As part of the Peace Corps Costa Rica structure there are various committees made up of volunteers and staff advisors. The committees concern various things: diversity, gender issues, volunteer peer support, and environmental issues. The committee I'm on is called the Volunteer Advisory Council, or VAC, and is essentially Peace Corps student council. The country is divided into regions, and four times a year, the regions meet to discuss ideas and issues concerning volunteer life, and then each regional leader (I've been my region's leader for last year and am again this year) meets with the other leaders and then staff, to try to figure out successful solutions. These issues range from requests for training to carry out a project, suggestions for clearer information about vaccines for regional travel, or appeals to be reimbursed for work related travel, etc. These meetings are also a great chance to get together and catch up with the other volunteers in the region. Lots of the conversations at such meetings end up being about whatever projects volunteers are working on, and perhaps even lead to coordination of projects or shared solutions.
Also, because we can have the meeting wherever we want in the region, it also means a trip to the beach or a hike through the rainforest to jump off a waterfall. As in, these pictures you're seeing are from our meeting in January in beautiful Punta Uva, Limón. That's right, no stuffy office room with a boring PowerPoint, more like palm trees and aqua blue water. I was quite impressed by Punta Uva, it is a gorgeous and very expansive beach, with lots of trees right by the beach providing shade for reading or a picnic. I went for a jog along the beach when we were there and was delighted at how calm and clear the light blue water was as my feet splashed through it-remember this was a work meeting. In the middle of January.
|(not a bad looking regional office, eh?)|