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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

A Testament to the Spirit of Our Trip and the Beauty of the People in Costa Rica – Language Immersion

The lastest from Costa Rica Rainforest Language Immersion!

The Westcoast Blogger

Saludos desde Costa Rica!

We have had a very busy time here in Costa Rica and have much to update you on.

Since our last update we have completed a wonderful community service project in San Isidro, enjoyed the sun in the beach towns of Uvita and Manuel Antonio, and today we finished a language immersion project in the picturesque Zarcero.

Our service project in San Isidro brought our group together with a wonderful group of boys who live at Hogar Ama- an orphanage that serves underprivileged children in various capacities. We enjoyed building strong bonds with the boys through running a day camp for them, painting their bedrooms, and hosting a picnic for them. Of course, soccer was played and many hours were spent chatting and connecting with our new friends. Anna G, Rebeka E, Dan G, and Melissa F found this experience particularly gratifying and found it quite hard to say good-bye. We all wished we had a few more moments to spend in the company of these special boys and we definitely missed them as we moved on to the next phase of our trip.

Our next stop was the commencement of our time experiencing the surf and sand of sunny Costa Rica. We began in Uvita, a small beach town where we had the opportunity to learn to surf from a local Costa Rican surfing professional. Tito and his team were patient and extremely knowledgeable and, after many hours of practice, almost all of us were able to say we had successfully surfed the Pacific. Rachel, Adam, Matt, Ben, Matt, and Andy were definitely our resident experts while Jeff, Rachel, Adam, and Dara showed us the meaning of perseverance and patience by successfully standing up on their boards after hours of practice. We were proud of everyone and definitely enjoyed our time in Uvita together!

We moved on to the famous Manuel Antonio where we spent a much more leisurely time watching the monkeys, sloths and enjoying the natural beauty of Costa Rica. During our stay here we battled the mighty rapids of the Naranjo River which we all thoroughly enjoyed. Gil, Amanda, Arin, and Jenna really enjoyed this activity, and we all laughed as we watched their priceless expressions as we made our way down the river. We ended our time at the beach with a stunning sunset, and a showcase of everyone’s creativity in various skits, lip synchs, and dances.

We left the beach and arrived high in the mountains of Zarcero for our language immersion project. We enjoyed interviewing the mayor, the oldest resident of Zarcero, a dairy farmer, and a local celebrity gardener to learn about the town’s history. We were able to practice our Spanish by speaking directly with the locals, and definitely impressed the community with a wonderful presentation and cultural exchange about their community.  Once again, we were able to make fast friends and several locals even asked to be a part of our evening program which resulted in us watching a movie in Spanish with them. This truly is a testament to the spirit of our trip and the beauty of the people in Costa Rica.

We are excited to arrive in Arenal and enjoy our last few days together. We hope you are all doing well.