Tim Green addresses Lions Club about Costa Rica aid work
Published 5:15 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2024
Members of the Bainbridge Lions Club started the 2024 year with a presentation by Mr. Tim Green, who was invited to tell the Lions about his trips to Costa Rica. Since 2016, Mr. Green has joined with members of St. James United Methodist Church of Atlanta to fly to San Jose, Costa Rica, and spend a week working to erect the buildings to be used by an orphanage there.
The need for an orphanage developed in the 1990’s as missionaries saw many abandoned children. By 2011, the group had acquired eleven acres and they began working to build two cottages. Each cottage now accommodates twelve residents, one for boys and one for girls. A three-story building to be used as a school is nearing completion, and two additional cottages will be built next.
The community in San Jose is marked by poverty and lacks many of the things we take for granted. For example, there are no ready-mixed concrete operations; the volunteers must rely on small portable concrete mixers and hand tools to mix and spread the concrete. Electric wiring is done by hand-pulling cable.
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The workers stay in a “compound” and are transported back and forth to the worksite by the Methodist host organization. They work Monday through Thursday and Friday until lunch, and then enjoy “down time” in a resort atmosphere until departing for the flight home. At the end of their working time, the volunteers leave their work clothes to be used by the local people.
The 5000-foot elevation of San Jose, along with typical afternoon rain, is unlike our situation in Georgia. Notably, the people are very friendly. Criminal activity is rare, and the only police presence is a national force that deals with international issues – so you see national police at the airport, and they carry rifles!
Transportation into San Jose and back home is paid by the volunteers, and a passport is required for the trip. Mr. Green joins his brother, who lives in Atlanta, for this annual project. Since 2016 they have enjoyed these trips together, building many happy memories and an enduring sense of satisfaction.