Santa Eulalia is one of several barios, neighborhoods, in the town of Atenas, Alajuela, Costa Rica. A number of our friends live there and Carlo and Carla, the two younger children of our fabulous house keeper attend la Escuela Santa Eulalia.
When we learned through one of our guests, Ms. Catherine R. Eads, of the opportunity to purchase school books for an elementary school through her employer, Usborne Publishing
, we thought of Carla and Carlos’ school. Not being very confident of our Spanish abilities, we first made contact with their English teacher, Maestra Lilliana María Quesada Herrera. Through her, we were able to make an appointment with the school’s principal, who approved of our proposal to try to supplement her library.
Eventually all teachers at Santa Eulalia elementary school had a chance to browse Usborne Publishing’s websites and add books to the wish list. It looked very much like an early Christmas in Santa Eulalia!
The school is a lovingly maintained, joyful environment for and through the children, who participate in the school’s yearly government award mission of excellence in health and environmental issues. The students, including the kindergardeners, created this colorful mosaic mural, decorating the main front of their school, as explained here by Maestra Lilliana. Another past project is the herb garden, while the butterfly garden is a current school project. The grade school also participates in ‘Bandera Azul’, a program created by the Department of Public Education to promote the goal of sustainable development in harmony with the environment. Recycling habits and a consistently high quality of drinking water are the main subjects of this program at Santa Eulalia elementary school. Other schools participate in reforestation, organic farming, waste management, beach erosion, species protection and similar projects across the country.
|Central court yard with sinks adjacent to the student bathrooms
|Wall beneath class room windows in the herb garden, decorated by the art teacher for his students
This is the door to Maestra Lilliana’s second grade class room. It’s windows overlook the herb garden, over which the new mesh enclosures for the butterfly garden are being installed.
Santa Eulalia elementary school has a daily physical exercise program for all it’s students, as well as a daily ‘quiet reading’ time. The teachers are excited and grateful for this opportunity to supplement their meager budget for resource purchases with an unexpected bounty of enriching material for their students – thanks to your generosity, there will be new books for everyone. Languages, sciences, arts and crafts, music and story telling, every segment of education and culture will receive books for the new school year commencing in February!
Barry and I would like to thank all of you, who so generously responded to our fund raising effort. Our Santa Eulalia Book Fund received anonymous donations totaling CR¢10 350.00, as well as a contribution of one US quarter. Dear friends in the Atenas community were kind enough to stock up, expand and tumefy that fund by another CR¢70 000.00, plus US$95.00.
You rock, guys!♡!
All in all we were able to sent a check of $360 to Usborne Publishing, who made a 50% matching contribution* for a grand total of $540 worth of books for la Escuela Santa Eulalia.
Un profundo y sincero agradecimiento a:
our group of anonymous donors
and our sweet Lomas neighbors and our friends
Jocelyn, Diane and Cameron Farquhar
Marcella and Mike Marshall
Molly Diane Petrie
Special thanks to Kay and Tom of Kay’s Gringo Postres to make their big donation box on their restaurant counter available for Santa Eulalia Book Fund donations!
and last, but not least
a super special thanks to Cathy Eads, who’s spent the summer lifting weights to get ready to bring as many of these books as possible to CR in her luggage! Cathy will also donate several additional books as a personal gift!!!
* We mistakenly believed the publishing house offered a 100% matching grant, but it’s actually a 50% grant.