Piropos on Valentines Day

Sydney Perlotto
February 19, 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day, or Feliz Dia de San Valentin as it is called here in Costa Rica.

Today was a great Galentine’s day with my entire group, even though we had our first Spanish exam this morning. Earlier in the week when we weren’t studying, we had an afternoon where we made Valentine’s Day cards for our host families, each other, our center directors, and friendly ticos and ticas. In Spanish, the term “piropo” refers to compliment, usually verbally given, so our Valentine’s Day cards were our version of piropos. After handing our piropos out, our center directors also gave us some delicious chocolate, which was the perfect treat after the exam.

Our day didn’t end with compliments and candy though, for after our exam our Spanish teacher took us on an adventure to the Children’s Museum in San Jose. The building where the museum is housed was formerly a prison, but is now designed to educate kids about science, Costa Rica, and everything you can imagine. Everything is interactive, and my favorite exhibit was about electricity – we all linked hands with the first and last person placing their palms on a metal disc so that we could feel the current. It was pretty strong! After leaving the museum, we had a nice lunch of casado, the traditional meal here in Costa Rica.

During lunch, I asked everyone what was their favorite part about living and learning in Costa Rica. The food was definitely at the top of the list as well as how friendly the people are. Host families have also been a huge part in letting us all come to love Costa Rica, and I definitely feel like my experience so far would be less fun without a host family. I think that our small group has really come to love our small town outside of San Jose as well as the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Personally, I knew how much everyone had fallen in love with this experience the moment we shared our first group meal together in downtown San Jose.



Our group making piropos in preparation for El Dia de San Valentine. Delicious chocolate given to us by our wonderful IES directors, Sarah and Kattia. Everyone made cards for their mama ticas because they are so wonderful, and when I gave one to my mama tica she hung it on our fridge! The Children's Museum in San Jose - it used to be a penitentiary but now is painted to look like an awesome castle. Some more finished cards for each other. Everyone hard at work designing the best piropos. Some of our finished Valentines for our friends and family here in Costa Rica.


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Sydney Perlotto

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hello! My name is Sydney Perlotto, and I am a junior at the University of Maryland, College Park majoring in Global Social Change and Development and minoring in Latin American Studies and International Development and Conflict Management. I am originally from Atlanta, GA but came to UMD because of its proximity to DC (and snow!). You can often find me volunteering around campus, baking tasty treats, or just generally frolicking! After traveling to Chile for a short term study abroad my sophomore year, I have definitely caught the travel bug and hope one day backpack throughout Latin America. Costa Rica is bound to be an adventure of language, culture, and biodiversity - and I have my waterproof hiking boots at the ready!</span></p>

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