February 26, 2020

8 Costa Rican teen-agers are learning American ways

Teen-agers with the Central American Peace Scholarship program in Costa Rica will get a taste of Maine living and culture for the next seven months as they participate in a program sponsored by the 4-H Foundation and the Costa Rican equivalent of the 4-H, the 4-S Foundation of Costa Rica.

The eight teens came to Maine in mid-June to stay with Maine families under the program sponsored by CAPS, 4-S, the National 4-H Council, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

An orientation session was held to acquaint the young people with life in the United States and an “intercultural training weekend” was held at Tanglewood 4-H Camp in Lincolnville.

The Costa Ricans will help with family chores and join in entertainment, will be active in 4-H events and will attend schools with their hosts. They will be invited to the Norland Farms for a living history lesson, a winter family outing and to Augusta to learn about government.

“This is the second year the CAPS program has come to Maine,” said Carney McRae, extension educator and a coordinator of the project. “Already, we have seen results of this program, including Maine youth visiting Costa Rica, taking Spanish in high school, and wanting more leadership opportunities in 4-H.” McRae said that CAPS students excelled in English after their visits.

Students and their hosts are: Eduardo Alfaro with Donald and Marion Green of Rockport; Lilliana Bermudez with Howard and Pauline Chase of Litchfield; Olger Carballo with John and Donna Gillespie of Monson; Andrea Fernandez with Brian and Esther Libby of Oakland; Katthya Hernandez with the Lynn Osterberg family in South Waterford; Roy Lopez with John and Cynthia McCormack of New Sweden; Harold Mora with Stephen and June Burke of Warren; Elena Quesada with Daniel and Nancy Grover of Bethel.

More information about the CAPS program is available at the State 4-H Office, University of Maine, Orono 04469, 581-3877, or from Carney McRae at the Knox-Lincoln County Extension Office, 375 Main St., Rockland 04841, 594-2104 or 1-800-244-2104.

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