A Travellerspoint blog

Costa Rica

more field trips

monteverde, la fortuna, nicaragua

We had homestays for a weekend, where I was placed with a local from the Barrio Brasil not far from where the schools at. One of the girls is Yuliana, she has actually been one of the girls we play soccer with so I have known her from that. She is 25 and lives with her father Claudio and her uncle. Her dad is from a family of 11 brothers and sisters and she only has 2, her and her sister.elenapicsm..rde_027.jpg Pretty much everyone in that neighborhood is a relative of hers. They didnt have much and you come to see how amazing the Costa Rica family structure and support is. We played soccer which pretty much everyone plays here in Costa. We played on an artificial field with another group of girls, which was pretty intimidating since I um el sucko but I managed to score a goal even though we still lost 4-10, it was fun. The next day they took me to a local waterfall in Rio La Union. It was amazing. My new favorite pastime is jumping rocks in to waterfalls and that is exactly what we did. elenapicsm..rde_021.jpgThere was also a sliding rock, not that long, that we were able to go down. And when we hiked up a bit there was an abandoned mine that was use for stones for jewlery. (I forget what kind) We attempted to go in for a little bit but then got scarred cause it was pretty dark and went on for atelast a mile. She took care of her nephew alot who was with us that afternoon. We will be having a dinner and talent show for the families we stayed with in two days.

Me and five other girls have worked on this outreach project in San Isidro with kids from kindergardners to age 11. We went there and taught them some English words in relation to water conservation and then painted a mural dipicting water conservation as well. This morning we helped plant in the garden they have. elenapicsm..rde_010.jpgThe kids who were around 9-11years enjoyed working and helping in the garden. I was so impressed that they knew how to fix fences, plant plants, and what pests were bad for the crops. It was sad to see that that was the last day working with them they have been so fun and cute. elenapicsm..rde_011.jpg
Last weekend we went to Monteverde and la fortuna, which I have been to both already. MOnteverde is different cause it is cooler than the rest of Costa Rica. We stayed at a biological station and did orientation hikes in the Cloud Forest there. Which is located over the coninental divide. Near the station in the morning we worked on a field lab in the area behind us, basically trying to form any kind of ecological question in relation to plants or animals. My partner and I looked at the frequency of mushrooms on decomposing logs/trees. Assuming there would be more on trees of a higher composition. Its really cool to actually do live field experinces from scratch. We then went to La Fortuna stopping at a windmill energy plantation infront of Lake Arenal. The windmills there have been there since 1998 and are a bit outdated and if they brought newer bigger windmills in they could produce twice as much energy but they dont have the roads equipped well enough to bring it to that location. It is one of the windiest place in the world. elenapicsm..rde_038.jpgWe were able to go inside and see and here about how they work. Most Costa Rica's energy comes from hydro( about 80%-with around 35 dams) but a small percentage comes from windmills(roughly 10%) and geothermal (roughly 10%). We then made it to La Fortuna, which we unfortuanetly were unable to see the Volcano. We were supposed to head to a waterfall the next morning but the heavy rains forced us to cancel and we went to a hot spring instead. Which to my dissapointment was just a resort with no natural hot springs. But it was still fun cause they had water slides. slide.jpg

Tomorrow Costa Rica vs USA in soccer, kindof rooting for my new home Costa!!

Posted by touché 21:04 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (0)

Here goes...

It has been three weeks since I have been in Costa Rica with the SFS program and have enjoyed every minute of it. The Costa Ricans have been very friendly and tranquil and the program intense and educational. I have been learning the Pura Vida lifestyle although our schedule has been busy with a full days worth of classes. Here is a sample schedule
7am-8am breakfast
8am-830am rap(preview and reflections of the day)
830am-930am econ
930am-1130 work on econ field lab excercise
12-1 lunch
130-230 tropical ecology
3-500 spanish class
530-600 briefing on field trip for next day
600-700 dinner
730-830 salsa class
curfew 1030 and fri and sat 1200am
Its very weird to have a curfew since im 25 and a really structured schedule where you are not allowed to miss class, not really even if you are sick. I have been trying to adapt the relaxed, open attitude of the people here. Its funny though cause being the oldest one here people tease me and call me grandma, which is kindof the first time to hit me about my age and growing old. This group of students is a very active, enthusiastic group. I have been very impressed and excited that we all have the same agenda and interests. The second day some of us woke up at 6 am before breakfast to go running and do yoga. The field trips have been great and have exposed me to a lot of Costa Rica that I have yet to explore(being that it’s my 7th time here) and make me appreciate the country that much more. We have done so much that is feels like much more than three weeks. Every week we there is a field trip or two. So far our field trip and what we have seen/done include:
1. Tirimbina-did a lab excersize on carbon storage in a pasture and went to a dole plantationbananas.jpg
2. Manuel Antonio National Park- the smalles park in Costa Rica but the second most visited with 150000 visitors annually 5manuel_antonio.jpg...took surveys on what visitors thought of the park, in order to find ways to better manage and control the capacity of the park
3. Carrara-another park very close to the highway. a transitional forest between wet and dry tropical forest.
4. Poas Volcano- the most visited park with 300,000 visitors annually earning about 1 million annully of that the government only gives them about 7% back for upkeep and wages.

On Sept. 14 and 15th on Monday and Tuesday I was able to participate in the celebrations of Costa Rica’s Independence Day; which was in 1821, and was Central America’s separation from Spain. They soon adopted their first constitution. independence_day2.jpgMonday night there were a group of kids in Atenas that were dressed up in traditional clothing and gave speeches and then danced and sang the national anthem. After that they parade with lanterns which signify back in 1821 when people were walking with lanterns to from the capital of Central America in Guatemala to Costa Rica and beyond to spread the news of their independence. independence_day.jpgThey next day is a national holiday and everyone gathers around to watch a parade of kids and some elders that go around in a square and do traditional dances and play drums. My friend Allie and I got to partake in trampoline festivities, trampoline.jpgIt was nice partaking in the country’s independence day especially knowing how peacefully they separated and gained their independence from Spain.

Posted by touché 10:00 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged educational Comments (1)

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