Tag Archives: community activities

No Leaks This Season / Sin fugas esta temporada


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If you follow our blog, you may remember Vera. Vera is on the staff at Instituto Estelar where she does an amazing job of keeping our school clean and beautiful. She is a single mom who works very hard to provide for her family. Her two children are happy, healthy, and able to attend English classes at our institute thanks to generous donators who want to help them improve their situation.

Vera is very humble and does not like to ask for help. However, with the rainy season upon us, she found that her house has various leaks and is prone to flooding. Although her home is basically made of simple sheet metal, it is surprisingly expensive to buy the materials necessary to fix the problems. The repairs, which come out to be about $400, are much more than she can afford.

Please help fix Vera’s house! Even a small donation can make a big difference for Vera and her children. If you are able to help, please contact us at info@estelarcr.com to find out how you can give.

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Si usted sigue nuestros blog, recordarás a Vera. Vera es el personal en el Instituto Estelar donde ella hace un trabajo increíble de mantener nuestra escuela limpia y hermosa. Ella es una madre soltera que trabaja muy duro para mantener a su familia. Sus dos hijos son felices, saludables y puedan asistir a clases de inglés en nuestro Instituto gracias a generosos donantes que desean ayudarles a mejorar su situación.

Vera es muy humilde y no le gusta pedir ayuda. Sin embargo, con la temporada de lluvias sobre nosotros, ella encontró que su casa tiene varias filtraciones y es propensa a las inundaciones. Aunque su casa está básicamente hecha de chapa simple, es sorprendentemente caro comprar los materiales necesarios para solucionar los problemas. Las reparaciones, que vienen a ser unos 400 dólares, son mucho más de lo que puede permitir.

Por favor ayude a arreglar la casa de Vera. Incluso una pequeña donación puede hacer una gran diferencia para Vera y sus hijos. Si eres capaz de ayudar, por favor contáctenos en info@estelarcr.com para averiguar cómo usted puede donar.

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Club A


“I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.” -Benjamin Franklin

At Instituto Estelar Bilingüe, we believe that education can be the greatest fighter of poverty. For this reason, we are excited about an up-and-coming non-profit organization right here in Liberia! Instituto Estelar is proud to support the efforts of Club A, an organization dedicated to helping local underprivileged children continue in school and excel. Club A provides tutoring, English lessons, and a healthy snack to select groups of children from Nazareth Elementary School. In addition, Club A is raising funds to help pay for the expensive books, uniforms, and supplies that can make attending school difficult or impossible for many Costa Rican children. Instituto Estelar is getting involved by providing the space for these activities as well as English-speaking volunteers. We are delighted to be part of this amazing cause and excited to see the amazing work that Club A will do for the children of Liberia!

You can get involved! Donations and volunteers are needed to help the organization grow and to help as many students as possible. For more information, contact ClubALiberia@gmail.com or donate below.

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“Yo creo que la mejor manera de hacer el bien a los pobres no es ayudarles a seguir en la pobreza, sino impulsarles o motivarles a salir de ella.”-Benjamin Franklin

En el Instituto Estelar Bilingüe, creemos que la educación puede ser la mejor herramienta de la pobreza. Por esta razón, estamos entusiasmados con una organización sin fines de lucro emergente aquí en Liberia. Instituto Estelar está orgulloso de apoyar los esfuerzos del Club A, una organización dedicada a ayudarles a niños de escasos recursos locales a seguir en la escuela y sobresalir. Club A ofrece tutorías, clases de inglés y un refrigerio saludable para grupos de niños seleccionados de la escuela primaria de Nazareth. Además, el Club A está recaudando donaciones para ayudar a pagar los libros, uniformes y útiles escolares. Instituto Estelar se involucrará al proporcionar el espacio para estas actividades y también buscar voluntarios de habla inglesa. Estamos encantados de ser parte de esta increíble causa y emocionado de ver el increíble trabajo que hará Club A para los niños de Liberia.

Usted puede involucrarse. Donaciones y voluntarios son necesarios para ayudar que la organización crezca y ayude a tantos estudiantes como sea posible. Para obtener más información, póngase en contacto con ClubALiberia@gmail.com o done abajo.

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=JB75URVLBD7GW

Easter Traditions in the US / Tradiciones de la Pascua en los EEUU


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Holy Week and Easter are coming up soon! While most people in Costa Rica are planning a trip to the beach, traveling, or spending a relaxing week with family and friends, people in the United States are getting ready to celebrate in an entirely different way.

Easter has evolved dramatically in North America. While some people still take this time to go to church and observe the religious holiday, the majority participate in more modern traditions like painting eggs with bright colors and doing egg hunts where children walk around an open space to search for hidden eggs. This holiday is symbolized by candy shaped like eggs, a cute bunny or duck, brightly painted eggs, and happy colors like pink, yellow, green, and light blue.

