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ANGEL VILLAREAL BOGARIN

Through Angel Villareal Bogarin’s hard work, initiative and leadership, the community of Matapalo has been strengthened in social infrastructure as he has inspired change and others to action. His participation as a community leader and his involvement with the Bandera Azul program, ASANA, as well as a liason for the Matapalo Beach Lifeguards has served as a grand example to other local Costaricans on the importance of being active community participants. His example has also shown the important role the private sector can indeed play to acheive stronger more united multi cultural communitities.

For first time readers to Making a Difference, here are the 4 principal and governing factors which allow our multi cultural community to become engaged.

1. Inspire Change.

2. Build Community.

3. Facilitate action.

4. Strengthen Engagement.

Here below ANGEL shares with us his current participation in community affairs.

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Bethany Van Kampen

By Charlie Berghammer

This month’s Making a Difference profile tales us south again to the Matapalo zone of our Aguirre county. It is always a privledge to be able to share with others the stories of how certain expats make the important decision to be active participants in our community as oppossed to those who only complain about the cultural differences that separate us.

For those who are new to the column, here below are the principles of this ideal to citizen action.

1. Inspire Change.

2. Build Community.

3. Facilitate Action.

4. Strengthen Engagement.

This month’s profile is dedicated to a young women whose story is similiar to many thousands of volunteers involved in the International Peace Corps program. Here below she shares her story of dedicated service to the community of Portalon, 20 minutes south of Quepos.

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Greg Anderson

By Charlie Berghammer

How exciting to begin the year by sharing the story of a recently migrated expat to Costa Rica who knew from the start that his coming to Costa Rica was more than just to live a comfortable lifestyle in the tropics.  His story is that of many of us who have come looking for ways to INTEGRATE into our local Costa Rican communities.  What Greg Anderson and many others have discovered is that the catalyst for this integration can come through engagement in local community service.

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El Coquito Hotel

For many residents living in Aguirre County, the year 2009 will be the saddest in the annals of Matapalo Beach history.  Due to the complicated laws and regulations which govern the Maritime Zone, many hard working residents on the beach lost their homes and businesses as well as their personal belongings during the parade of destruction which reigned down some months ago.

This months Making a Difference, is dedicated to the collective efforts of these same Matapalo community members who joined together and made an effort to restore what could be salvaged of our precious gem community on the ocean.
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Chris Cobb and Jenny Roman

By Charlie Berghammer

For our first time readers to “Making a Difference” allow me to review the 4 principal and governing factors which allow our multi cultural community to become engaged.

1. Inspire Change. Provide information highlighting some of our communities biggest challenges, raise awareness and motivate others to take action.

2. Build Community. Connect people with others who share the same vision for change and help them create networks to put plans into motion.

3. Facilitate Action. Offer tools for community members and visitors to our area to make commitments to act and track their progress and results.

4. Strengthen Engagement. Encourage citizen action throughout our local area and Costa Rica by the cultivation of partnerships with other world organizations like Sister Cities International to address our specific needs.

This month’s profile belongs to Chris Cobb and Jenny Roman from the Portalon area.  Recently the school at Portalon was blessed with 15 computers which form the basis of the new computer lab.  We all know that ¨blessings¨of this sort do not just happen.   School Director Jenny Roman, one always known for her persuasion and perseverance was instrumental in procuring the computer lab equipment and thanks to expat Chris Cobb, they now have their first program of computer web page design.  Together they have created the elements necessary to begin classroom instruction for several interested local students.   Read on with excitement as Chris Cobb explains how it all came about!

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Kim Stilwell: Gentle Guidance & Love

by Charlie Berghammer

On a recent visit to Chicago, a friend having just read all the details of the planned Matapalo Beach Community Center sat down with me next to the lake and ask me candidly “Charlie what motivates you to realize such an ambitious project?” My response was simple and to the point. I explained to my friend that I was simply paying back in whatever way I could for all those people who showed up on my lifes stage as miracles to show me my way on lifes journey.
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