So it's been a couple weeks since we've been back home and I, for one, am missing Costa Rica already. Costa Rica was such an enriching experience and the class learned so many great things over the course of a couple weeks.
Watch the video below to see some of the exciting service learning we were doing alongside the UNA students while in Playa Grande. This video was generously filmed and produced by Oscar Ramírez.
To gain some last minute thoughts from students, I asked them to answer a couple questions regarding the trip and how it impacted them and their life as a whole. Here are some of their thoughts below.........
Question: What is one of the most interesting things you learned from the entire trip?
"The bullet ants are farmers and cultivate fungus." - Patrick Costa
"The spectacular story about Volcano Arenal and the reason where a whole town was renamed after the eruption. "Fortuna" meaning fortunate." - Efrain Flores Guerrero
"One of the most interesting things I learned on a cultural level was that residential homes do not have addresses. A Costa Rican professor asked me what my address was and I told him the exact location. When he asked a Costa Rican student, she proceeded to give directions in distances and landmarks." - Lauren Zahn
"ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING THINGS I LEARNED FROM THE ENTIRE TRIP WAS THE DIFFERENCE IN CLIMATES THROUGH OUT THE COUNTRY. WE WENT FROM HOT, COLD, AND MODERATE WEATHER." - Leomaris Pena
"When I went to Costa Rica I was not expecting to learn as much as I did. Each day I learned something new about the people, the culture, and the environment. One of the most interesting things I learned from the experience was the development of Arenal since its last eruption and the incredible luck of La Fortuna.
I also learned that the chirping I heard each night was not coming from a bird but was actually the sound of geckos!" - Dakota-Rose Whearley
Question: How did this class impact you and your life?
"It opened up a corner of the world that I have not been to and I now understand where they are coming form. " - Patrick Costa
"This class positively impacted me because I have never had the opportunity to travel outside of the USA. Not only was I able to be immersed in the culture, but I was also able to learn about the different environmental aspects of Costa Rica's biomes and animal species. " - Lauren Zahn
"THIS CLASS GAVE ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET STUDENTS FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY WHOM I NOW SHARE A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH AND SIMILAR INTEREST WHICH IS THE STUDY OF LIFE." - Leomaris Pena
"I have always had a deep desire to travel the world and most specifically I have always wanted to explore the rainforests of the world. The most impactful moments for me were the times we were in the heart of nature, silent, and observing the natural world around us. I quickly learned that the time of day could be determined by the sounds coming from the forest while staying at Surf Camp in Playa Grande. At night the bugs were active, the geckos were chirping and the nocturnal creatures were looking for a meal. My life was forever inspired and changed by Costa Rica because of its deep value in conservation. " - Dakota-Rose Whealey
As you can see, this class was life changing for all students involved and many of us would jump at the opportunity to go right back to the Costa Rican beauty we already miss. We can only hope that this opportunity will continue enriching the lives of other students and impacting the CI community on international service learning experience at a time.