News: Lacrosse, Service, and the Pura Vida Lifestyle

Photo Credit: Provided by Matt Bond

Bond has been taking teams of students and adults to Costa Rica for service trips since 2002.

M-A boys’ lacrosse assistant coach, Matt Bond, is planning a summer Costa Rica trip for his SixFifty Lacrosse program to allow the players to pursue their own passion, playing lacrosse, and give back to a community of people simultaneously.

Bond was initially inspired to start these trips by a friend’s conversation with local Costa Rican teachers and pastors, where the locals informed his friend of all the work and service that could be done in their community. And since then (2002), Bond has been taking teams of students and adults to serve in Costa Rica every summer.

Bond was also specifically attracted to Costa Rica because of its paradise-like qualities, and generally untouched nature.

“The Ticos (locals) are super friendly, travel is easy, water is clean. It’s just pristine,” Bond remarked.

There will be three main aspects to the trip this year: lacrosse, service, and enjoying Costa Rica.

As for lacrosse, Bond sees Costa Rica as the perfect fit for a place to allow the boys to exercise their passion for lacrosse away from home.

The boys will play a local club team and the Costa Rican national team. They will further their practice playing indoor lacrosse in the evenings in a gym, and will also lead lacrosse clinics for children in Lake Arenal and Playa Samara.

Walter Rojas, the president of Costa Rica Lacrosse, the Costa Rican board of directors, and local clubs have been adamantly working to introduce Costa Ricans to lacrosse.

Rojas also heads the men’s national team based in San Jose, who is hoping to qualify for the 2014 World Games in Denver. In Costa Rica, Bond’s group will hold an equipment drive to help support Rojas’ program.

The service aspect of the trip will include construction projects at the Salvando Corazones recovery center in Arenal, and the elementary school in Playa Samara. The group will also work with children at the elementary schools in both of these places.

Led by Palo Alto native Maria Fejervary, Salvando Corazones is a non-profit organization with a vision “for all children to live freely through the eradication of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.”

“We will be painting, digging ditches, lots of manual labor that Maria needs help with,” Bond explained.

And in the midst of all the lacrosse and service, the boys will also have the opportunity to fully appreciate the beauty of Costa Rica through a zip-line canopy tour, surfing, beach hikes, and simply soaking in the Pura Vida lifestyle.

Through the trip, Bond hopes to give his players a chance to experience different parts of the world, and to serve and give back while doing what they love.

“So much of our life experience is based in the pursuit of personal goals. But in life, it’s possible to pursue your goals and passions and at the same time provide some value or service to the world,” Bond elaborates.

The trip is not limited to players at M-A; any high schools boys’ lacrosse players are welcome. Currently, 11 of the 18 spots are filled for the trip. If interested, email Coach Bond at mtbond@jhu.edu.