2017 brought about several new adventures for MTAG. On the International side, Costa Rica became part of the ever growing MTAG family. Through our relationship with Secundino Morales in Panama, connections to the Refuge of Life in La Carpio (a barrio outside of San Jose), took us to a tremendous place of need. We were told this was one of the worst areas in San Jose, that there was only one road in and out and only one piece of land that was not concrete in the entire barrio. Sounds just like our kind of place!
The team spent the week not only teaching baseball but also working on a community center in the Las Grades neighborhood. This area is only accessible by120 steps. In the mornings, we carried bags of concrete, sand and cinder blocks up and down those stairs and in the afternoons we administered baseball clinics between rain storms. The Refuge of Life was located at the end of the barrio and the descriptions were accurate. One road and the only piece of land available. The team shared lunch with other service groups from the United States that were there preforming medical missions and by the end of the week, found their way out to the field for some baseball with the boys and girls. When our time had come to an end, we had spent an amazing week making improvements to the Community Center, established an on-going training program and donated enough equipment to keep this effort going forward for the foreseeable future. Our hopes is that we may experience the growth and longevity seen in Panama so we may again visit this beautiful country and continue to build our relationship with this amazing community.