Lake Cowichan’s

Earthquake doesn’t rattle traveler’s volunteer plan

Volunteering helps recent UVic grad set career direction

  • Sep. 12, 2012 9:00 a.m.

The countdown is on — my plane leaves for Costa Rica in two weeks. I’m headed to a rural beach town called Playa Sámara on the Pacific coast.

I’ll be working with La Asociación CREAR (Creatividad, Arte Y Responsibilidad), a non-profit that plays a very active and key role in the community. CREAR’s programs focus on youth with limited resources, providing supplemental education and recreational activities free of charge. I’ve spent the last year volunteering as an adult literacy tutor in Victoria and I’m excited to continue teaching, and working with kids will be a fun change of pace.

In Sámara, and the surrounding region, children often only attend school for three to four hours a day, and afterwards they are frequently left without adequate supervision, as many parents must work full time.

According to their website, CREAR “utilizes this free time and provides the children with new learning opportunities that not only enhance their own educational and personal growth, but that of the town’s future.”

CREAR’s commitment to the residents of Sámara, and the surrounding rural beach communities, is more important now than ever before. On Wednesday, Sept. 5, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Costa Rica. The epicenter of the quake was just west of Playa Sámara. As of Sept. 7, Sámara and surrounding communities were without water and have not yet had a visit from any government official.

The morning of the earthquake, I packed my apartment into boxes and prepared to live in Sámara for a month. My TV screen flashed images of fallen trees, blocked roads and cracked concrete. News stations reported that the residents of Sámara were forced to evacuate for fear of a resulting tsunami.

“Everyone is okay, but structurally things are rough. Broken concrete, broken windows, personal possessions and more. Not to mention infrastructure and technology,” said Johannah Waite, developmental director of Asociación CREAR, in an email.

Although I haven’t met the people of Sámara yet, I am already deeply concerned for them. The backpack I plan to take seems so small now, as I try to stuff extra school supplies and stickers in for the kids.

“It was like nothing else in my life,” Waite said. “But people here are strong and we continue on.”

If you’d like to donate to CREAR please visit their website at :

http://www.asociacioncrear.org/; or feel free to contact me directly if you have any items you’d like to donate (or a monetary donation) at : mbrouwer@uvic.ca

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Local resident asks councillors to improve safety at Lakeview Park beach

There’s no need to offer direct access to the beach, Sandsmark says

Business notes: The prawn rush is on at Mad Dogs Crab Seafood market

The store will be selling the prawns for the next three weeks

Capitals’ Coughlin commits to Cougars

Forward was third in Cowichan scoring in 2017-18

Mary Lowther column: Prepare for need to conserve water in summer garden

We can have a productive garden with far less water than one might suppose.

Chris Wilkinson column: It all matters

A decision to put on her fighting gloves and battle.

VIDEO: Heritage Days 2018 offers family fun

With a Mountie in red serge leading the parade, vintage trucks motor through Lake Cowichan

9 temperature records broken across B.C. as warm weather continues

Clearwater, Golden, Williams Lake, Malahat a few of the cities that broke records Thursday

COLUMN: Stanley Cup final prediction

Upstart Vegas Golden Knights clash with Washington Capitals

Vancouver Island wildfire burning near Campbell River coal mine

The fire is suspected to be human caused at this time

Big brew tanks headed for Chilliwack wrapped to look like beer cans

Snap a #beertanks selfie if you see massive tanks en route to Chilliwack

TransLink to ‘pause’ Morgan Freeman PSAs after sexual harassment allegations

Eight women told CNN they were sexually harassed by the Hollywood actor

UPDATE: Two-year-old found unresponsive in pool passes away

Mission RCMP located toddler after she went missing from a local daycare

Toronto opening 800 emergency spaces to deal with influx of refugee claimants

Beginning Thursday, Toronto will temporarily house refugee claimants and new arrivals in 400 beds in the city’s east end.

Breaking: Trump cancels summit with North Korea

Trump cancels June 12 summit with North Korea’s Kim, citing ‘tremendous anger and open hostility’ in recent statement

Most Read