Costa Ricans visit Hood River County

A group of eight Costa Ricans are completing a month in Oregon with a week’s visit in Hood River, writes Peter Frothingham of Hood River, and a member of the Alliance for Progress.

The visitors and some of their hosts enjoyed a guided walking tour of the historic buildings in downtown Hood River, among many stops during their time in the area.

The tour was led by Carley Squyres, AmeriCorps intern, from the Hood River Museum. Following this event they visited the Hood River County Library.

Costa Rica and most other countries around the world do not have community libraries, according to Frothingham.

“Oregon is fortunate to be paired with Costa Rica. The partnership began through the Alliance for Progress initiated in the Kennedy Administration,” he said.

For more than 15 years there has been an adult cultural exchange between the two countries. Oregonians who host a Costa Rican have an opportunity to show off their community, practice or learn a little Spanish and learn firsthand about another culture. Those who host are eligible to visit Costa Rica for a month in January and February at low cost.

“They have a wonderful time visiting the entire country, including places and communities not seen by most tourists,” Frothingham said. There is also a student exchange with an even longer history. It began in 1986.

The Costa Ricans also visited Mount Hood, Lost Lake and Mid Valley Elementary School, took the Mount Hood Railroad to Parkdale, visited an alpaca farm and pressed apples into juice. Before arriving in Hood River they spent time with hosts in Portland, Seaside, Salem and Redmond.

Any one interested in hosting a Costa Rican or a couple in 2013 can contact Tim Foley at 541-399-2140 or Peter Frothingham at 541-354-3021.

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