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Costa Rica Wildlife Research & Sea Turtle Conservation, Session A

July 7, 2021
Today was our first full day in Costa Rica! We started off with a breakfast of beans, rice, eggs, toast, jam, and fruit. We all got ready for the day and headed to a coffee farm. First we tasted raw sugar cane and helped to make sugar cane juice, and then we saw how coffee is made and went through the process of drying and roasting coffee beans. Once roasted, we even got to ground the fresh coffee beans and take a sample of costa rican coffee to bring home. Then we took a long bus ride back to the lodge, where we had dinner, swam, played cards, and all got to know each other better. Tomorrow we are hiking to an active volcano in a national park. Miss you all!

By Talia B.

July 8, 2021
We are really getting into the swing of the Pura Vida life here in Costa Rica!  We first had a great, homemade breakfast while sitting with our incredible view of San Jose.  Then, we got ready for a hike to Volcan Poas, an active volcano that makes a large impact on the quality of the soil here.  While we could not see the crater due to foggy weather, we could smell the sulfur in the air and felt very refreshed.  After the hike, we stopped by an authentic Costa Rican restaurant that served us all amazing food and service!  At around 13:00 we headed back to our stay and played some activities like swimming, charades, and really got to know one another on a deeper level.  Now we are getting packed and ready for our super fun and active day of rafting in the morning!  Pura vida!
By Ava U.

July 9, 2021

Today was an early morning, everyone woke up around 5am and got ready for a 2hour drive to Turrialba for river rafting. We got assigned to 3 different boats and then went down the river. It was fun and everyone was getting splashed with water.  We all stopped and pulled to the side of the river and walked to a mini waterfall and swam in the pool. At the end of the river rafting we made it to camp, and ate lunch. Before dinner, we played a few card games and human knot which was also fun.

By Rose M.

July 10, 2021

The day started off with us waking up in our tents in the middle of the Costa Rican rainforest, where we enjoyed a nice breakfast, consisting of pancakes, eggs and fruit. We got ready for our 3-hour rafting adventure by squeezing into our wet and cold clothes from the day before. We rafted through jungles and canyons, getting splashed by level 3 and 4 rapids. When we finally arrived, completely soaked, we had lunch and hopped in the bus, heading to our next destination, the Parasmina river. We took a fast 10-minute boat ride to our next hotel. We unloaded our bags and got settled. Later, the activity of the night was to make little turtle collages, using pieces of paper. We then had a presentation from Marco, a turtle conservation volunteer, about our agenda for the next couple of days.

-Aske B.

July 11, 2021

Today was our first full day at Parismina, starting out with a wonderful breakfast consisting of bananas, Gallo pinto, and cas. We then got ready for the day and went on a wonderful tour of the town. We got smoothies and saw the soccer field and played in the Caribbean ocean, which was amazing. We showered off and ate some dinner, and I met the nicest 7 year old girl. Everything here is so different from my hometown, and it’s very cool to see how people live here. We finished the night with a turtle patrol, lasting from 8 pm to 12 am. It was a very awesome day.


July 12, 2021

Today we woke up around 7:00 and we had breakfast at 8:00. Afterwards we headed to the dock and took a long boat ride to Tortuguero National Park. There was a small village in the middle of the park, and we stopped there to shop and look around. We got back on the boat and we went back to Parismina where we had lunch at the hotel. For the rest of the afternoon, we walked around town and hung out at the hotel. Later on we got ready for our patrol shift on the beach, and we headed down there. From 9:00 to 12:00, we walked up and down the beaches looking out for poachers or animals that could prevent the nesting process of the sea turtles. And finally around 12:30, we headed to bed.

– Cooper K.

