When a national park in Costa Rica shut down for over 16 months, locals and tourists alike were worried that it would never open again. However, the Poas Volcano reopened with heavily improved safety measures and a number of other new features.
Known in Costa Rica as Parque Nacional Volcán Poás, the Poás Volcano National Park was forced to close in April 2017. This is because the Volcano which it is built around erupted, leaving the people in this region no choice but to evacuate until further notice.
However, the park is now up and running once again and this means that locals will be able to benefit from tourism, while tourists will be able to visit this enchanted part of the world.
One thing is for sure, Poas is a natural wonder waiting to be discovered by the most avid of travelers. With over 16,000 acres of forest and hiking routes, this national park, nestled in the province of Alajuela, is just a bus ride away from San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.
Probably the most sought-after feature of Poas is the stunning crater lake nestled inside the volcano. Travelers are determined to reach the heights so that they can take in a view of the beautiful lake.
With six active volcanoes in Costa Rica, Poas is easily the biggest, standing at a staggering 8,900 feet high. Now that it has opened once again, the national park now has improved safety and security measures. The security company of the national park now has gas sensors in order to ensure that visitors aren’t exposed to toxic gases. There are also a number of shelters installed in the region, in order to keep travelers safe from eruptions.
“Visitors will now be arranged in groups of up to 50 people and remain on the volcano’s lookout for a maximum period of 20 minutes,” the visitor board wrote.
Anyone who’s had to clean their home knows how tiring a job it can be. Cara Simmons tirelessly works as a cleaner every day and knows how tough it can be first hand. On this day, however, she was in for an unexpected surprise…
A Single Mom Story
Cara works hard to bring home enough cash to support her three kids every day. As any parent knows, raising a family is really tough. Doing by yourself is even harder – especially if you don’t earn that much.
For The Kids
As a loving parent, Cara has dedicated herself to doing everything she can to give her children a chance at a good life. As we all know, making ends meet is really difficult these days – even for yourself! But trying to raise three children and make sure they have a decent quality of life is even more of a challenge. Despite the challenges, Cara has persisted because as a mother, she sees it as a labor of love.
The Struggle Is Real
Because Cara works tirelessly to bring home enough to provide for her family. Making ends meet is tough, especially because being a cleaner doesn’t bring in much cash. Because of this, Cara works every day without rest to make sure she earns enough. But over time, she has become worn out and has been in and out of the hospital to treat everything from exhaustion to stomach ulcers caused by stress and no rest.
The Usual Routine
Because Cara needed the money to help pay off her medical bills while supporting her kids, she was used to taking extra jobs to help supplement her income. In most cases, these would be to help clear up a house after a party or before a party would start. As a cleaner, she had years of experience and almost always knew what to expect on the job regardless of the situation or the mess.
Just Another Day
So when Cara arrived at the large house on early one morning, she assumed it was just another day at work. Being an experienced cleaner, she knew the routine. This would usually include talking to the client briefly while drawing up a list of all the things that needed to get done during the day. However, when Cara entered the house on this morning, she was surprised to find that things were not as they would normally be…
How May I Help?
When Cara entered this house in particular, something wasn’t quite right. Cara noticed that the home was completely clean already. At first, she thought maybe the people were just serious clean-freaks and that their version of ‘clean’ wasn’t the same as hers. However, as she was walked through the home, she was told only to follow the lady showing her around and help out when she was asked to. Needless to say, Cara was a little suspicious…
Meeting The Chef
The first place in the home that Cara was taken to was the kitchen. Being a cleaner, Cara expected to see piles of dishes, no dishwasher, and grease stains all over the oven. However, what awaited Cara was something far from any of that. Instead of being greeted by an unsightly mess, she was warmly welcomed by celebrity chef Manny Slomovitz – a man renowned for his tasty and exotic dish combinations. Cara couldn’t believe what happened next…
Soon after meeting the master chef, Cara was asked to take a seat. She was then told that her client would like her to taste some of his amazing cooking. Cara was a little taken aback and seemed unsure at first, but her client informed her that she wanted to get her opinion for the party that she was throwing later. Cara was treated to some expensive delicacies like lobster, Japanese Kobe beef fillet, and actual edible gold!
Now That’s Living
Having already been surprised with an amazing selection of eats, most of which were things Cara admitted to never having ever tasted, Cara was led into the living room. Still in shock from being treated to such divine luxuries, Cara was in for yet another treat. Soon after entering the living room, there was a knock at the door. The client then ushered in two large bulky men with a fold-out massage table in hand…
Cara was already feeling quite confused by all the luxury treatment she was receiving as she wasn’t used to this at all. Once the table had been unfolded, Cara was told that she would be getting a fantastic a 30 minute, professional four-hand massage! She remembers just standing there frozen and wondering why she was being treated so nicely by a complete stranger. But they assured her that everything was okay and needless to say, the next 30 minutes were like heaven for the tired single mom.