On Monday, April 14 we are going to have a special event in place of Conversation Club. We will discuss Easter traditions in the States, paint eggs of our own, and have a hunt for candy in the institute. This event is open to the public but we ask that participants bring their own hard-boiled eggs to paint. We hope to see you there!

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¡Semana Santa ya viene pronto! Mientras que la mayoría de personas en Costa Rica está planeando un viaje a la playa, o pasar una semana relajada con familiares y amigos, personas en Estados Unidos se están preparando para celebrar de una forma totalmente diferente.

Pascua ha evolucionado notablemente en América del norte. Mientras que algunas personas todavía aprovechan este momento para ir a la iglesia y observar las fiestas religiosas, la mayoría participan en tradiciones más modernas como pintar huevos con colores brillantes y haciendo búsquedas del huevo donde los niños caminan alrededor de un espacio abierto para buscar los huevos escondidos. Esta festividad es simbolizada por dulces en forma de huevos pintados de brillantes y vivos colores como el rosa, amarillo, verde y celeste, un lindo conejo o pato.

El lunes, 14 de abril vamos a tener un evento especial en lugar de Club de Conversación. Discutiremos las tradiciones de Pascua de los Estados Unidos, pintar huevos de pascua y tener una búsqueda de dulces en el instituto. Este evento está abierto al público, pero pedimos que los participantes traigan sus propios huevos duros para pintar. ¡Esperamos verlos allí!

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Liberia Trash Pick-Up / Campaña de limpieza en Liberia


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Estelar staff participating in the clean-up event.

With the Women’s World Cup starting this weekend, people from all over the world will be traveling to Liberia to watch the games. Before they come, however, a few groups wanted to clean up the city by picking up the trash that litters the streets. Instituto Estelar joined other companies and universities to do a trash pick-up at 7:30am yesterday. We worked for nearly three hours, making our way through various parts of the city.  Before we left, we enjoyed cold water and sandwiches that were donated to the project.

It was rewarding to see the transformation of the streets we covered, and to be thanked by local people walking by. However, it was very discouraging to see new bags of garbage carelessly thrown on the ground in an area we had just finished cleaning.

Picking up trash is a humble task that is great volunteer work, but it will not completely solve the problem. There is a lack of education that needs to be addressed. Many people in Guanacaste grew up seeing signs on the bus that say “Throw garbage out the windows.” Although this is not seen on the buses today, it is this bad education that leads people to continue to litter and damage the beauty of Liberia.

Instituto Estelar Bilingüe plans to get involved in more trash pick-up events. We are also interested in starting an anti-littering campaign, starting with children in our kids classes and upcoming tutoring programs. With greater awareness of the problem and regular clean-ups, we hope that Liberia will be cleaner, prettier, and more appealing in the future.

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Buses used to encourage throwing garbage out the window. Thank goodness that is no longer the case; however, old habits die hard.

Con la Copa mundial de Fútbol Femenino empezando este fin de semana, la gente de todo el mundo, estarán viajando a Liberia para ver los partidos. Antes de empezar, sin embargo, algunos grupos querían limpiar la ciudad y recoger la basura de las calles. Instituto Estelar se unió a otras empresas y universidades recogiendo la basura ayer. Trabajamos durante casi tres horas, caminando a diversas partes de la ciudad. Antes de irnos, disfrutamos agua fría y bocadillos que fueron donados al proyecto.

Fue muy gratificante ver la transformación de las calles que cubrimos, y ser agradecidos por algunos Liberianos en la calle. Sin embargo, fue muy desalentador cuando vimos un par de bolsas de basura tirado de nuevo en una zona que ya habíamos limpiado.

Recoger la basura es una tarea humilde y un gran trabajo voluntario, pero no soluciona completamente el problema. Hay una falta de conciencia que debe ser mejorado. Muchas personas en Guanacaste crecieron viendo los rótulos en los buses que dijeron “Tirar basura por las ventanas.” A pesar de que este no se vea en los autobuses hoy, esta es la mala educación que influye a la gente a seguir con malos hábitos, dañando la belleza de Liberia.

Instituto Estelar Bilingüe va a participar en más campañas de limpieza. También estamos interesados en iniciar una campaña contra el abandono de desperdicios, empezando con los niños en nuestro programa de inglés para niños y un programa de tutoría que tendremos próximamente. Con una mayor conciencia del problema y limpieza regularmente, esperamos que Liberia sea más limpia, más linda y más atractiva en el futuro.

Making a Difference with Backpacks and Shoes!


It is easy to forget that there is poverty in the world until you see it first-hand. If you live in the center of Liberia, Costa Rica, you might not see it every day – you might never see it. But if you go to Martinas Bustos just outside of the city limits, you will see a different world of people who are living in rundown shacks without floors, electricity, running water, or toilets.

