Juliette Hvistendahl

2013 | Donation Drive For Costa Rica | Greenbrae, CA | Marin Catholic High School

Staying in San Isidro, Costa Rica with Daniel and his family, they were so welcoming despite their poor living conditions. Even though they didn’t have clean water or electricity, they managed to live every day in joy and happiness. Staying with them felt like home. Playing soccer, enjoying late night dinners with the group, and learning about Daniel and his family’s cultures made the experience so special. Being welcomed into their home is a perfect example of how hospitable and generous these Costa Ricans are. Daniel’s family’s kindness made a huge impact on my life.

Since coming home, my perspective on life has completely changed. Seeing the way Costa Ricans appreciate life – every single day – has affected the way I look at my days. I try to appreciate every day like it is my last. I have also brought home the customs of Costa Rica. I have made my family the tortillas we made in San Jose and I have taught some Salsa dancing we learned to my dance studio at home.

At first, I was nervous that I didn’t know anyone on the program. Soon, it wasn’t even a worry. Once an ARCC trip is over, you’ll have bonded with everyone and grown to be best friends. You never want to leave. Cherish every single moment. Your trip will go by like the blink of an eye!