Humans of Costa Rica MBS Series

Ms. Patricia Smith - US Social Studies Teacher © Maria Paula Chaves
© Maria Paula Chaves

Costa Rica has changed a lot after 24 years but one thing remains certain: when I get into a taxi the taxi driver will ask me first, if I am married and second, how many children do I have. The questions at first bothered me a lot especially since I could never have children but then I decided to answer that question in this way: in any given year I have between 57 to 60 children. They arrive at 8 AM and I send them on their way a 3 PM. It is clear that the drivers do not understand so I explain. “My children” are my students who arrive each day to class. I spend almost five years with my kids from ages 13 to 19. I love them and scold them and hope in some way that I teach them something each and every day. I am very proud of “my kids” as any parent would be. I watch them grow, overcome difficulties, share special moments with them and they truly are “my” family. As they graduate, I am as proud and sad to send them on to college as any parent. With the advent of Facebook, I have become an aunt, grandmother and even mom and I cherish the recognition. I have “kids” that I have been communicating with for 24 years. My extended family stretches around the world and it is a special family that always remains with me and continues to grow. I have the greatest job in the world.

Ana - Kitchen Staff © Sofia Calvo
Ana - Kitchen Staff © Camilla Delgado

Yo tengo 30 años de trabajar aquí, siempre ame a la señora Baker y me dieron muchas oportunidades de trabajo, mis hijos pudieron estudiar gracias a este programa. me ayudo porque tengo este trabajo y gano mi sueldo. En la escuela cuando estábamos debajo Plaza del Sol teníamos que, bueno la señora Baker ella me llevaba en carro a veces al trabajo y a veces no me veía y tenía que correr estos 100 metros porque ella me veía hasta allá y ella me dice, “Hola! Ponte en el centro de la carretera!” para ver quién era, y yo digo, “Si, para que me atropellen!” Y en Plaza del Sol había que correr de una escuela a la otra porque primaria estaba en Rosti Pollos y secundaria enfrente de la Pops.

On his last day, surrounded by students. Mr. Picado © Jeannie Hampton
This moment was after an entire class said goodbye on his last day, after everyone cried, and just moments after he pulled out their work he'd kept for years in a book. He loved people well, and he is loved by all. Mr. Picado, Spanish Teacher © Jeannie Hampton
Bonnie Heigold - © Sofia Calvo

I went to UCLA, and studied nursing. I started working when I was 16, then I came to Costa Rica, and had 4 children. After living 17 years in Puntarenas, I came to San Jose. I had a baking business, and I catered 5 different restaurants. I worked two years in ICS, and Ms.Baker was my daughters piano teacher, and that's how we started Marian Baker... until today. "I think I love everything about this school, mainly the students." I love everything about this school, the students. Everything about the students!

Adrián Fernádez - Student 10th Grade
Adrian Fernandez

“The one who falls and got up is much stronger than the one who never falls.”

Elena Tristán - Student 3rd Grade © Sofia Calvo

"The teachers (at MBS) are very, very kind, and a lot of things. The library is very nice. I love Mr. D’Amico that he’s so nice with me and the teacher of music, and all that."

Omar | © Maggi Cartwright

Soy de Nicaragua y tenia 6 años acá. Lo que mas quiero de este escuela? Ooh trabajar hasta que estoy viejo, jajaja. Porque muy bueno el ambiente, los empleados, los alumnos geniales, son buenos los compañeros de trabajo. Impactado, que sera, algo que impacta ha uno es digamos el trato que decir, super buen trato, le hace sentir bien a uno, le de ganas de trabajar, de hacer todo muy bien.

Frase favorita, "cuando hay alguna problemia , decir, lo intenta.”

El mejor día de mi vida, es el nacimiento de mi hija, tiene 4 años. Se llama Alitza."

Will - Driver/Handyman © Sofia Calvo
Being Interviewed.. © Valeria Schushner
Alejandro Vargas - 6th Grade Student © Maggi Cartwright

What do you love about MBS? “That its like big but at the same time small, and that there are a lot of people, and I have been here since K4.

Like eh, my mom and I and my brothers make a lot of activities like one time we went to clean a river because my mom was planning to make like, rumble around it so people in bicycles could go, so we do lots of activities. Once we were collecting trash over there, under and we saw a lot of trash from cans and a lot of things I did not know. That impacted me.

I think it was the like, the best day of my life was like when, when I broke my arm, I always wanted to break my arm, that was my favorite day.

Elisa Leiva - 8th Grade Student | © Sofia Calvo, Top © Maggi Cartwright, Bottom © Valeria Schuschner
Francisco Jose Gonzalez Top Left © Sofia Calvo, Top Right © Maggi Cartwright, Bottom © Valeria Schuschner

I enjoy playing volleyball, basketball, all things I learned in the school, video games, I am really athletic and family is my top priority. How, how are you guys gonna, like judge my quote, can it be funny, can it be rude, can it be... Man I don’t know, I don’t wanna say it. - Wait where is this gonna go?

Funny Quote: “I don’t care what white people say, Santa Clause is black.”

Marcela Monge - Spanish Teacher | Top Left © Valeria Schushner, portraits © Sofia Calvo, and kneeling © Emiliano Fumero

Una de las cosas que mas me gustado cuando vine como hace 20 años, fue las actividades que hacian los grandes y los chiquititos, y el respeto que habia entre ellos. Hace muchos años yo me enamore de un grupo, les di cuatro años seguidos, antes de entregar los títulos, me llamaron al escenario. Subí las gradas y me tenían un regalo con unas flores. Eso fue un día maravilloso.

Una de las cosas que mas recuerdo es la posibilidad que Dios me ha dado de viajar. Me enamore de tantos lugares, en especial Turo Seu Vella en Lleida. Aunque a nivel profesional, ha sido estar en la vida de mis alumnos 10-20 años despues de haberles dado clases. Verlos en el matrimonio o incluso con su primer bebe.

"Carpie Diem" aprovechar el día es lo que nos hace diferentes, solo tenemos un día. El futuro es incierto, y ayer ya paso.

ENGLISH: One of the things that I've most liked most, when I came 20 years ago, were the activities between the older and the younger ones, and the respect they had towards each other. Many years ago I fell in love with this group. I gave them 4 years of classes, and the year of the graduation they surprised me. They called me up to the stage, and gave me a gift along with flowers. That was a wonderful day.

One of the things i've remembered much is the possibility God's given me of traveling. I fell in love with so many places, but specially with Turo Seu Vella in Lleida. In a professional matter, my favorite memory has been staying in the life of my students, after 10-20 years of teaching them. Seeing them get married, or with their first baby.

My favorite quote, "Carpe Diem" Seize the day, that's what makes us different. We only have one day, the future is uncertain, and yesterday already passed.

Created By
Jeannie Hampton
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