El Paso Community College 2016, Summer in Flamingo

A small group from El Paso Community College arrived in Costa Rica a warm Friday afternoon to enjoy a few days in Heredia before going on to CPI’s Flamingo campus. They had a tour of the capital city, San José, saw the sights of the Gold Museum, National Theater, and had lunch at a local restaurant. The following day the group got up bright and early to have a good time at Café Britt. They learned about the coffee process; from the time the seed is planted to the time the coffee is poured into the cup. It was informative and fun! Lots of coffee savored too!

In the afternoon the group got in the van for the long ride to Flamingo in the Guanacaste province. In Flamingo they met up with the rest of the group that had arrived that day and the adventure began in Flamingo.

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Monday dawned bright and hot and the CPI staff in Flamingo received the group for placements and orientation. The group was split into several smaller groups for Spanish classes and it was an entertaining and pleasant experience the rest of the week.

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Two of the experiences that highlighted the week were dance class and cooking class. The teacher was energetic and lively.

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For cooking class the group had to prepare a typical meal for lunch. This time it was casado con pollo; a typical Costa Rica dish consisting of rice, beans, salad, and chicken fixed up with lots of condiments. The meal was complimented with a natural fruit juice: cas. A little tart fruit, cas is in the guava family and is smaller and more sour.

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The week went by with Spanish classes in the morning and activities around the Flamingo area in the afternoons. Not everyone did all the activities together although it happened many times that people chose to the same things together.

One afternoon Playa Conchal was chosen to visit. This beach is known for its beautiful white sand and broken shells. The name, “Conchal” comes from “concha”, or shell. The sunset was an amazing sight!

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In the evening the group ate out at a local restaurant. A bit of time was spent doing homework before calling it a day.

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Wednesday was the day chosen to do the catamaran cruise after morning classes. The catamaran set sail from the nearby town of Tamarindo. That afternoon was awesome! A sea turtle swam by and was seen by lots of people from on deck.

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There was music, dancing, and food was served. Snorkeling was an option as well as paddle boarding. The sunset was another spectacular sight, made more special by being on the catamaran.

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Playa Danta was another destination and this was spent exploring the beach, kayaking, and relaxing in the shade. The onsite restaurant was yummy!

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The week was going by all too quickly and it was time to go shopping and exploring in Tamarindo. Yet another beach to explore! Gelato (Italian for ice cream) was a popular choice of snack for the afternoon too!

Friday was graduation day! Spanish classes continued in the morning as normal and the graduation ceremony was held near lunch time. The teachers had all kinds of nice and complimentary things to say about their students for the week and all who studied were presented their diploma.

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Saturday was full of fun and adventure. The activity planned was an all day trip to Rincón de la Vieja with horseback riding, river tubing, lunch, canopy tour, and finally relaxing in the volcanic mud baths and hot water pools.

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The day was overflowing with activities and the trip back to Flamingo was a quiet one since most everyone was happily tired.

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The week for El Paso in Flamingo was coming to a close and it was time to say “hasta luego”. It had been a pleasant week full of fun. Spanish classes had been engaging and filled with learning.

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¡Hasta la próxima El Paso! ¡Los esperamos muy pronto de nuevo!

The Last Few Days…

Wednesday, the group enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Ram Luna, with views overlooking the city lights at night. Everyone enjoyed a buffet dinner before the show started at 8pm. The show included a traditional dance and music of Costa Rica. One of the students was invited to dance with some of the dancers at the end of the show! It was a night no one will forget anytime soon.

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Thursday, the group had dance class in the morning, where they learned Salsa, Bachata, and the Merengue. Everyone was paired into couples and had a great time learning the steps.

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After dance class, the group had a cooking class with the chef at Heredia. The group helped with chopping vegetables, making the rice and preparing the chicken for their chicken and rice lunch. It was absolutely delicious meal, that everyone enjoyed after all their hard work!

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La Carpio Round 2!

The group was able to return to La Carpio this past Tuesday to volunteer with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation. In the morning the group split into 3 different teams to paint houses, work in the montessori and to work in the small library with children. The morning was filled with lots of smiles, laughter and hard work. It was extremely rewarding for the group to spend their time getting to love on the children in La Carpio.

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Continuando el Voluntariado

El día de hoy los estudiantes de WiHi tuvieron otro día de voluntariado y pudieron comenzar el segundo proyecto, pintar el centro de Salud del pueblo. Algunos estudiantes se quedaron con algunas personas de la comunidad terminando los detalles del Salón Comunal mientras que el resto del grupo comenzó a pintar el centro de salud. Hoy fue un día muy ocupado para los estudiantes porque había mucho que pintar sin embargo lograron hacer un muy buen trabajo y dejar la mayoría del trabajo listo para continuar el día siguiente.

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Volando por los aires

El día de hoy fue un día ocupado para los estudiantes. La primera actividad que realizaron fue hacer el canopy. Había unos estudiantes con miedo pero al finales les gustó mucho lo que estaban haciendo. Lo que hacía la actividad más interesante es que había mucho viento y algunas veces no se podía ver donde terminaba el cable. Después de haber los 8 cables todos estuvieron muy contentos y estaban listos para la siguiente parte del día. Después fuimos a el centro de Santa Elena en donde los estudiantes pudieron visitar varias tienda de souvenir para comparar recuerdos para ellos y sus familias. Al final de las compras no dirigimos al restaurante La Cuchara de la Abuela donde disfrutaron de una comida típica antes de regresar a el CPI para sus clases de español.