July 13, 2021

Hi! Today we have officially hit the one week mark of our 21 day trip- yay! We started the morning by sleeping in after a long night of patrolling the beaches in Parismina. It was sadly yet another day of rain, however, our mood was lifted when we found out we were going to be learning how to make our own Empanadas with the guidance of a community member. After we split into two groups, I and the other kids in my group made way to our outdoor kitchen. Yolanda (the woman teaching us) demonstrated how to make a perfect corn tortilla and gave us the options to either fill it with chicken, or cheese. Once we finished making the empanadas, we sat under the roof and enjoyed our hard work. As for the other group, they ventured to a local house in Parismina. The group cooked and learned beside the whole household. They were given the options of beans and cheese and along with us tasted the delicious product of homemade recipes. Next, we left for the local craft fair, where kids were able to buy gifts for family and friends. At this point, it had cleared up to a beautiful, warm day, and we all had fun chilling in hammocks and playing games. Finally, we ended our night with the daily meeting and some last games. Ready for next adventure!

– Carmela S.

July 14, 2021

Today we woke up and had breakfast at 9:00, we cleaned the turtle hatchery and helped move all the leaves and dirt. In the afternoon we painted a mural that left our mark in Parismina. At night we went on our last night patrol and found baby leatherback sea turtles! We were able to watch as they crawled into the water.

Zach S.

July 15, 2021

Hello parents!
Today was our last full day staying in Parismina. We started the morning with a typical Costa Rican breakfast, followed by a fun bracelet making class taught by a local artisan from the village. Then we enjoyed a delicious lunch and got ready to do some beach cleanup. After a sweaty and successful cleanup, many of us took a refreshing dip into the ocean. Afterwards, we were pleasantly surprised when some of the members of ASTOP (Association Save the Turtles of Parismina) presented us with certificates of accomplishment and gratification for helping their conservation program! We then enjoyed a yummy last dinner at the hotel and ended the night with some group activities and reflection. Tonight we pack up and head out tomorrow morning for our next adventure!

Izzy H.

July 17, 2021

Today we woke up early to finish packing and to enjoy one last nice breakfast in Parismina. We then took a short boat ride to where our bus was waiting for us. We rode on the bus for about two hours and then satopped at a restaurant where we ate lunch. I got a passion fruit drink which was very good, anyways, we then rode for three more hours and stopped at our hotel. We settled into our rooms and went for a swim in the pool. Then we had dinner at the restaurant connected to the hotel. After that l played soccer and ran around the field with others from the group. We then had a group meeting where we played games and talked about the plan for the next day. Then we went to our rooms and went to bed. Overall today was a nice chill travel day!

Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Meg C.

July 18, 2021

Today we stared the day at 8:30 with a full filling breakfast of red rice, toast and some delicious scramble eggs. After breakfast we got ready to leave and 9:30 and headed off to a fun adventure of ziplining , the ride to ziplining took around 1 and a half hours though the ride was long it was filled lots of games and laughter. When we arrived at ziplining the group gathered at the gift shop to do pre ziplining tourist shopping. At 11:30 we started to get the gear on, there was many mixed emotions for everyone about flying through the sky at the biggest height reaching 3,000 feet above sea level. There were 7 difffent ziplines divided by platforms to gather on and look at the beautiful cloud forest surrounding us. After getting clipped in on the rope that attaches you to your next destination, the guides stop talking and then flying you of the cliff saying “adiós!”. After the amazing ziplining experience the group drove into a town called La Fortuna our split up Into two groups to find some lunch the first group went to get pizza at an amazing Italian restaurant and the second group got beautiful tasting sushi (most of the group wanted sushi ).

Continuing on with the day we all went off on our own to look at the town after about an hour we meet up at the local church in town. Everyone tired from our long day we drove back to the hotel to rest an hour later we gathered back up and some very Costa rica cultured dance which we got an honor of learning the dances by the best dancer in town. After much laughs and wrong moved we got the hang of it. Then we rounded up the day with a beautiful buffet for dinner. Then as tired as we were we finally got to go to bed. Everyone is very excited for tomorrow and the experiences it will bring.

Sophie J.

July 19, 2021

Today we left our third residence and drove a few hours to The children’s eternal rainforest on our drive there we ate lunch at a pizza place. After finishing our drive we hiked to our fourth place of residence through a beautiful rainforest, the rangers made a wonderful meal for us. We will now be working to preserve the trails throughout it.

