Welcome to Bushika Adventures
We are dedicated to ensuring that each participant has a safe and meaningful learning experience. We believe that friendship can change the world.
Pica Lockwood and Anibal Maroto Rojas
Our journey into Ethno-tourism and student travel began, somewhat accidentally, as a result of wanting to share with others, our connection with the Indigenous community of Boruca, Costa Rica. While this unique Indigenous community has played a central role in both of our lives, for many years, our relationships with the community started very differently.
I was born and raised in the United States. After completing my BS degree in Biological and Environmental Sciences at UC Berkeley, I joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to the community of Boruca where I served as a Forestry volunteer from 1991 to 1993.
While serving with the Peace Corps, I became involved in the Costa Rican youth movement and participated in forming the first Indigenous youth group in the country. After completing my Peace Corps service, my interest and love for the community continued and I remained in the community until 1997.
During my 6-year stay in the village, both my interests and relationships were constantly changing. As my relationships deepened, so did my understanding of the culture and the people. While working with the youth, I observed how they proudly claimed their own culture, while also showing an ever increasing interest in the non-Indigenous culture outside of the village. During this time, I found myself wanting to learn more about the Boruca of the past and began forging friendships with the elders. I spent my last three years, of my 6-year stay, working with the community elders to document their personal life stories.
Anibal and I met during the years that I was living and working in Boruca. We are married and have a 9 year old daughter named Kanani Ialea.
Anibal was born and raised in Boruca. His family is Indigenous and has lived in the community as long as they can remember. When Anibal was growing up, there was no electricity or running water in the community. HIs family collected water and bathed in a nearby spring. He remembers when his family lived in the mountains, away from the village, so that his family could attend to their crops. His family moved to the center of town, where they still live today, when he was old enough to start school. He recalls many evenings sitting in his mother's kitchen, by candlelight, listening to his parents and his grandparents talk. Like his seven siblings, Anibal spent his youth split between school and his home responsibilities - he collected firewood, he attended to the crops, he learned the trade of mask making and contributed financially to his parents' household.
Anibal and I moved together to the United States in !997. He was interested in learning English and pursuing his studies. In the US, he discovered his interest in documentary film and his talent in video editing. He has been working with the community to produce short videos about their culture and traditions. Since my return to the US, I have been teaching Spanish at Redwood Day in Oakland, California. Our daughter attends Kindergarten at my school.
Although we have lived in the US for the past 21 years, our lives have continued to be intertwined with Boruca. We return to the village twice a year and Anibal remains active in his traditions and festivals. We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to spend our summers working with the community.
Together we founded Bushika Adventures in 2003 and have been leading trips to Boruca ever since. Our life together is a testament to the power of bi-cultural friendship -- something we love to share with others.
We are proud of our program. We know that we offer something completely unique. Our students are able to learn about the Borucan culture, and connect with the community, in a way no other programs offer. We work with local teachers, guides and youth. Almost everyone employed by Bushika Adventures is Borucan. Only our chaperones that travel with the students are from the United States. In addition to serving our students from the United States, Bushika Adventures has become a summer camp for the local children and youth. Our program has
has empowered the local youth by providing an outlet in which to share their culture.
Kanani with Anibal's mother.