Student’s Costa Rica Adventures


Sophie Castro, Editor

This past summer, six students had the opportunity to experience the world as they traveled to Costa Rica from June 24 to July 7 with Spanish teacher Karen Snyder. While there they got to broaden their horizons by being exposed to a new culture and language.

EF Educational Tours planned; they are a program that helps schools around the world organize international tours so that students can fully experience different cultures and the world can become more open through education. 

EF Educational Tours is the program through which the world languages department organizes all of their international trips, the next of which will take place in 2020 as the French department takes a trip to France and Ireland. 

While Snyder organized and advertised the trip to Costa Rica, the experience was open to more than just Spanish students, in fact anyone in the community is permitted to attend.

Senior Olivia Brewer said she found out about the trip through a friend and was able to sign up without having been in Spanish. 

Students were able to sign up either through the EF Educational Tours website, or they could see Snyder for an application.

During the application process, students could decide whether or not to bring a parent with them on this trip, and the final group ended up consisting of six students, some of their parents, and Snyder. 

On June 24 these students set out on their adventure, and after multiple connecting flights, and one five hour layover in Texas, they finally arrived in Costa Rica. 

The trip was successful and enjoyable for all who attended.

Snyder said, “Every one really enjoyed zip lining the best, it was a canopy tour above the treeline, and you could see the river.”

This zip line tour was one of the many activities packed into this seven day trip; some other activities consisted of: white water rafting, snorkeling, waterfall exploring, visiting hot springs, and getting to see a chocolate factory, volcano, and coffee plantation. 

While there was little down time during their expedition, Brewer, senior Ryan Jones, and junior Mackenzie Claus all said that their favorite part of the trip was the environment and nightlife of Costa Rica, when they got to go off by themselves and explore different restaurants. 

When asked how Costa Rica differed from the United States, Brewer said, “The food. I was kinda surprised cause their was just rice and beans.” 

However, Claus was less struck with the cultural differences, saying “half the time I didn’t even notice we were in Costa Rica, it kinda felt like Florida.” 

Despite Costa Rica’s striking similarity to the State’s pan handle, there was a noticeable language barrier that helped the students become more familiar with Spanish and Costa Rican phrases, one of the most prevalent being “Pura Vida”, meaning pure life in Spanish and often said as a hello or goodbye phrase in Costa Rica. 

“I hope they got to increase their language skills and learn about a different culture,” Snyder said. 

Both of these goals were accomplished on this trip as students got to experience Costa Rican nightlife while also improving their Spanish and getting to see many of the landmarks of Costa Rica. 

Both Snyder and the students said that the people made the trip, and that everyone worked really well together. All said that they would absolutely recommend this trip to other people, and if there was one thing they could’ve changed, they would’ve made it longer. 

While some students may be disappointed they missed out on an amazing trip, Snyder is planning another trip through EF Educational Tours to Spain and Portugal in 2021. So, if you would like to experience a trip as incredible as this one, go sign up today, and, as the Costa Ricans would say, “Pura Vida!”