Lhana L.

July 20, 2021
Well, all in all, I’d call today a success!
After a rough night being kept up by the boys’ nighttime conversations, the gang woke up to get ready for the day.  We played a few games of ping pong (which I won every game of, and don’t let anyone tell you differently) and ate a hearty breakfast of rice and beans. The time came for us to trek out into the woods for some service work. We split into two groups, but I’ll be following the adventures of the Shovel Squad, it being the best group by far. Relax, I’m kidding. Mostly.
We widened and flattened up the trail a bit, all the while talking about wild stories from our lives and whether a lightsaber axe would actually work (it wouldn’t). The plan after that had been to pick up where the other group left off and fix a trail , but the ever-present rain cut that short. Instead, after a hearty rice-and-bean lunch, we got to work on a presentation on one aspect of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest Wildlife. No access to the internet whatsoever, which was interesting. As you can tell, it was a fun time. The folks at the research station were very helpful, and we made some real progress on the project. And following a well-deserved break, we ate some, you guessed it, good ol’ gallo pinto (rice and beans, if you couldn’t tell), played a few theater games Noellia cooked up, and retired for the night. Today ended up well, all things considered.
Unlikely, but hey, a man can dream.

Ian J.

July 21, 2021

Hello!  This is Day 2 of the Monteverde Cloud Forest and we are loving it!  We had a relaxing morning that consisted of coffee, games, and a homemade breakfast of empanadas and pancakes. We then went straight into work and split into two groups. One group planted trees around the station to attract pollinators such as hummingbirds. The other painted the park benches a beautiful forest green. We refueled with a delicious lunch and continued playing our favorited games of Taki and ping pong.  At 15:00 we finished and presented our projects that helped us learn about the incredibly unique environment around us. To reward our good projects, we made homemade donuts (which were delicious) and secretly prepared for Carmela’s 17th birthday!  At dinner we celebrated what an amazing person she is and had a great time bonding over our journey together. To finish off our day, we took a night hike through the forest to spot some frogs, spiders, and other cool insects. Cake might have been eaten post hike… Happy birthday Carmela!  We all love you and wish you the absolute best!

– Ava U.

July 22, 2021
This morning in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest we had to be up very early for a breakfast of eggs, toast, plantains, and orange juice, then prepared for a 4.2 km hike in the rain back to the bus. When we arrived back at the bus we changed out of our wet clothes and got ready for a 6 hr bus ride to El Tecal where we will stay 3 nights. About 2 hrs into the bus ride we stopped for lunch at El Jardin. At lunch we met up with group B and talked about how our trips were going. When we arrived at the hotel we had some down time before dinner at 7. After dinner we had our nightly meeting on the balcony outside a couple rooms. At the end of the day we were all tired from a long hike and bus ride and ready to get a good night’s sleep.

– Ryan (Emma Mc.)

July 23, 2021

We started off the morning with breakfast at 8:30, where we were served pancakes and cereal. We used the morning to relax and chill, and get ready for our surfing lessons later in the afternoon. After a relaxed morning, we packed our bags and headed down to the beach, where we met our instructers. After 15 minutes of surfing lessons with the intructers, we were ready to take on the waves. It was difficult to balance on the board at first, but after enough tries, we (most of us) got it down and were able to catch some waves. After 2 hours of surfing, we were ready to head back to the hotel. We walked back, tired and exhausted of a long day of surfing. We finished off the day with dinner and our meeting.

– Aske B. and Carmela S.

July 24, 2021
Today we woke up excited for a morning of surfing. We fueled up with a typical breakfast of gallo pinto, eggs, toast, and fruit. Also, can’t forget the fruit loops. After breakfast we headed to the beach for a full 2 hours of surfing. Afterwards, we walked back to the hotel and ate lunch, which consisted of pasta with marinara and alfredo sauce and also veggies on the side. After that we had a very chill afternoon; going on some leisurely walks around town and a dip in the pool. Then we enjoyed a  pizza dinner and then tuned down with a movie night. Tomorrow we depart early for our last day together.
– Cooper and Izzy