The Pura Vida No Pro is a day that is organized each year to bring a group of orphans down from the city of San Jose, here in Costa Rica, to the pacific coastal town of Esterillos. The kids get to surf, ride horses, do yoga, make sand castles and generally have a wonderful time playing at the beach. An amateur surf contest runs alongside which the children love to watch.
We get to bring our horses and take the children for rides up and down the beach. Many of the orphans are very withdrawn and closed up at first, but when they get on the horses backs, the smiles start to emerge, break in to a trot and heads get thrown back and belly laughter fills the air. If I could bottle that sound….I truly don’t think I would ever have a bad day again. One volunteer Kelie, told me afterwards that one of the girls that she took had never seen the ocean. She was 13 years old and has lived one hour away her whole life! It was a super special day for her, and for Kelie.
Horses can be very healing for all humans and many of the children come back more than once and it is a pleasure to see how calm the horses are with them.
A great example of the power of horses was with a boy called Walter. He was 17 years old and stood away from all the other children. When I approached him he was very shy and didn’t want to talk or be involved; but he kept staring at the horses. He gingerly got up on Whiskey, he told me he hadn’t ever been on a horse before. He was a natural. He sat there like he had been on a horse his whole life. When his time was up I still hadn’t seen him smile, but I felt he had enjoyed it. I asked him if he would like to come back later and ride again as he was such a natural. I was so pleased to see him walking towards the horse station about an hour later. He rode 4 times and at the end he rode alone with Chris up the beach with no lead rein. It was a very very special moment and I won’t forget Walter for a very long time.
Talking of the beach, we are super excited to be opening our beach tours on 1st December on the same beach as shown in these photos. Anyone up for a sunset beach ride!!
The photos are of a small group of the 54 orphans that came from San Jose and the other is of Walter with Chris.