Meet the New Student Blogger from Truckee Meadows Community College
Hello everyone, my name is Dylana and I’m from Costa Rica, a really tiny country in Central America. This is my first semester at TMCC and my first job on campus. I'm so excited about it, but let me first introduce my background and some of my cultural characteristics that made me who I am now.
I was born and raised in Costa Rica — was born in San Jose, the capital city, but I spent most of my life in Limon Province. My family is a small family: it’s just me, my grandmother, and my mother, who always took care of me and made sure to give me the best resources to be a successful woman.
Also, my mom always tried to teach me important things since I was a toddler, as a result, I learned to read at four years old, and I already knew some basic vocabulary in English too. After that, my mom noticed that I had great memory because before I learned to read, I used to memorize all the fairytales so she used that as an advantage to teach me about public speaking and to encourage me to participate in events. That’s how I ended up participating in oratory contests, science fairs, spelling bees, student government, and doing speeches for important events like municipal transfers of power.
I’m so grateful that my mom taught me that because I got really good opportunities and experiences. When I started high school, I put all my effort into learning English because my new goal was to study abroad. I didn’t know how I was going to do that, but it was my main goal, and I worked for it. Now after some years, the opportunity came, and when I look at my old diary entries saying that I wanted to study abroad, I feel so proud of myself knowing that I’m making that dream true.
Costa Rican Culture
What I like the most about Costa Rica is the pluricultural background that we all share and enjoy. Since every Costa Rican province has its own activities, it is difficult to point to all of them, but I can describe my province's.
In Limon Province, where I was raised, we enjoy Afro-Caribbean culture with all its typical meals, dances and costumes. Last August 30th we celebrated Afro-Caribbean day, a day when Afro-Caribbean people show how proud they are of their culture by participating in Calypso parades, selling Caribbean food, and wearing calypso costumes. Calypso is a genre of music that people dance and sing along with, and it requires all body movement and is a joyful dance.
Limon Typical Food
Talking about typical food, a main dish in my province is called “rice and beans,” mainly made with rice and beans, this dish is cooked with a different process using coconut oil. Also included is Caribbean chicken, which is a spicy chicken with Panamanian pepper, and sweet plantains with green salad. Most of the time, these are served with a traditional beverage called “Agua de sapo” (Frog’s water, literally translated) and it can sound bad, but it is made with crude sugar and lemons, so it tastes good.
Our Caribbean culture is mostly seen in Limon, but as I said, in other provinces you can find Indigenous Culture and even Chinese culture. We are a mix of cultures where you can share with each other and appreciate each other’s backgrounds.
That's how we promote the “Pura Vida,” this is our national phrase and it means “pure life,” which can be understood as a chill lifestyle where we always try to be optimistic. Also, we use Pura Vida to answer questions, greet people, describe something, or express a feeling.
This is a little bit of what Costa Rica and I feel so proud of being here representing my country and meeting new people from all over the world. This is absolutely a new experience for me and a dream come true, so I’m trying to experience and enjoy it the best I can.
See you soon for a new blog!!
Dylana Camacho Orozco from Costa Rica is an international student at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada.
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