Ruth from Guatemala, living in Costa Rica

I arrived to Costa Rica a little over a week ago. I did not know what to expect but I was warned about how expensive it was. An ex colleague in London told me it was awfully expensive after her return last year but I thought to myself, Costa Rica? a tiny country in the Central American region which is insignificant to the entire world, expensive? I also associated it to Honduras or El salvador in terms of insecurity and violence but it turns out to be a very safe country over all. In fact, one of the safest countries in the American region and has performed economically quite well, having a zero percent inflation for the past three years or so.

So, I finally arrived to San Jose at night and the taxi which took me all the way to my friend’s house ripped 15 dollars off of me, ouch!! 

Anyways, this story is not about ranting on how expensive this place is or about the deficiency of the transport networks in the city. I have had a great time over all, especially as I was around awesome people who have treated me so well.

I met Ruth last year in the UK during a visit she did to see her daughter. The encounter there was very brief and I hardly had any time to speak to her but for the past week I have been learning so much about her experiences in life.

She is literally a living encyclopedia. The more experiences she shares, the more I wanted her to keep going. She is so vital and strong. As she is talking to me I suddenly distract myself and without making it too obvious I go into my head to think about how eloquent she is. Ruth has lived many episodes that in many respects have made her stronger and sensible towards human life.

She invited me over for breakfast one morning. During our conversation she told me that her and her husband were strong admirers of formed Chilean president Salvador Allende. She also said that she felt very sad after Allende’s murder, backed by the US government which opposed his leadership at all cost and wished to get rid of him by any means necessary. The US feared that Allende would spread socialism and go against the American ideals of capitalism and democracy. 

Through a military intervention on behalf of chilean forces Allende was cornered right inside the presidential palace, known as Palacio de la Moneda in the capital city.

Ruth said that at the time she felt very resentful about that tragic episode. The chance of having a leader with a different view towards the world was suddenly eliminated by the US once again. What hope was there to view the world in a different way?

After two weeks of tears and sadness, Ruth’s husband asked her to be strong and keep going, that one needed to recover from such acts as life goes on, it’s unstoppable.

Another experience that she shared with me was when she met up with Francois Mitterrand’s wife, Danielle.

The encounter was set after Ruth exposed her case in France about a series of very harsh personal injustices she suffered from within her family. The former First Lady made a petition to meet with her to talk behind closed doors about her case and to propose a few educational programs to strengthen awareness about injustices.

I sense that Ruth’s life was always surrounded by strength and a strong eagerness to learn, to not give up even when times are turbulent. She has won many battles and has seen the results of her efforts through the lovely creative and talented family she brought up.

I feel very happy to have been a part of her life for a little over a week and I thank her and the rest of her family for allowing me to enter their inspirational life.

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