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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

The language of ‘what if?’

Katherine Stanley Obando
Katherine Stanley Obando
Katherine (Co-Fundadora y Editora) es periodista, editora y autora con 16 años de vivir en Costa Rica. Es también la co-fundadora de JumpStart Costa Rica y Costa Rica Corps, y autora de "Love in Translation." Katherine (Co-Founder and Editor) is a journalist, editor and author living in Costa Rica for the past 16 years. She is also the co-founder of JumpStart Costa Rica and Costa Rica Corps, and author of "Love in Translation."

How did he end up here, anyway?

He was curious. He still is.

That’s what made all those doors open in the first place: his love of asking questions.

A Nicaraguan translator and law student, he was offered a chance to take a four-week English teaching course across the border. What would happen if he said “yes”?

What if he followed the surprising sense of calling he discovered in those teaching practice sessions, deep in the Costa Rican countryside?

What if he followed his new career across more borders: to a master’s degree in the United States, for example? To classes and conferences around the world? Into the minds and practices of educators from many countries?

What if he followed it inwards, learning more about how his self-awareness affects everyone around him? Learning about how the things we say, even if we only say them to ourselves, ripple out to change the experiences of everyone they touch?

He followed his curiosity away from home. In the end, though, curiosity can make itself at home anywhere. It opens windows, ushers in the breeze, invites in unexpected guests, builds ties to teachers and students who ripple out throughout the world.

They speak and teach languages, but their common language transcends all the others: the language of “what if?”

Inspired by the story of Iván Suazo, a graduate, Fellow and teacher Trainer of the Institute for Collaborative Learning (I4CL) / Centro Espiral Maná in northern Costa Rica. The I4CL offers training and consulting in communication, teaching, learning, and leadership, and has worked with clients including Google Education Summits, ministries of education, the U.S. Peace Corps, binational centers, and universities across Latin America, North America, the Middle East, and North Africa. I4CL is a sponsor of the July edition of El Colectivo 506, “Bilingual by 2040,” and we are proud to dedicate our weekly Media Naranja column to the stories of I4CL alumni/ae this month.



  1. Appreciate reading about Ivan Suazo. I admire his curiosity and strong desire to learn and be fully present when listening to others. His self awareness and integration of present moment awareness is admirable. I am grateful to have met him and enjoy collaborating with him


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