Science and Service: Costa Rica
Educational travel to Costa Rica with groups isn’t all about learning outside of the classroom. It’s about serving others, too.
Incredible stories. Memorable moments. Lessons learned. Caring for others. Great times had by all. That’s what student travel to Costa Rica is all about. Teachers, students, and parents travel with us and return home with some awesome anecdotes, and we feature one here today written from the perspective of a teacher/group leader.
Safely arrived and now settled in for the night. Learned about CR culture today and met the mom, plus 4 girls whose house we will be finishing off in the next 2 days. Mr. Cheney’s noteworthy animal sightings around our hotel include howler monkeys, red-legged honey creeper, Jesus Christ lizard, blue jeans poison dart frog, and the red-eyed tree frog. Full day of work on the house ahead of us tomorrow.
Early breakfast and off to the house for a day of hard work. We hung exterior wallboard, stuccoed the walls inside and out, poured a concrete patio and walkway, and prepped for painting. Our students worked so hard, we had time to go play soccer before dinner. Mr. Cheney’s noteworthy animal sightings today include the Great Green Macaw, and thousands of raptors as far as the eye can see migrating north. Another full day planned for tomorrow!
15 students and 2 teachers painted an entire house, inside and out, and moved a family into their new home…all before lunch! What a hard-working bunch of high school kids. We also got to check up on the 2 houses we built from our previous trips. For lunch, we visited Mr. Cheney’s favorite spot in Costa Rica – Aura’s Farm. Authentic home cooked food (best in CR!), and an incredible experience with a wonderful family, a great diversity of food crops…and a rooster named Penguin. After a few days of life-changing work-service, we’re off to adventure tomorrow.
A day of challenging our fears – heights, small spaces, spiders, snakes, and darkness. We started our day with a 2-hour hike through the rainforest, where we caught our first snake of the day, spotted toucans, monkeys, and bullet ants, and crossed high above the Sarapiqui River on the longest suspension bridge in CR. After soaring through the canopy by zip line, we climbed, crawled, slithered and sloshed through the Venado Cave, where we also caught our second snake of the day. After a much-needed change of clothes we headed to Fortuna, where I, for one, will enjoy my first cup of coffee in the morning, siting on my cabin porch, gazing up at the massive Arenal Volcano.
Beautiful day to ride a bus……to the beach! I’m extremely proud of these kids. They served selflessly, opened themselves up to a different culture, and challenged their own fears. Today is a well-earned day of fun. Saw the elusive 2-toed sloth this morning and a whole bunch of crocodiles this afternoon, and today’s fun fact…the cashew is a seed that sits on top of a fruit rather than inside it…and you can eat the fruit!
Home to Texas. Hopefully these students’ lives have been impacted in ways they’ll never forget. Excitement about next year’s trip is already building!