It's been a week since we returned from Costa Rica, and since it's Flag Day and I'm laying about the house, I decided to share some photos from our trip.
The majority of the group from the Diocese of Panamá all traveled together on COPA. The bus from the airport to the hotel had a flat, so we had to wait for another bus to continue our trip to the Gran Hotel Costa Rica, which is just across the street from El Teatro Nacionál in Beautiful Down Town San José. We had most of the day off, so the Lovely Mona and I took a nap as we'd been up since four a.m.
That evening Bishop Monterosso of Costa Rica welcomed us and we had Vespertina, followed by Cocktails and then dinner. After dinner, we were entertained with Costa Rican folkloric dances.
El Gran Hotel Costa Rica
On Wednesday we had sessions with the folks from the Church Pension Fund, and they were very informative. It's always good to see the group from CPF. It was great to be in San José again. Before we came to Panamá, the Lovely Mona and I (and Revda. Rebecca Michelfelder) spent a month in San José at a language school. The Lovely Mona and I decided to wander about and see if we could find our old stompin' grounds. We wandered about and then found a park and our memories switched on and we found the house at which we stayed. The person with home we stayed had passed on several years ago, so we didn't get to see her. We even found the Soda where we used to buy empanadas de papas y empanadas de frioles y queso. We had a great time!
That evening, at Vespertina, Bishop Murray, on behalf of CAETS (Centro de Estudios Telógicos Superiores) and la Comisión Teológica de IARCA, signed a Covenant with the Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana.
Signing of the Covenant Between CAETS/IARCA and Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana
Máster Nidia Fonesca, Rectora de UBL
On Thursday we had a Pilgrimage to visit sites important to the Anglican Church in Costa Rica. We visited Iglesia San Felipe y Santago y Hogar Escuela Episcopal in Barrio Cuba of San José. Bishop Julio Murray of Panamá presented the directors of the school with a gift from our diocese and our Panamanian Episcopal schools. I was surprised to see my friend Sandra Piedra, widow of Padre Simón Alvarado at la escuela. I stayed with her and Padre Simón and their children Josue y Paula in Santiago de Veraguas, Panamá, waaaay back in 1998 when I was with the Panama Project. They moved to Costa Rica when Padre Simón retired; Sandra is Tica. Padre passed away a few years ago. We had a great conversation, and we even got to see Paula in the evening at the dinner.
We then visited Café Britt en Heredia, where we learned all about how coffee is grown and then had lunch. I don't think this spot is particularly important to Costa Rican Anglicans, but ya gots ta do the tourist thang, ya know!
After lunch we visited Proyecto Hogar Escuela Episcopal Guararía, Heredia, a school and church which is under construction. Bishop Baharona presented a gift to the school on behalf of the Diocese of El Salvador. It was raining really hard while we were there.
We returned to San José and attended a Eucharist at Iglesia El Buen Pastor, which was the first Episcopal Church in Costa Rica and is the Cathedral. A group from the Diocese of North Carolina was there, doing mission work (painting and restoring a church) and participated with us all. Then we had a great dinner in the parish hall, with entertainment by a local Gospel Group. It was a wonderful day, but we had to get up early (4:00 am) to get on the bus to the airport and then the plane back to Panamá. A wonderful time was had by all!
Coffee growing outside of the hotel
Group from the Diocese of Panamá
Lining up for the buses
Iglesia San Felipe y Santago y Hogar Escuela Episcopal
con Sandra Piedra
Proyecto Hogar Escuela Episcopal Guararía
Women from the Diocese of Guatemala singing Unidos
Iglesia El Buen Pastor