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Costa Rica Blog 2019

Friday, March 22nd

We can't wait to land back in Philly later tonight! But first, check out this POISONOUS FROG we found on our last day. Yep, when the poisonous frogs start coming for you, it's time to head home.

Thursday, March 21st

Today our 7th Graders visited the Poas volcano and Darapiqui, later having lunch in Selva Verde. After hiking and exploring, everyone hopped on rafts to go white water rafting on the Sarapiqui River. After dinner and a closing reflection, it was time to pack up to fly back to Philadelphia tomorrow. We have so many stories to share with everyone back home!

Wednesday, March 20th

After a full day of classes at school with their pen pals, students took a wood jewelry making workshop and had some time to shop for family and friends back home (we'd all like some coffee if you're reading this!) After a little bit of time to pack and prepare, everyone gathered for a goodbye party full of laughs, tears, and lots of memories that will last lifetime! 

Tuesday, March 19th
Some days you see sloths in the rain forest, other days you go zip ling, and some times you take classes at school. We don't have a ton to report today as our students were busy taking classes and spending time with their pen pals all morning, but are excited to hear about their visits with pen pals and pen pal families this evening!

Monday, March 18th
How often do Philly kids get to wake up and watch a beautiful sunrise at the beach in the middle of March? If you're with our 7th Graders in Costa Rica- just today! After that (optional) sun rise viewing, students were off to Curu for a walk in the mangroves and tour of turtle island before snorkeling. This evening brought time for a homework check, some laundry (we've been really active the past few days...), and then reflection before lights out. 

Sunday, March 17th
Students were up and at 'em for a 5:30 a.m. wake up call. You read that right...13 year olds woke up at 5:30 in the morning. After a ferry ride, everyone landed at Paquera and enjoyed lunch in Tambor. Students unpacked and settled in, then took a short wildlife walk and had time to play on the beach (nice sand art, friends)! Everyone gathered for dinner and then some homework review before a brief worship share.

Saturday, March 16th
Today was all about students taking on new challenges and pushing themselves to embark on new adventures. After spending a morning taking a guided sky walk tour in the rain forest, students (and a few brave staff members) had the opportunity to zip line across the rain forest canopy! After lunch, students visited Zarcero park and an organic coffee farm (did you know that coffee beans are a major export for the Costa Rican economy?) After dinner, there was time for homework and some reflection on the day before lights out.

Friday, March 15th
Today started with a chocolate a rainforest. I know, we have major FOMO too! Students explored the rainforest and sampled chocolate, but also got to go on a sloth and bird watching out. After unpacking at their next home base, the group was off to visit thermal volcano waters and perform with their pen pals at the annual talent show. There is also time for homework, but we'd say a little homework's not so bad after a day like today!

Thursday, March 14th
Today our students spent time volunteering at "Sembrando Agua" in Lourdes. Working with the same organization as last year, students spent time on water conservation projects to benefit the local community. After a morning of volunteering, students had time to go swimming with their pen pals and complete homework. Later this evening students will take a Latino dance workshop with their pen pals and pack up for a few days of exploring on their own.

Wednesday, March 13th
After a morning of class with pen pals  (pictured above), 7th Graders continued to explore Sarchi, with a visit the Else Kientzler Botanical Gardens and take a traditional painting workshop. The Botanical Gardens houses more than 2,000 tropical plants from around the world! Tonight students will have time for homework and talent show prep (two days until curtain, people!) before enjoying dinner and then more time for homework. 

Tuesday, March 12th
Our students just landed in Costa Rica! After beginning the day with a 4:15 a.m. flight out of Philadelphia, they hit the ground running with a full day of activities. Our students are split into two groups; one led by Sandra and the other led by Kristin. We'll spend the next ten days as members of Sandra's group (but don't worry about missing anything- both groups hit the same sites, just on different days!)

After landing, Sandra's group will head to Sarchi, a small town known for its artisans and handmade goods (especially oxcart wheels). Students will have time to swim, take a Costa Rican cooking class, and connect with their pen pals and pen pal families. This being a school trip, the group will also have a homework check and do some reflection before heading to bed at 9:00 tonight. With most of our travelers waking up by 3:00 a.m., we're sure they'll be ready for a good night's sleep before tomorrow's adventures begin!

Keep up with their travels here and via Instagram