Costa Rica Children and Community 1B: June 28- July 12, 2021
June 30, 2021
– Thomas and Kayla
July 1, 2021
– Jenna and Claudia
By the time we got back we were all sweaty and super tired, so we took showers in the ice cold water. We played group games, relaxed and rested before dinner (rice, mashed potatoes, pork and salad). We ended the night with a nightly meeting and bonding games. We also had an interview with two of the rangers here (Pablo and Adam), who have been helping us. We spent time learning about their lifestyle, which we realized has big differences compared to ours. For example, they enjoy spending 5 to 10 days alone in the cloud forest maintaining the area. We also learned about the lodge, San Gerardo, we have been staying at. We are very grateful to have been able to learn from Pablo and Adam. So ready for bed!
-Chase and Mikaella
July 3, 2021
Hey guys, it’s Karli and Emma here. We started the day with an exceptional site. Fab woke us up at 5 am to see the volcano that is usually blanketed by a thick layer of clouds. Don’t worry though, we went back to sleep after. We woke up to delicious empanadas and pancakes for breakfast. Then we got ready for our gorgeous hike to the waterfall. Once we arrived we all got in the water. The water felt amazing and was a good way to cool down. We then took pictures and began our scenic trek back through the jungle. Towards the end we decided to walk solo and silent through the forest so that we could enjoy the sights and sounds individually. Once we got back, we had lunch, which consisted of brown chips, rice and beans, and salad. In the afternoon we got to sit in the hammocks, read, and chill. It was nice to have down time. We also divided into groups to work on presentations of our choice. We researched about a Costa Rican related topic that interested us, and learned from each other about pumas, snakes, and butterflies. Next was dinner, which was crazy good. We had rice, steak, and vegetables. After dinner we went on a fascinating night hike, led by our amazing guide Adam. We found a number of cool animals and enjoyed listening to the rainforest come alive at night. Lastly, we had our nightly meeting where we shared our favorite, most memorable moment from the day. After playing some late night card games together, we called it a night. More to come tomorrow, families!
Emma and Karli
Hi everyone, Finn and Sophia here! After three nights, today was our final day at the rainforest. After a delicious breakfast, we said bye to the park rangers and got ready for our trek back to Heliconias. With backpacks on, we started our uphill 4km hike in two different groups. With the view of the Arenal Volcano in the background, one group saw “red pandas”, shared stories, played contact during our breaks, and gave each other lots of encouragement. The other group tried to power through the extremely arduous climb with as little breaks as possible to try and get it over with as quick as possible. We also gave each other words of encouragement and carried each other’s backpacks to help with the pain. Once on the bus, we headed straight to lunch, where many got to try a new strawberry candy. We stopped in the Monteverde town to pick up some snacks and souvenirs. Then, it was time for our long bus ride to the hotel. As we drove through the lush Costa Rican landscapes, we blasted songs through the speakers (lots of One Direction, Taylor Swift, and more favorites) courtesy of Karli’s iPod. Unfortunately, with an hour or two left in the drive, a mudslide occurred due to the heavy rains a little ways ahead of us, causing a traffic jam. Thanks to Fabulous Fab, we were able to clear one side of the road and we resumed on our way. We finally arrived back at Heliconias at around 6:30, with dinner shortly after, and said our goodbyes to Wesley. To celebrate the Fourth of July, we had our very own pool party with music and games.
Finn and Sophia
July 5, 2021
-Amen and Diana
July 6, 2021
-Carissa and Talia ❤️
July 7, 2021
Hey everyone! It’s Grace and Ma’Taya, this morning we woke up early for pancakes before heading back to the school in La Lucha to finish up our work. We worked hard in the morning to finish painting the tables and chairs, start planting vegetables in the new garden, and to clean the classrooms so they are ready for the kids to come back in. Once we were done, some of the staff members of the school surprised us with a tortilla making lesson to thank us, and to share more of Costa Rica’s culture with us. When we finished making them, we got to eat them with some of Chrisley’s cheese (the same kind we learned how to make with him at the beginning of the trip). After that, we got a chance to explore the community a little and really see how different life for people from La Lucha is from life at home. We also enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared for us by a few members of the community. Then sadly, it was time to say goodbye to everyone that we worked with at the school. We got back on the bus and went to an animal rescue place called Proyecto Asis. This center was different from a zoo because their goal is to help the animals and eventually release them when they are ready. We got a chance to see all kinds of animals including parrots, parakeets, macaws, toucans, peccaries, coatis, margues, and three different kinds of monkeys (spider monkeys howler monkeys, and white-faced capuchins). It was so cool to see these animals up close and to learn more about them. Once we saw all of them, we helped to prepare food for some of the animals. We also got to watch Carlos (our guide) give the food to the animals. When our work there was done, we went to the store. We got all sorts of snacks, including ice cream, and then enjoyed some music on the way back. Once back at the hotel we enjoyed a delicious dinner of chicken and rice. Then we had our team meeting and Flora gave us Oreos. Although the day was filled with hard work, we all had a great time doing it. Goodnight!
Grace and Ma’Taya❤️July 8, 2021
Wassup beaches! We’re coming to you live from an early morning in Dominical to let you know what we did yesterday. We started off by waking up at 6am to beat the traffic of the strikes going on that day. We all dropped off our bags at 6:30am and turned in our room keys before we continued up for breakfast. We all ate pancakes with syrup and some fruit. Then, we all helped put our bags on the bus and all hopped in. We headed off to our new adventure at the beach. We stopped to see some crocodiles and see local town living. Then we stopped for lunch for about an hour. After that, we drove for about 2 hours until we arrived at our hotel. We all decided to go to our rooms for 30 minutes then come back to all go to the beach. Going to the beach was an amazing experience and one of the most fun things we’ve done. We got to watch a beautiful sunset and float among the waves for about 2 hours. Then we all went back to the hotel for dinner. After dinner, we were given time to chill before our nightly meeting. At the meeting, we announced new leaders, talked about highs and lows (and ways we could grow for the well being of the group), and did an appreciation activity that left everyone feeling very loved. Then everyone headed off to chill a little bit before we all headed off to sleep. Now we’re super refreshed and ready for our surfing lesson today. Sending love!
-Amen and Jenna
July 9, 2021
Hey families! Sending love from Uvita, Costa Rica. Mikaella and Tomás are writing this to update you on our day. First, we woke up to a healthy breakfast, then headed to our first surfing lesson! We spent hours falling and getting back up. We all enjoyed the new experience. After surfing, we headed to a nearby restaurant for a delicious and much needed lunch. We then went to Dominical to enjoy the beach town and shop. We loved the pretty views and community. In the evening, we returned to our hotel and rested for a bit before dinner. As usual, we ended the night with a daily meeting. We were so exhausted and ready for bed. So excited for day two of surfing!
Mikaella and Tomás