend Spanish classes, engage in bonding activities with the group, and connect with the community members by learning their stories.
Each day was a different experience, a new vocabulary word, yet we were all able to grow together and be in awe of the authenticity and simplicity of the community members. My mom was especially amazing to me because she was sick with the flu for the first few days, but still cared for me with attention and love.”
– Torrei E and Eni O