Please Follow Me
Unfortunately, Cara’s massage had to come to an end after 30 minutes, but she was already feeling spoiled! More relaxed now, she was told to follow her client upstairs. In all the years that she’d worked as a cleaner she had never experienced anything like this. In fact, Cara admits that she’s never been treated to a massage other than having her kids all pile up on top of her. The stress relief was a big help!
Try These On For Size!
Next, Cara was lead into the main bedroom of the home. When Cara entered the room, she was greeted by a wardrobe’s worth of clothes lying neatly on the main bed. Rather than being told to tidy up the clothes and reorder them, the client asked Cara to try on a few of the items that she liked most, claiming she wanted to give them away. Among the items were designer shoes, couture tops, and a tailored pea jacket!
You Look Fabulous
Because literally all of Cara’s money goes towards supporting her kids or paying off her medical bills, she never has the money or the time to go shopping. As a woman, it’s important to remember that treating yourself to some retail therapy is good for your mental health and sense of self-worth. Even though it shouldn’t define you, it’s always a nice treat and Cara was enjoying this luxurious and cost-free treatment without complaint!
Cara was loving herself in the new tailored Pea jacket, but the luxury tour through this amazing home wasn’t quite finished yet. Soon after slipping into the jacket, there was a knock at the door. The client had left the room and asked if Cara would be able to get the door for her quickly. Before she could even remove the jacket she was already at the door. There was a strangely familiar delivery man there with a box in his hands…
What’s In The Box?
After handing Cara the first box, the delivery man politely asked her to open it up and check the package. Feeling unsure about this, she hesitantly opened the cardboard box and was shocked when she saw what was inside. The box contained a collection of her own personal belongings – from her house! There were lamps, pictures in frames of her and her children, and other personal items from her home. What was going on here she wondered, very confused at this point.
Just A Moment
Cara was quite taken aback at this point and perhaps even a little worried. Was everything okay? What on earth was going on here? As the man carrying in the boxes brought in his next box he approached Cara, who was still going through her belongings with a shocked look painted on her face. She couldn’t put the pieces together…something didn’t add up. The man calmly asked her to if she wouldn’t mind signing for the delivery…
Please Sign Here
At this point, Cara was in a real cloud of confusion. The client was nowhere to be seen and here she was standing with this stranger being asked to sign for someone else’s delivery of her own belongings! To say that this was not a regular day on the job would be a total understatement! Cautiously, she signed for the delivery. Shortly after doing so, the delivery man asked her to step outside with him.
The Surprise Of A Lifetime!
The delivery man assured her that he would be able to explain things a little more clearly once they had stepped outside to review the rest of the contents in his truck. Cara was still in shock and could not find an explanation for why her personal items had arrived at this stranger’s home. As she stepped outside, she was greeted by an amazing surprise. Her sister and three children rushed up to hug her!
It’s Your House!
She had never expected this to happen – not in a million years! What had started off as an ordinary day to work had soon turned into one of the best days of her entire life! A luxury meal, a divine massage, and a free wardrobe update. What else could happen? That’s when the delivery man revealed himself to be Greg Benson, host of Prank It To You. He informed Cara that the house was now hers!
What had started off as just another day for single mother and housekeeper Cara Simmons had turned into easily the most memorable day of her entire life. She had just been informed that the home she was expecting to clean that morning had suddenly become hers! It seemed as though her years of hard work and tireless devotion to her children would be rewarded. But being given a day of luxury and a huge home for her and her kids was only the beginning of the surprise…
Time For A Break!
While Cara and her family rejoiced at the thought of finally having a home all to themselves, Greg Benson interrupted her one last time. He informed her that both she and her sister would also be going on vacation to the Mayan Riviera in Mexico to visit the Mexican Pyramids. They had decided that the hardworking mother of three was in need of a vacation, and what better time to take a break than after winning a home! But that still wasn’t all…
As we can only imagine, Cara and her family were obviously overjoyed at how things had turned out for them. Going from a struggling family with only one source of income to suddenly owning their own home and giving their mom the vacation she deserved had literally flipped their world upside down. Shortly after going on the trip abroad with her sister, Cara was invited onto The Queen Latifah Show to share her experience with the world again!
A Well Deserved Gift
On the show, Cara explained how shocked she was about hearing the news that day. Her entire life and the lives of her children changed literally overnight! She said that her health had significantly improved since the vacation, and she even got a chance to hear her boss explain why she decided to write to Prank It Forward about Cara and her story. The two have become life-long friends, and Cara now lives peacefully with her children in their new home. She really deserved it!