10 Costa Rican Peace Corps Volunteers + 4 Peace Corps staff met in San José de Upala the evening of Jan. 5th and prepared for a 5-day, 375 km. bike ride that would take them from the Nicaraguan border, through the center of the country, and then down to the Panama border along the Caribbean coast. Along the way, Volunteers planned to give talks in their communitieson living healthy lifestyles, getting exercise, and eating right.Thanks to the support from their Country Director, Steve Dorsey, they had 2 support vehicles
that shadowed the 2 different groups, one with biking experience and one without.
The first day, they biked from the Nicaragua border, through Upala to Monterrey. It was an
intense ride, as many bikers had never experienced the intensity of the hills and the constant
wind and rain. All made it safely late in the afternoon and prepared for the 2nd day, a trip
that would take them to Venecia. On day 3, they rode down windy roads through beautiful
towns to Guápiles at which point, for safety reasons, Volunteers were loaded onto a bus to
Limón. Staff then loaded all 12 bikes into the cars and headed to Limón to meet the Volunteers
a few hours later.
Day 4, the bikers left Limón and biked a short 50 kms. to Cahuita. Day 5, they biked from
Cahuita to Sixaola, the town bordering Panama.
From a safety and security perspective, it was a very successful trip with only one flat tire,
a few bruises, and many aches and pains. It was great to have arrived at the Panama border
with 10 Volunteers and 4 Peace Corps staff, all of who were grateful for the opportunity to
have ridden for their lives in order to promote a healthy lifestyle.
The story was also featured in the local newspaper La Nacion here.
Participants: (PC staff) Allegra Troiano, Alonso Quesada, José Cerdas, & Natalia Mora
Peace Corps Volunteers: Beth Dove, Katherine Kreuger, Julia Riddell, Ken Farrell, Kristin
Lucas, Nicole Budzius, Eric Smith, Carmen Lavit, Allen Wang, Peter Plaas, Marissa Strniste
and Julia Lockamy, (the two organizers)