The Exchange Program of Universidad Nacional (PIE) organized an Intercultural Night of Stories and Legends called in Spanish: “Noche Intercultural de Cuentos y Leyendas.” The activity took place at Museo de Cultura Popular in Barva, Heredia, a museum of culture and traditions that belongs to the University.
Costa Rica does not celebrate Halloween like other countries do; however, they have some activities where they remember and tell suspense stories and Costa Rican misterious legends like “La Llorona,” “El Cadejos,” and “La Cegua,” among others. The purpose of the activity was to reunite all the exchange students of the University in order to know Costa Rican and international students; share food, stories and have fun. The Exchange students of Universidad Nacional had the opportunity to present information in a period of 10 minutes, about their home country: a traditional dish, a story, a legend, among others.
Our IFSA student, Maggie Brauch, from Butler University, participated in all the activities of the night, and represented IFSA. She showed the Scotcheroos: typical desert from the United States that her grandmother used to prepare when she was a child. She also told a funny story about it that we will tell you in her own words: “My grandma had always made these special rice crispy treats for us and I had always thought that they were her secret recipe. I loved them so much and whenever I ate them I got that warm fuzzy feeling you get from grandma’s baking. Then one day I was eating breakfast and I found the recipe on the back of the cerial box. My inicial reaction was “Kellogs stole my grandma’s recipe!” I continued to think this until I headed off to college in the mid-west, and someone brought my grandma’s rice crispy treats to a school event. Everyone was saying. “Oh scotchoroos I love scotchoroos!” At this point I had two thoughts: 1. What are scotchoroos? and 2. People need to stop stealing my Grandma’s recipe. Of course, it turns out that my grandma’s rice crispy treats, or “scotchoroos,” are actually pretty typical in the United States, especially in the mid-west. They are super easy, delicious, and great for parties. Nonetheless, for me they will always be my grandma’s special recipe. These rice crispy treats are a little special because I couldn’t find all the ingredients. They have chocolate rice crispy treats instead of normal ones, honey instead of corn syrup, and white chocolate chips instead of butterscotch chips. You could call them scotchoroos with a with a tico twist.”
The IFSA Costa Rica office also presented a Costa Rican typical dish made of sweet corn: “Chorreadas,” that are great to have with coffee. The objective was to present the recipe and then all the assistants tasted the dishes.
This activity was a great moment to share and know about people from other countries and their culture. Students from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia, United States and Germany presented. There was delicious food, incredible stories, interesting history notes about the countries, and even poems. The Costa Rican students from Universidad Nacional made theater performances of the misterious legend of “La Llorona.”
One of the biggest surprises of the night was the participation of Ana Coralia Fernandez, a Costa Rican versatil storyteller. She is singer-songwriter, journalist and writter. She has worked most of her professional life telling stories and singing songs for children and youth; she was the perfect recipe of the night due to she is a lover of good stories. Ana Coralia, delighted us with a wonderful performance and explanation of several Costa Rica legends, but the most interesting part was when she shared personal childhood stories of 50 years ago. Her skills to add a lot of mistery and fun to her tales is what makes her unique and special for this event.
The activity closed with a delicious Costa Rican dinner that included several typical dishes like: “Gallos de papa,” “gallos de arracache,” and green plantain, among others. The assistants were also able to dance under the music of the “Cimarrona,” group that played typical Costa Rican danceable and festive music.
Unfortunately, the rest of the IFSA students were not able to participate due to classes that night or other commitments, but our lovely student Maggie was a great representative of the IFSA Program and she enchanted everyone with her funny story and delicious dessert.