Voluntariado y Deliciosa Comida



El día de hoy los estudiantes tuvieron otro día de voluntariado. Hoy volvieron a trabajar en el salon comunal al pintarlo con dos tipos de pinturas. Ellos fueron muy eficientes ya que tenía menos tiempo que ayer porque tenían que ir a clases del cocina después. Todos se dividieron en grupos para poder pintar más rápido. Algunos estudiantes pintaron con rodillos la parte de arriba de la pared y otros pintaban con brochas en la parte de abajo de la pared. Hoy también tuvimos la oportunidad de escuchar más sobre la comunidad y la importancia que tiene el salon comunal para la comunidad.

Después de el voluntariado, los estudiantes regresaron al CPI donde tuvieron sus clases de cocina. El grupo de dividió en dos grupos y cocinaron tortillas muy hermosas porque tenías diferentes formas. El arroz con pollo o vegetales también estaba muy rico y también hicieron una ensalada rusa para acompañar el arroz. Todos los estudiantes tenían mucha hambre y les encantó la comida que hicieron al final fueron a clases contentos y con una panza llena de comida.

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El comienzo de la immersion

Hoy es lunes pero ya es el tercer día del Colegio Washtenaw y por el momento están super inmersos en la cultura de Costa Rica y tiene muchas ganas de estar en el país y de aprender. El primer día los estudiantes pudieron estar en tres provincias de Costa Rica en una tarde ya que los recogimos en el aeropuerto que queda en Alajuela, almorzamos en San José y el hotel en donde se hospedaron estaba en Heredia. Ya que los estudiantes estaban cansados de tanto vieja tuvieron la oportunidad de descansar y recargar sus energías para el día siguiente.

El domingo los estudiantes fueron viajaron de el Hotel hasta Monteverde. Después de almorzar en Monteverde se fueron a tener un tour por los puentes colgantes en donde aprendieron mucho sobre el medio ambiente y la importancia que es preservarlo y los intentos que hacer Costa Rica para hacer esto. Pero ahí no terminaba su día ya que después de los puentes ellos fueron al CPI para tomar sus exámenes de ubicación para poder saber cual es su nivel de español y poder conocer a sus familias ticas!

Hoy lunes los estudiantes comenzaron su primer día de voluntariado. Ellos va ha estar ayudando a la comunidad de La Cruz al pintar dos edificios esenciales para la comunidad, estos son el salón comunal y el ébais. El día de hoy comenzaron a lijar el salón comunal para que así la nueva pintura se pueda quedar en la pared por más tiempo. Ya que los estudiantes eran tan eficientes en el tiempo libre que tuvieron pudieron jugar un partido de futbol con los niños de la comunidad. Finalmente después de una mañana muy ocupada los estudiantes pudieron comenzar su primer día de clases de español.

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Heredia & La Carpio

UNCG spent their Monday morning getting to know Heredia. The group met in the morning and learned how to take the public bus system to Heredia with their group assistant. In Heredia, the group walked around the plaza to get to know the church and tower. Afterwards, the group went to a typical market and ate lunch there. Afterwards, the group went to CPI in San Joaquin to meet their new professors and start their classes. Everyone had a great day.

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Tuesday, the group volunteered in La Carpio working with the Humanitarian Foundation. The beginning of the morning the group took a walking tour of La Carpio to familiarize themselves with where they are working. After the tour the founder, Gail Nystrom, talked with the group about poverty. The students then played with children for the rest of the morning. The group ate a delicious lunch prepared by the foundation before heading back to CPI for classes. The group had such a wonderful time in the La Carpio and can’t wait to go back next Tuesday.

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SPI comienza sus aventuras en CPI Monteverde

Ayer, el nuevo grupo de SPI llego a CPI Monteverde. Aquí hicieron sus exámenes para medir su nivel de español, y luego de un almuerzo delicioso, se dirigieron a sus clases asignadas. Salieron de clase a las 5pm y fueron a conocer a sus familias Ticas con las cuales estarán estas próximas 2 semanas.

Hoy los chicos aprendieron mucho en el voluntariado de Life Monteverde, una finca sostenible en el area de Monteverde. Plantaron arboles, ayudaron a hacer compost y a nivelar la tierra de la finca.

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Luego de una mañana muy activa, se dirigieron a clases de español, en donde cada día aprenden más y más español.

Busy Busy Busy!

The group has been nonstop since they got to Costa Rica. Luckily, the group has a great attitude and everyone is up for the busy days.

Last Thursday, the group volunteered at Casa Brasilito NGO. Kirstie, gave a quick introduction to the organization’s involvement in the community and a tour of the office. The afternoon was full of laughter as they were able to play with the children after they got out of school. They were able to do arts and crafts, sports, science and even dancing with the children. Everyone really loved the service experience.

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Friday, the group enjoyed their last classes at Flamingo. The group had a relaxing free afternoon. The group decided to go to Conchal beach on their free afternoon. It was a much needed relaxing afternoon where the students snorkeled, tanned and bought a few souvenirs.

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Saturday, the group had an early start to go to Hacienda Guachipelin. The group went canyoning and river tubing. In canyoning, the group was able to repel down 2 waterfalls and do the tarzan swing. The river tubing was very fun and exciting because there were so many rapids. Everyone had a wonderful time and was ready for the buffet lunch. The group returned home to Flamingo for their last night with their families.

Sunday, the group left early in the morning to go to Heredia. On the way to Heredia, the group stopped at El Viejo for a guided boat tour. Our guide, Kevin, was incredibly knowledgeable about Guanacaste’s culture, traditions and history. The group was able to see many monkeys, crocodiles and birds on the river. Afterwards the group enjoyed lunch at one of Guanacaste’s oldest houses (150 years old). The group arrived to CPI Heredia to meet their new families. Everyone was excited to be meet their families that they would spend the rest of their time with in Costa Rica.

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