We are about 24 hrs from taking off the Runway of the Santamaria Airport here in San Jose, and the reality that the end of the internship and our 2 month-long visit to Costa Rica is settling in.

From the hotel room where we are waiting for the time to take our packed bags to the airport, my mind is going back to the night before we left, to the excitement and anticipation for what waited for us.

Costa Rica blew my expectations out of the water, with it’s lush rainforests, picturesque beaches, and humble people. The internship itself was a lot of work but with so much reward and lessons learned.

In a nutshell, the time and efforts and resources spent to get us here for the entire experience has been so valuable to me. And I have to thank many people for helping me get through the trip:

My parents- thanks for supporting me though college and during this time abroad. It means a lot to me to have you behind me in the experiences and opportunities that come my way, and for helping me stay grounded. Thank you the most.

Dean David Smith- thank you a million times for helping to get the opportunity for our department and for the cool towels and t-shirts. This experience has taught me so much, and I hope that my late weekly reports were through enough to make you see the value of the experience you helped to build. Thank you.

Cynthia and Beeman- for opening your home and hearts to us, and for being there when the trip felt long. You were our guides to some of the nicest places in the area, and helped us see the isolated sides of the Costa Rican countryside and beaches. Seriously, thank you so much for everything. Beeman, thanks for thinking about Schreiner students and our professional advancement as you ideated and developed this project.

Nikki- words and reports cannot describe the value that you have taught me in the one-on-one exchanges, the team discussions, and observing your client meetings. Thanks for taking me under your wing, and for the honest and cleat feedback on how to perform better. In the time spent with you, I was able to grow professionally in a way that I don’t see any other internship having showed me. Thanks for showing us your life in Costa Rica, your friends, and your strategies. You have helped me to see the value in hard work and diligence, and in balance between work and life. I really can’t say much more without sounding cheesy, but really though, you have been amazing to us and I know we will cross paths soon again!

Maria and Julio and Felipe- thanks for taking care of the four of us, and for helping us to see the humility and hard work of the Tico culture. For 2 months you were there to help us get through the transition to Costa Rica, and we cannot say thank you enough for the smiles and patience as we got acclimated to your home.

Mr. David Reast- thanks for helping us get the resources to have a comfortable and unique internship. Thanks for the kind emails and for reading these blogs. And thank you in advance for helping to expand the Meaningful Work program to places like Uvita where students can have such a fantastic experience.

The Uvita Congregation- As with all my experiences around the US and Mexico, the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses has been so friendly and hospitable with me as I joined them in worship and service. Thanks for being a familiar beacon in my routine, and for taking me in as a daughter and watching out for my well-being as family.

Micheala- for being my design buddy. We have shared an awesome experience together, and I am glad it was with you. Im excited to see what we will come up with Senior year, but if this time together was a reflection of that, then I know we can do great things side-by-side.

Marissa and Abby- As the marketing half, it was awesome to team up with ya’ll and produce great work. You have taught me a lot about team work, and I hope as a designer, you have seen a lot about the creative process! Hope we can catch up again state-side as we present our experience to our peers!

My friends at home in Texas- Loree and Dave Clark(still rooting for ya’ll), Dena, Mackenzie, Delaney, and Britanny. Thanks for being a support system, for asking how it was going, for helping me prepare before the trip, and for being my friends overall.


I know I am leaving people off this list, and that is because the support to make this happen was incredible and beyond what I can think of right now in this moment.

I ant again so thankful for having had this time to see and know Costa Rica, and for meeting so many great people that made it hard to say goodbye. Professionally, I know I am capable of a lot more than I gave myself credit for, and I am more motivated than ever to continue to create meaningful design in any place I am in. My goals for the future are more defined.

I hope to share what we saw and did with all my friends when I get back soon, and to be at home for a few weeks before the beginning of the end of my academic career.

Thank you to those of you who read through to the end of this blog that became a lot more emotional and cheesy than I had planned when I sat down to write it.


Marty Garcia