For the second time in two months, the students at Instituto Estelar Bilingue came together to donate supplies and essential items to the people of this neighborhood. In December, we delivered boxes full of food and sanitary products to 12 families desperately in need. We also joined forces with Souls Helping Soles to deliver shoes to children and teens of this community. This time, we did a donation drive with the students of Martinas Bustos in mind. Together we filled 15 new backpacks with pens, paper, notebooks, colored pencils, and other materials that are required for students who attend public school. Going to school in Costa Rica is very expensive and it can take a toll on a family, even a middle-class family. For this reason, we wanted to help support the parents that are struggling to send their children to school and to reward the students who are working hard for their education.

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We gave 15 backpacks full of school supplies to these children in Martinas Bustos, a needy neighborhood just outside of Liberia.

On February 14, a team of 17 people – students and staff of Instituto Estelar as well as volunteers for Souls Helping Soles – met at the institute to make the delivery. We loaded the backpacks and shoes into two cars and a donated micro-bus from a local tour company called Offi Tours. We drove to the school near Martinas Bustos, but found out that all of the students had gone home and would be returning in the afternoon. So we made our way into the neighborhood and stopped on the main road where we saw children playing.

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Estelar English teacher, Sharai, gives a backpack to this appreciative boy!

We handed the first backpacks to two girls in school uniforms who smiled from ear to ear, and quickly a crowd began to form around our cars. Children of all ages were gathering around, asking if they could have one as well. Our team worked together to give backpacks to school-goers and shoes to any child with a foot that fit one of our pairs. It was a little hectic and it did take a lot of teamwork on our part, but it was so rewarding to see the smiles on the kids faces when they received their backpack or slid their foot into a perfect pair of shoes.

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Lisa Garrett, founder of Souls Helping Soles, puts shoes on kids’ feet so they can go to school. She receives donations primarily from North America and within Costa Rica.

Although it was a small gift to give, we made a difference in the lives of dozens of children and students living in poverty. It is our hope that we can do many of these donation drives in the future and that people from all over Costa Rica and the United States will get involved so that we can further help the poor communities around us.

If you want to get involved, please contact us!

Souls Helping Soles: http://www.soulshelpingsoles.org

Instituto Estelar Bilingüe: http://www.estelarcr.com

Survival Spanish for Expats in Coco Beach!


Despite the fact that we are in the low season and many Expats are away, visiting their home countries, we are proud to say that our Survival Spanish for Expats classes are going very well at Green Life Academy in Playas del Coco! We have completed the first month of this 3-month session, and we have three small groups: Beginner 1, Beginner 2, and Beginner 5. The courses are on Wednesdays, 2:30-4:30pm, and we have open-enrollment, so students can join the classes any time!

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Some graduate students from our previous May-July session!

 We have offered several Survival Spanish workshops that are open to the public and free, and they have been a big hit! We plan to offer two more this month on October 16 and 30, 4:30-5:15pm, at Green Life Academy. We focus on every-day themes that are useful for our students who live here in Costa Rica.

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This was our first Survival Spanish workshop about the bathroom and keeping it clean!

Don’t miss the next session that will start in January! For more information, please contact Bethany, the director of Instituto Estelar Bilingüe, which is based in Liberia, Costa Rica: Info@estelarcr.org, 2665-6921, or 8730-0904.

¡Estelar en la comunidad! – Estelar in the community!


¿Ya sabía que cada semana en el Instituto Estelar Bilingüe tenemos actividades gratuitas para la gente en la comunidad que quiere practicar el inglés con nuestros profesores nativos hablantes de inglés? ¡Infórmese!

Estrellitas Club de Niños – todos los miércoles, 5-5:40pm, en el instituto. Leemos libros a los niños y hacemos muchas actividades. Es para niños de 4 a 11 años.

Spanglish Social – todos los miércoles, 8-9pm, en Restaurante Las Baulas (100 metros del instituto). Hablamos inglés por media hora, y español por media hora. ¡Nos ayudamos a mejorar!

Superstar Club de Conversación en inglés – todos los martes, 8-9pm, y viernes, 5-6pm, en el instituto. Dividimos los participantes según su nivel de inglés, y conversamos en inglés.

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Did you know that every week at Instituto Estelar Bilingüe we have free activities for people in the community who want to practice English with our native English speaking teachers? We very much appreciate volunteers to help us run these programs!

Estrellitas Kid’s Club – every Wednesday, 5-5:40pm, in the institute. We read books to the kids and do lots of fun activities. It’s for kids from 4 to 12 years of age.

Spanglish Social – every Wednesday, 8-9pm, at Las Baulas Restaurant (100 meters from the institute). We speak English for 30 minutes and Spanish for 30 minutes, helping each other improve!

Superstar English Conversation Club – every Tuesday, 8-9pm, and Friday, 5-6pm, in the institute. We divide people according to their English level and converse in English!

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Our weekly reading club for kids ages 4 to 11 years old!
¡Nuestro club de lectura para niños de 4 a 11 años!

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Our weekly English conversation club!
¡Nuestro club de conversación en inglés!

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Spanglish Social is a great way to meet new people and practice the language you’re studying (English or Spanish).
Spanglish Social es una oportunidad excelente de conocer a gente nueva y practicar el idioma que está estudiando (inglés o español).