Small gifts for the locals

Old Feb 11th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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Small gifts for the locals

I leave for CR on Saturday after many months of planning! When I go on a trip I like to bring a few little things to give away like candy or even school supplies for the local kids I come across or specifically in this case - to the local driver we've hired that we'll see a few times throughout our stay. Any suggestions from someone who has been recently on what they might appreciate? We'll be in Arenal and MA.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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Try a search for this - it comes up quite a lot. I like to take little things that represent my area, refrigerator magnets are great as they have snow-capped mountains, a novelty for folks in CA. Postcards, calendars, etc., are good. I'd avoid giving money, candy, or balloons to kids. My favorite toy to hand out is a little rubber frog finger puppet. Keep us posted!
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 12:38 PM
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Please no candy to kids.

Most people agree that is it better to donate thru a local agency like a school, church or orphanage rather than hand-out one-to-one (because it encourages begging or a culture of expectations concerning visitors that does not have the positive effect you would hope for).
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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I can see that it might be nice to give something to a local driver that you hire a few times. However, I have some concerns about giving things to children. I'm not a parent, but most parents I know would not want their children taking gifts from strangers.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 03:10 PM
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I went to Target and just went crazy in the $1 aisle - bought socks, pens, barrettes, notebooks, plastic toys etc and gave to a friend who distributed them to a local school.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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When we went this summer we brought a variety of things for our host family. Local maple syrup, a glow in the dark 100 piece puzzle for a 6 year old and school supplies: notebooks, crayons, pencils and colored pencils. The male teenager in the family was excited about the school supplies. He wanted first dibs (which surprised me).

I think bringing a gift for your driver is a nice idea. You could also or bring things to donate to a local school or charity.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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There is an orphanage in the Arenal area called El Hogarcito. We bought a bunch of cool art supplies (nothing messy, colored pencils, play-doh etc..) and some clothes.
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