Rosibel Hidalgo is one of the most eclectic and passionate people I have met during my time in Costa Rica. I was fortunate enough to take a theory of Latin dance class with her, and practice some of my moves during her biweekly night dance classes. Although only spending a couple hours a night during the week with her, you can feel her passion and love of life through her words. Her English is great and it’s helped me practice my Spanish.
She began dancing when she was five years old. Not because she had a love for dance, but because her mother believed she needed to come out of her shell. When I heard this my last thought was Rosibel, why? Not a chance. But the way she explained her upbringing with dance was, when you can dance in front of many people, or for a large audience you become able to do anything. You have no fear. Rosibel speaks with confidence, fearful would be the last thing you think of when meeting her.
During our class we spent a great deal of time learning about all aspects of Latin music, culture and dance. I have learned that dance is so important when understanding tico culture, or any Latin American culture for that matter. Luckily most of us students were able to learn about this importance and experience it first hand by going dancing and practicing our newly obtained skills. “How long do you see yourself dancing for”, I asked. “I want to dance until I die”, she replied. To meet someone with a love for life and great heart only made my experience in Costa Rica so much better. Always bringing us snacks because of our awkward class time from 6pm-8pm, introducing us too new music and most importantly getting us immersed in the tico culture immediately.
I’m so grateful for my time in Costa Rica because I am bringing back new perspectives I’ve learned from all my new tico friends. I’m truly appreciative of Veritas as well because of my beautifully spirited professors. They only added to my wonderful time spent here.
One piece of advice I would leave with anyone that is coming for their study abroad experience: get involved in everything you can, talk to everyone you can, and be as open to learning new perspectives about life and culture. It’s important to view another country with a cultural relative lenses. Immerse yourself in new activities, and take some chances because coming from my experience everyone I have met here has been genuine and pura vida. Life is full of surprises and uncertainty, but I am certain I will be back to my second home.