Punta Leona Blog/ Jaco Choir
Hello everyone! This is Natalia and Jillian, writing to you while sitting on the bus heading back to San Jose. For the past 3 days, we have been staying at hotel and resort Punta Leona. The hotel property was beautiful, with its many swimming pools, monkeys climbing above the restaurant, and most spectacularly, the beach! Mantas playa was a gorgeous, white sand, Pacific side beach, with calm, warm water. It was quite a change from the beaches in the Boston area. We were lucky enough to spend almost two full days dipping in the warm beach water and cooling off in the pool, with a few virgin piña coladas in between. Our rooms were named after different tropical countries in the Americas, so some of us were in Jamaica while others were rooming in Venezuela. It was a relaxing and rejuvenating experience after our time with the host families and long bus rides. Mantas playa was certainly a sight I'll remember, especially as the sun sank under the horizon and a ray of orange and red reflected across the teal blue water, with dark mountains off in the distance. Our days exploring the Costa Rican beaches were one of my favourite parts of the tour.
Our concert in the Jaco community centre was very powerful. It began with adorable toddlers and elementary school kids showcasing their dances. That was really a treat. Then it was our time to shine. We sounded particularly amazing that night, with an extreme amount of support from our audience and the police officers. We sang a traditional Costa Rican song called Caballito Nicoyano, which the audience loved. They loved it so much that they wanted an encore! As we were getting on the bus to go to dinner, a young woman came to a few of us and was very excited about our performance and thanked us. She told us she drove hours to get here and spent a lot of time preparing for us, and said it was totally worth it. My favourite part of what she said to us was, "Even though you didn't win on TV, you are all winners to us!"
Carlos and Monkey friend
They got so close!
Morning rehearsal before free time on the beach
On a river cruise to look for crocodiles!
|Don't worry- they basically never move.|
|Our tour guide, Juan Carlos showing us mangrove seeds|
|Video recording of "Hot Tamales" on the beach|
Short preview- full version coming soon!