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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Off to a Great Start – Costa Rica Combination

Bienvenidos a Costa Rica!

 The group touched down in Costa Rica on Monday and were eagerly welcomed by the trip leaders. We immediately got to know each other with hilarious icebreaker games at the airport that continued over dinner and our first evening together in San Jose. 

Day two was an exciting day of rafting with our guides from Rìos Tropicales. When our adventure down the river began, Mark, Drew, and Benji were eager to take the lead and show us all their enthusiasm for white water. Despite it being her first time rafting, Geraldina easily took to navigating us down the rapids. This was our first outdoor adventure activity and we all felt great talking to new friends about the shared experience over a tasty lunch. Incidentally, Eric has fallen madly in love with gallo pinto, a typical Costa Rican dish.

The same night, we started our first 360° Student Travel tradition by nominating our first Capitanes: Ilana, Noah, Jamie W., and Jackie. Each day, two new capitanes are in charge of leading our morning bus routine by presenting the palabra del dìa (word of the day), the weather report, and leading us in our morning song. Our capitanes also help in leading our nightly games, for example: rock star and a rock, paper, scissor tournament that Justine really got in to!

Our Spanish classes at Centro Panamericano de Idiomas (CPI) began with great enthusiasm from all team members. Ariella was especially excited to begin her first Spanish class ever! Cameron and Nikki were both eager to improve their Spanish and both exited their classes with smiles on their faces as they stated how much fun their lessons were. Besides learning Spanish, some team members left their classrooms learning new things about each other as well, like the similar sense of humor that Katie and Zach share.

At our community service site in the remarkable community of La Carpio, Jason C., Jason W. and Branden helped assemble a bunk bed in the home of a deserving family. While they were busy building this bunk bed, Lotte, Sheila, Charlotte and Sebelle were working hard in the woodshop sanding and assembling the pieces needed to build the beds.  Corinna also showed her brilliant carpentry skills in the woodshop. Other team members were happy to be spending their time with children in the local schools. Jacob was given the task of reading to the children before their naptime and performed so well that they were asleep before he could even finish! When it was time to say goodbye to the smiling children, one four year old in the day care center was extremely sad to see Bianca leave. After our rewarding service experiences we gathered as a group to discuss our day. Grace and Allison were particularly moved and motivated by the work that they had performed in La Carpio. Alissa, Jen, and Jami showed off their skills during our cooking class at CPI as they were helping to prepare an authentic Costa Rican cuisine. Everyone enjoyed each other’s company and the food they worked so hard to create.

Adios for now!

The Westcoast Blogger