Celebrating love – and 100 days of my yearlong Boost

Welcome to February! I know a lot of folks aren’t particularly fond of Valentine’s Day, but this year I think it’s worth some extra celebration – because it’s the month of love in what some people in Costa Rica have dubbed the Year of Love. As I’ve posted before, this is the year that marriage equality will finally be the law of the land (on May 26, to be exact. That’s the day that the 18-month deadline set by Costa Rica’s Constitutional Court for legislators to make marriage equality legal, will elapse; if they haven’t taken action by that date, the legislation prohibiting gay marriage will automatically be voided).

Of course, this also means we need to buckle our seatbelts, because the news of marriage equality and photos of happy couples will undoubtedly spur yet another backlash. So for this month’s deep dive, I’ll be looking at some of the individuals and organizations who are serving and protecting Costa Rica’s LGBTQ community, and otherwise promoting the right to love.

In other news, I’ve started taking the day number off of my daily posts to avoid distraction, and thereby failed to note that Friday was Day 100 of my yearlong self-challenge to write something every weekday! To all those who’ve been along for the ride since Day 1, thank you!

I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or Facebook! You can also find me churning out small, square poems on any topic under the sun (here on the site, on Instagram or Twitter). 

‘Before you say you want to help, say you want to learn’

Allegra Love doesn’t mince words. It’s obvious from the pace and passion of her speech that she doesn’t waste time, either. The immigration lawyer can’t afford to, not with her clients depending on her – plus the onslaught of “thousands of emails” and calls since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, just one week before we spoke.

The waves of new attention come from people who want to help the organization she created: the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, which provides free legal aid to immigrant youth and their families.

At one point during our Skype conversation, Love stands up to go ask her colleagues for a website address she wants to give me. “I’m sitting outside,” she explains, “so I don’t disturb all the other lawyers while I YELL. AT. YOU.” She laughs for a split second, recognizing the heightened emotion that has dominated the conversation, and then the moment of mirth is gone and it’s back to the urgent topic at hand.

Continue reading ‘Before you say you want to help, say you want to learn’