During the 2017-2018 school year Upper School students had the opportunity to go to Costa Rica for a Community Service trip. Read about their adventures here and stay tuned to learn more about this year’s international trip to China.
Our travelers are off! Three faculty chaperones and 21 students in grades 6-8 arrived, bleary eyed, met at 3:45 a.m. on Saturday morning, March 10, to set off on an amazing adventure. They will be spending 8 days in Costa Rica, practicing their Spanish, exploring, participating in a service project, and enjoying new cultural experiences.
Our Upper School Spanish teacher, Señor DT, provides daily (or almost daily updates). You can also follow their adventures on the Walking Tree Travel blog. Click HERE to see the latest updates.
Day 1: Hola, todos!
Today was a long day of travel for the group but everyone is happy and healthy — we are so excited to be starting this journey!
Our hotel this evening overlooks San José and the views are amazing. The kids enjoyed exploring the beautiful grounds, dipping their feet in the pool and eating a delicious home cooked meal! We have an early breakfast/departure tomorrow so everyone is getting to bed nice and early. Tomorrow — surfing lessons!
It is hard to express how much pride it brings me to travel with this fine group of young people. They are positive, patient, polite and so kind to everyone with whom we interact. The Walking Tree leaders are already very impressed!
Day 2: What a whirlwind 48 hours!
After a bit of travel and a delicious lunch, the kids had the chance to surf for a couple of hours in the very warm and very lovely Pacific Ocean. You would be so impressed by their ability to communicate in Spanish with the locals here. They are very capable!
This morning we will have a bit more beach time — and, depending on the tides, some cave exploration. We will then be traveling about an hour to our host community of San Salvador where the students will begin their three night stay with a host family. The students are paired in groups of two, with one group of three. We will be spending two days completing a much needed project for the community.
The next few days will be incredibly meaningful for the students — I can’t wait for them to share their stories!
Day 3 – (excerpt from Walking Tree Travel Blog)
We met our host families who were all very happy to see us. We went back to their houses where we will be staying for the next few days. We spent the night playing cards, eating dinner, playing fútbol, and watching a Spanish version of Disney’s Cinderella. Our accommodations were great, and we wouldn’t trade the world for this experience. We can’t wait for the next few days!
Day 4 – (excerpt from Walking Tree Travel Blog)
For those who don’t know, we are building a handicap ramp at the local school.
The work was hard, but the Spanish-speaking instructors successfully maneuvered the language barrier with the kids. We each took turns translating for the younger or less experienced speakers, and shoveled away the dirt in the hot, hot sun for as long as possible.
After all of our work, our families brought us some delicious lunch. We finished up working until about 3:30, then enjoyed some watermelon and headed over from the school to the field to play some futból with some local Costa Rican kids. We all enjoyed exhausting the last of our energy on something that didn’t need to involve language- we all just wanted to have fun, and that’s exactly what happened.
Day 5 – Celebrating a Job Well Done (excerpt from Walking Tree blog)
Today we finished our community service project at the school. Two days of hard work definitely paid off. Seeing the kids at the school watching with smiles on their faces as we worked was truly heart warming. We have come closer as a group and it’s amazing.
Final Day (excerpt from Walking Tree blog)
The hike to the cataratas was tiresome, but we all agreed that it was worth it. For the next three hours we dove off the rocks, explored the cove and swam under the waterfall.
Back on the bus and to the coffee farm we go! Our tour guide from the waterfall happened to own a all natural, all organic, coffee and cocoa farm where we spent the rest of our day picking coffee fruit, touring the grounds, and chasing chickens.