Tag Archives: Costa Rica

The Foods of Costa Rica & Nicaragua- by Mackenzie Sherrill. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The Foods of Costa Rica & Nicaragua- by Mackenzie Sherrill. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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After traveling this past summer to both Costa Rica and Nicaragua for a medical service trip, one aspect of the Central American culture that was fascinating to experience was the food. As a result of spending approximately one week in each country, I was able to get a good idea of the types of food the people ate on a daily basis, and also how food can play such an important role in bringing people together.

No matter where I ate throughout the trip, whether it was at a restaurant, hotel, or in someone’s home, rice and beans were always present in each meal I was served. This was very interesting to me because in the United States of America, I don’t believe we have certain food items that are found in almost every meal, similar to how rice and beans are in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. After speaking to some of the local people through our translators, I found out that rice and beans are quite common in the diets of Central American people because of how inexpensive they are and also due to their high abundance in these locations. I learned that most families in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua serve rice and beans with breakfast, lunch, and dinner and if they are fortunate enough, they will serve it alongside some type of meat. It was humbling for me to see how content the people in these countries were with eating only two food items throughout most of their lives, when in the states, we have so much variety in our diets and the foods we eat.

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Another thing I noticed about the food in Costa Rica and Nicaragua was how it was used as a sign of respect and hospitality towards others. After staying in a family’s home in Nicaragua, it was very evident that in order to make you feel welcome in their homes, the families would feed you large amounts of food. When offered food, it was only polite that we accepted their invitation, even if that meant eating when you were not hungry. Although using food as a means to welcome a guest into a home is somewhat common in the United States, it was different in these countries in that people rarely turn down the offer.

After returning home from Costa Rica and Nicaragua, I was quite relieved when I got a break from eating rice and beans, even though I enjoyed eating it while I was abroad. I am glad I had the opportunity to experience a different culture’s diet, and to see how food can not only be important in nourishing your body, but also in connecting people from all over the world.

Mackenzie Sherrill serves as social media editor for The North Star Reports.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In five semesters we have published 200 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. We are sponsored by St. Scholastica’s Department of History and Politics and by the scholarly Middle Ground Journal: World History and Global Studies (http://theMiddleGroundJournal.org).

For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica.

Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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Costa Rica and Nicaragua – Medical Service Trip — The North Star Reports – by Mackenzie Sherrill. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

Costa Rica and Nicaragua – Medical Service Trip — The North Star Reports – by Mackenzie Sherrill. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

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This past summer I was blessed with the opportunity to accomplish many things I have been yearning to do for quite some time now: travel abroad, serve others in a medical setting, and grow as an individual. My journey to Costa Rica and Nicaragua was centered around healing and helping the peoples of both countries, so prior to my departure, I knew it was going to be a life-changing 13 days.

Being immersed into two new cultures, both very different from my own, had my mind and ideas constantly focused on finding all the differences I could pinpoint between Central American cultures, and my own in the United States of America. I continually found myself admiring, even envying, these peoples’ simple ways of living over the more complex customs and traditions I have become accustomed to only 3,500 miles away. After having 6 clinic days in both countries and tending to over 548 patients collectively, both in-home and in clinical settings, one difference was able to stand out to me above all others. Although many of the patients we saw had severe medical conditions ranging from uncontrolled chronic illnesses to malnutrition, the doctors we had the opportunity of working alongside of seemed to focus much more upon preventative measures and health education, versus treating the ailment itself. At first, this type of treatment caught me off-guard because as I have observed, healthcare in the states is generally focused upon prescribing various treatments and medicines for medical conditions that are already fully present within the patient.

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The concept of preventative healthcare seems to make much more sense in hopes of leading a country’s people to a healthier lifestyle, especially in ones that don’t have access to quality healthcare or medical resources. While hosting clinics in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua, I sometimes found myself saddened that we couldn’t do more for our patients, but it brought ease knowing that the health education we were providing them with could make all the difference in bringing real change to the communities we worked in. The doctors often stressed that if all we were able to do was educate our patients on how simple topics such as dental hygiene and nutrition are crucial to someone’s overall health, we would be providing these individuals with something much more useful and affective than medicine. With any amount of new knowledge, our patients would hopefully be able to apply it to their own lives, and the lives of their family members, creating a chain reaction of using preventative action towards achieving better health.

Although I was able to help educate the people of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, I believe the experience taught me equally as much about the culture in Central America and also how I hope to one day treat patients of my own.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, The College of St. Scholastica and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal’s online learning community and outreach program with undergraduate and K-12 classes around the world. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

The North Star Reports publishes edited essays from our students, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. Students have reported from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, Colombia, Norway, northeastern China, Nicaragua, Micronesia, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, El Salvador, England, Finland, Russia, Cyprus, and Haiti. We also publish student reviews of books, documentaries, and films, and analysis of current events from around the world. We will post their dispatches, and report on their interactions with the North Star Reports students and teachers. We thank The Department of History and Politics and the School of Arts and Letters of The College of St. Scholastica for their generous financial support for The North Star Reports and The Middle Ground Journal.

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica.

Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

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