Costa Rica Blog 2017

Friday, March 24
Our 7th graders are headed home after an exciting  trip to Costa Rica! Students finished off their week white water rafting on the Sarapiqui River and visiting Poas Volcano. Today the group will arrive in Baltimore and then drive back to GSFS for a good night's rest and warm welcome from family and friends. Until next year, Costa Rica!

Wednesday, March 22
Though it is hard to believe, our 7th graders' adventures have almost come to an end in Costa Rica! Students continued studying with their pen pals at school, but also practiced making traditional Costa Rican art like wood jewelry and oxcart wheels, seen in the pictures below. After making smaller versions, students happened to see a giant oxcart (and its wheels) while out shopping. Ticos threw a goodbye party that featured lots of delicious food and, much to everyone's delight, a pinata! The evening ended with reflection and packing as students prepare to depart Costa Rica in just a few days. 

Tuesday, March 21
Today was all about the academics, with students spending most of their days studying Spanish and practicing their language skills over dinner with Costa Rican pen pals and their families. The group enjoyed touring the Ticos' school and experiencing a typical school day in the life of their pen pals. Students even used their time on the ferry, fresh from snorkeling over the weekend, to complete homework assigned to them during the trip. 7th graders finished out their day with a presentation about GSFS to let their pen pals know a little bit more about our school and its values. Then students serenaded their pen pals with a beautiful rendition of "We Are the World".

Monday, March 20
Our 7th graders had a busy weekend while we were all digging out from lots of snow in Philadelphia! Students took a tour of Mariposario, a local butterfly park and had dinner in Monteverde. Monteverde is a town in northwestern Costa Rica, home to the beautiful MONTAVERDE CLOUD FOREST RESERVES. The reserve is home to many endangered species and offers beautiful walking bridges above the forest canopy. While one group was hiking, the other was enjoying another natural beauty of Costa Rica- the beach! The second group went to Paquera for a swim and visit ito the CURU NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE.  Both groups switch today, with one visiting Turtle Island and snorkeling, wile the other visits Zarcero organic coffee farm and Sarchi.

Friday, March 17
Today half of our 7th grade students took a trip to Zarcero, an organic coffee farm. Students toured the farm and learned all about how Costa Ricans grow such delicious coffee for the rest of the world! Students will take a guided tour of the butterfly gardens and visit Monteverde Quaker School to experience a typical day at their pen pals' school. The other half of the group took a ferry to Paquera and toured turtle island, snorkling and hiking to Mangroves. Here the group enjoyed a beautiful, sunset view of the island. Both groups will finish off their day with homework and reflection on this very busy day in Costa Rica!

Thursday, March 16
Both groups landed safe and sound in Costa Rica and have already begun their adventures! Today groups will volunteer at "Sembrando Agua" and visit botanical gardens. Sembrando Agua translates to "sowing water" and refers to Costa Rican efforts to protect watersheds and promote reforestation of rainforests- activities that definitely fit this year's Quaker theme of "Stewardship". Students will also partake in a traditional painting workshop, hike, and review homework assigned to them over the last couple of days. 

Wednesday, March 15
Winter storm Stella threw us for a loop, but couldn't stop our 7th graders from heading to Costa Rica! One group is already checked in and through security, while the other flies out later this afternoon.

Check back here for updates and stories from our travels. Safe travels to all and purva vida!