Culture and Family

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The Costa Rican immersion course was a great experience. We were able to visit one of the many Latino countries which is located in Central America. We were able to learn about the types of social services in Costa Rica and the response from citizens. They also demonstrated collaboration within some agencies. The culture of the agencies, however, were very different from that of the community, at least that is how I saw it. Knowing all this is very important for our practice in the United States, keeping in mind that a lot of us want to work with immigrants. Many of the immigrants in the United States originated from Latin American countries. Being able to experience the culture like natives of that culture will be beneficial in our practice with Latin Americans in the United States. We have to remember that culture is not only language and food, but the surroundings as well. There are many factors that can make up a culture and we must keep this in mind. We must remember that our client is the expert of their life and we must learn from them.
This trip reinforced one of the major parts of the Latino culture, family. Family ties are one of the most important aspects in the Latino community. Of course we cannot assume that this is true for everyone but it is common. This is something that I experienced. My homestay treated me like I was a part of their family. My homestay family even said that she was my mother. I also realized that food is something that is important to the culture as well, a lot seemed to happen around food. The best conversations I had were during a meal, especially with our host family. This was a way to connect with my homestay family. I learned the most about Costa Rican culture through food and the conversations had through their cuisine. This country has self-proclaimed itself to be one of the happiest countries in the world, regardless of inequalities in the culture. Their quality of life is great and we can do good by modeling a few of their examples, such as their universal healthcare system.

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