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En preparación para sus clases de español, este grupo magnífico de Spanish Wells tomó un breve examen de ubicación.  Aquí se ve la fuerte concentración de ellos.

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Las aulas de CPI Heredia y los listos estudiantes de Queen’s College en su primera semana de aprendizaje


 Que buen inicio !!!!

Nada mejor que vivir la experiencia de formar parte de la barra de uno de los mejores equipos de futbol de Costa Rica y poder cantar: oeoeoeoeoeoeoeoe monstruo, monstruo!!!

CIMG0027  Después, realizar una caminata por el Parque Manuel Antonio, uno de los mejores y más visitado por los turistasCIMG0056     No podemos irnos de Costa Rica sin antes conocer su capital, sus principales centros historicos y porque no, alimentar y disfrutar con las palomas de los parques!!!


Continuamos conociendo la cultura costarricense y sus secretos en la cocina y sus salones de baile


Y para finalizar, retribuimos con nuestro trabajo un poquito de lo mucho de recibimos por parte de los costarricenses, pintando casas y dando alegría a los niños y niñas de La Carpio!!!







With a couple hours of delay and lots of junk food the Francis Parker middle schoolers finally arrived to B.E.A.U.T.I.ful Costa Rica with LOTS of energy.
After going through customs we boarded the big blue bus and made our way to Rincon de La Vieja Volcano to spend a glorious weekend enjoying the unique dry tropical forest.

Rincon de la Vieja is one of Costa Rica’s active volcanoes with tons of adventure activities available at its base. After waking up early on Saturday we had our first typical Costa Rican breakfast.  The kids dived head first into the culture trying the typical “gallo pinto” breakfast – rice and beans mixed together.

After breakfast we geared up and did a 45 minute horseback ride to the base of the river, grabbed our tubes and got ready for our tubing adventure down a narrow river full of rapids and flora.

After the river tubing, “los chicos fueron a caminar” … Yes they went on a hike in the National Park of Rincon de la Vieja, this name literally means: “The Old Woman’s Corner” and is reference to an old legend.  According to legend there was a girl whose boyfriend was thrown into the crater by her father.  She decided to isolate herself in the mountain, away from society, and she was also known for her healing powers.

During the hike the kids saw some monkeys, iguanas, a boa constrictor and visited the active “fumaroles”, natural bubbling mud pools.

The following day our adventure continued with canopy zip lining through the breathtaking canyons and rivers, rappeling down, climbing up walls and swinging from one side to the other, just like Tarzan and Jane!!

What better way to start the “Discovery Costa Rica Trip” than with a weekend full of adrenaline and beauty.


Flamingo, Spanish and meeting the “FAMILIAS TICAS”

On Sunday, we headed to CPI Flamingo Beach were we started our full immersion into the Costa Rican culture.  Students first took the placement exam and then headed to Potrero to meet the families.  Students were paired up together, on average 2 per homestay, and all in walking distance from each other.

On Monday we had our first day of classes , the kids were a bit nervous at the beginning but soon found out that the classes were fun!  After Spanish class we had a Latin cooking experience, where the kids put on their chef hats and learned about the ingredients used for making “Arroz con Pollo” which is a typical Costa Rican meal.  After all the veggie cutting and learning food vocabulary, they got to eat what they prepared.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at the famous Flamingo Beach, known for its white sand and pristine waters.  The kids played in the surf and sun.  Some even got to experience the “copo guy” and bought some shaved ice with sweet syrup and condensed milk on top; what a way to cool off on a hot day!



Typical town and pre-colombian art…

Immersing yourself does not only mean learning Spanish.  It also means living the culture.  The Guanacaste area has a lot of history and what better way to learn than by experiencing it.

We visited a town called Santa Cruz which is known as the folkloric city of Costa Rica thanks to its ongoing devotion to keeping their customs and traditions alive. The close-by Guaitil village, the historical base of the Chorotega indigenous group, was settled prior to the arrival of Columbus, and they have been creating their ceramic crafts ever since.

We met Willy, one of the Chorotega descendents, who taught us how they make pottery, using fire, recycled materials and natural coloring.  It was a very neat experience to see how what one would consider junk can be used as tools which create one of a kind works of art.


Visiting the beach in Costa Rica and NOT surfing? Impossible! The Parker troopers visited Tamarindo, one of Costa Rica’s most popular surfer towns, and got to experience some Costa Rican beach winds and waves. Since surfing and being close to the ocean is something natural for these kids, they fully enjoyed the day at the beach long boarding and boogie boarding.


