It’s not easy to see the good things in the mirror.
It’s so much simpler to give someone else the benefit of the doubt, or to shower them with praise. The same can be true with our towns. Sometimes we think that finding what works, holding it up, is the easy part—but it’s not easy at all. Going beyond the problem requires patience. Fortitude. A spinning skein of questions that never seems to end.
It’s simpler to study solutions in a town that’s not your own, to examine with a stranger’s detachment, to urge your questions upon people you won’t see tomorrow. To do all that at home, among your neighbors, among the grudges and strains of community life? It’s a heavy lift. It takes a special journalist.
They wrote and questioned, revised and pondered, in their late nights and early mornings, after day jobs at their town’s school or in municipal offices or baking flan. They took on something they had never tried before, something onerous. Something that forced them to reexamine events that had been deeply painful for their communities, and for them.
This year, someone wise told us: “Start with the ones who say yes.” The ones crazy enough to raise their hands and dive in with you into the unknown. We did, and learned together: that “yes” is tougher, that “yes” takes longer, that “yes” is where real change begins.
Inspired by the inaugural members of Network 506, the nationwide solutions journalism community that we launched at El Colectivo 506 in 2021 thanks to support from the Solutions Journalism Network. Our weekly Media Naranja column tells short love stories with a Costa Rican twist.