Living in America, and especially being a young person in America, means that I am arguably at the very center of the growing culture of excessive communication and interconnectedness that has permeated all aspects of the coming generation. I barely know a anyone who doesn’t have a cell phone and email and facebook and at least 2 or 3 other means of communication. So the idea of “isolation,” doesn’t always hit home. A few years ago I did a community service trip to Costa Rica, where a stayed with a family their small home in Las Brisas, Alajuela. This is a co op community of about 800 people in the mountains in Costa Rica. Google it. No hits. And I have yet to see the name on a map of any scale. Over the weekend, I received an e-mail from my host family. Their rare access to the internet (once every few months, during a trip to the closest thing to town, which is a two-hour drive) means I get an update on the family and always questions of when I plan to return.
We volunteers who have passed through are a window to them into the world outside of the Costa Rican mountains where people have access to airplanes and have the mobility to travel, to immediately receive their e-mails, and bring books of photographs of the skyscrapers in the cities we come from.