Every town in Costa Rica, no matter how small, has at least one public school. Public education in Costa Rica is free and obligatory. And because it is free they sometimes do not receive enough funding to maintain the beautification part of the school and they tend to deteriorate pretty fast. Therefore the Parker kids worked on a beautification project today to help maintain the school in good condition.


The best way to end a trip is by relaxing and enjoying the sun on a 66 foot catamaran. The Parker kids ended their discovery trip on the famous Marlin Del Rey catamaran. We sailed out to a private little beach where the sand is soft to the feet and the water is cristal clear. The kids enjoyed jumping off the boat trying to do flips and paddle boarding in the ocean. After that we headed to “Playa Conchal” which is a famous beach that has shells instead of sand…. There they played in the shells and let the waves wash them up the shore!!!!!






CIMG0017CIMG20127Duante nuestro día de trabajo voluntario, compartimos con los niños y niñas de  La Carpio y ayudamos a pintar… que buen tiempo!!!

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Picando papas, cuidando tortillas y haciendo una ensalada…  Todo para hacer un almuerzo delicioso.  ¡Qué chiva!

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Los estudiantes de Queen´s College disfrutando y aprendiendo los pasos durante de la clase de baile en San Joaquín de Flores, Heredia.

The ISI 10th graders were in Monteverde, Costa Rica for 10 days. It was a short but super sweet trip. We started off with our drive from the airport to Monteverde.


We started off with a cooking class, were we learned how to make the famous “Arroz con Pollo”. Which was delicious!!!! After we filled our tummies, we hiked to the little town of Monteverde, Santa Elena, and did a picture scavenger hunt. The kids were divided in three groups and went to explore the town, meet people, learn about the local fruits and veggies. Some of the tasks were a bit challenging but they were ALL-STARS and complete the whole scavenger hunt. They rewarded themselves with delicious Monteverde Ice Cream.


Bird bird bird…. is the WORD of this day. We went hiking in the forest with Orlando, our guide. We learned a lot during this hike, that most of us will never forget. The ferns are plants that have been around for billions of years and even existed before the Dinosaur era. We learned how it is like a fractal, keeps existing until infinity! There are lakes above our heads…YES I know hard to believe, but it is true. In the cloud forest there are many trees and many different plants and wildlife everywhere, most of these we can’t even see cause everything is so dense. Which makes this eco system very unique. Back to the lakes…. so there ar emany different types of bromelias and these are usually in the canopy of the trees. The bromelias are plants that retain A LOT of water, if you were to take ALL the bromelias that are in the forest take them down and empty them out you will have enough water to form a lake!!!! SUPER COOL!!! To top off our hike we also saw a Bellbird and 6 Quetzales! which are the most sought out birds in the area!!

After our hike we headed back to school and put on our dancing shoes!!! Yes we learned the merengue and salsa and was tons of fun.


Three for ONE….. coffee, sugarcane and chocolate, great combination for an energy boost, which ever teenager needs!! We went on the famous Trapiche tour and learned about how the coffee goes from the plant to the cup, and also about sugarcane and chocolate processing. We also had a delicious homemade lunch too!!


Volunteer volunteer and some more volunteer. After Spanish classes we headed out to do two different volunteer projects the first project was with Life Monteverde, which is an organic farm and learned about sustainability. The second volunteer project was with a local primary school where they shared with the local children. After that we went to Rancho Lelo, where we had to catch our own lunch!! Fresh Tilapia for lunch!


Weekend fun fun fun, we started off our Saturday with horseback riding at Sabine’s. Everyone enjoyed the ride and had a blast, after that we went to town to hang out and have some ice cream and ended our day with the frog pond where we learned alot about the different species of frogs in Costa Rica.


Today was the HIGH for most of the students!! We went soaring thru the canopy tops like eagles…. Today we went to SkyTrek and did a zipline tour. It was tons of adrenaline and super fun!!


The fun must always come to an end. Today was the last day of class and the day to say goodbye to the home-stay families and teacher. After class we traveled to the Central Valley and made a stop at the beach were we got to take a swim and hang out for a little bit. They all really enjoyed it and had a great time.

What better way to end the trip than take a last dip in the pacific ocean before heading back to the cold!



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Los chicos de ISI al principio de una gran excursión por las playas de Guanacaste, desde Huacas hasta Brasilito.



En Guaitíl con El Famoso Willie, el grupo de ISI aprendió a hacer cerámica como los Chorotega.