This March, the Academy of Holy Angels' Science and Spanish Departments co-led a 9-day student educational excursion in Costa Rica. 17 students from grades 10, 11, and 12 along with three teachers (Mrs. Moravec – science, Mrs. Lahr – science, Mrs. Eiden – Spanish) attended the Spring Break trip.
The purpose of the trip was to not only provide students the opportunity to practice and improve their Spanish language skills, but also to learn about the importance of conservation in Costa Rica and participate in international service. A Costa Rican tour guide named Walter helped students with their conversational Spanish; he also shared highlights about the history and culture of Costa Rica.
The group traveled to the town of Parrita, located on the Central Pacific Coast. There, they learned about the importance of the mangroves in protecting not only the natural habitats but also in protecting people who live in those areas from storms. Students also participated in local conservation efforts (pictured left); they helped in the mangrove nursery to clean out the area where young trees are grown before they are planted in the mangrove itself. “During this trip, I learned how eco-friendly Costa Rica is. By not flushing toilet paper, using biodegradable straws, and more, they are really doing their part in the climate crisis,” said Kiah A.
The second half of the trip took place in the Arenal region, right near the active Arenal Volcano. In the town of Fortuna, students were able to interact with the people who live and work there and practice their real-life Spanish skills.
Overall, the trip was thoroughly enjoyed by the entire group. “While experiencing a whole new culture and new part of the world, I also made some close friendships that would never have happened without this trip,” reflected a student. Declan A. added, "Costa Rica is definitely the most beautiful place I have ever been with some of the nicest people you can meet. This trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to truly explore and become immersed in the unique culture of this amazing beautiful country."