Feb 17 2014

Keeping Busy-Some Ideas for Expats

People ask us lots of things about our lives in Costa Rica, but the following three questions are the ones we get most often:

  1. What do you do for healthcare?
  2. What’s the cost of living?
  3. What do you do all day?

It’s the third question that seems to cause the most angst, especially for people who consider themselves “A-Types.” They are afraid of the time on their hands. Giving back and volunteering can be an easy fix for this conundrum of “what to do all day.” Your interests, talents, and experience can be of immense value to others, especially young people, in Costa Rica. It is the one thing you can do where you actually get more out of it than you give. It can be very rewarding. There are even studies that document that volunteering is good for your health. What you do with your time is a choice.

The Community Action Alliance in San Ramon can help you in this endeavor. San Ramon has one of the best organized expat communities (though certainly not the largest), due in large part to the Community Action Alliance. We (Paul and Gloria) are honored to have served on the Steering Committee of the Action Alliance for its first four years. The CAA, and other organizations like it in other communities, can jump-start your involvement. One example is the Education Committee which sponsors English conversation groups for Costa Ricas trying to master the language. More than 50 expat volunteers participate in that program alone. It’s not unusual for people to want purpose in their lives, especially after “retirement.” You can be busy and make a difference in your expat life. It all depends on you, and it’s all about your choices.

Take a look at the most recent newsletter from the Community Action Alliance, below. You’ll get a taste of the kinds of opportunities available. Do you see something that’s of interest to you? If yes, great! Get involved! If not, perhaps you have an idea that the CAA would support. For example, the Animal Welfare Committee didn’t exist one year ago. It evolved from the passion of a couple of CAA members for street animals in Costa Rica. That’s how it all started — with people, their ideas, and the desire to give back.

If you would like to receive future issues of the CAA newsletter, just click on this link and hit the “Subscribe” button.

(Newsletter reprinted with permission)


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