¡Pura Vida! Greetings from Costa Rica. It is really difficult to put into words how amazing our experience has been, but it is certainly worth trying! We have come so far in these past ten days, from landing in San Jose, to filling pot holes, to surfing – we have truly done a little bit of everything.
Upon arriving in Alajuela, a town just outside of the capital, we had the good fortune to discover that the home soccer team would be playing in the local stadium, and that tickets were 2-for-1 for the night! We walked over and enjoyed the game after a delicious dinner of typical Costa Rican food. The next morning we loaded up the bus and headed off to Pura Suerte, an organic farm in the rainforest where students stayed in rustic bamboo jungalows.
Our first day on the farm started bright an early with a yoga class, overlooking the ocean, which got us good and ready for our epic hike to Nuyaca Waterfall. We hiked, we swam in the falls, we laughed, and we enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch overlooking our gorgeous surroundings. The hike out was tough, but absolutely worth the time we spent in the waterfall.
From there we went right into our home stays in Herradura, a small village of 55 families and approximately 400 people. We spent the majority of our three days there working to repair the one road that runs through town, which was barely passable when we arrived. The community rallied around us and helped us work long (but highly productive) days mixing concrete by hand and filling the gaps in the pavement. Everyone, including the townspeople, was incredibly impressed with not only the work ethic of the students, but also their open-minded approach to joining the village. Each student had the good fortune to live with a family and spend the evenings eating delicious food, practicing their Spanish, and participating in true cultural exchange. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and eventually our time in the village was up. After a tearful goodbye, we loaded up the bus and headed to the beach!
Within hours of stepping onto the soft sand, we were grabbing surfboards and hitting the waves. With a little guidance from Dante’s Surf School, everyone got the chance to shred the Costa Rican coastline. Our last full day in country will begin with a hike in the Manuel Antonio National Park, where we hope to see monkeys, sloths, and lizards galore. Before we know it, we’ll be back on a plane to the United States, forever carrying Costa Rica in our hearts.
On behalf of our entire wonderful group,
Marc (our Walking Tree guide), Mrs. DeRusso, and Mrs. Fisher
First Day on Bus
Group Surfing in Manuel Antonio
Group Working in Herradura
Yoga at Pura Suerte
McLean <3"s Walking Tree