Outstanding summer programs for teens since 1982
Header Item 1

The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Zip-Lining Through the Cloud Forest – Costa Rica Community Service

Costa Rica Community Service drops us a line from the half way point!


Since you’ve last heard from us, we’ve been busier than ever.  Our last few days have taken us from a National Park to a beach town and then up into the mountains.  We have been having such an amazing time that we were shocked to realize that our trip is more than halfway done!

Once we left Rincon de la Vieja, we made our way to Flamingo; a little surf town on the Pacific coast.  At Tamarindo beach we tackled the big waves of the Pacific Ocean with our surfboards.  Many of us had never surfed before, but that was no obstacle.  Pros like Kate set the example and by the end of the afternoon everyone had stood up and rode a wave AT LEAST once.

After our hard work on the water came some hard work of a different nature with our community service project at an elementary school in Flamingo.  While the local kids are on their summer vacation we were able to revamp their classrooms by sanding and varnishing their desks.  Chrissy showed us her sanding and varnishing skills! Schools in Costa Rica do not receive much funding and our service will ensure that the children attending this school will have desks to last them the next couple of years until the school receives more money.  The group’s hard work at the school warranted an afternoon at the beach where we got a chance to relax, soak up some sun, and play in the ocean.  And play in the ocean we did – riding waves and swimming around, no one appeared more natural in the water then Rob (some say they even saw him grow gills).

After our fun in the sun we made our way up to the mountains of Monteverde.  Although a little bit chilly up there we kept warm by keeping busy.  We played an intense game of indoor soccer where leading scorers Coby and Ben made for an interesting match.  The whole group impressed us with their sportsmanship and encouragement for their teammates.  With a final score of 7-4, Justin’s team took the trophy! 

Monteverde is known to be the coffee capital of Costa Rica so while we were there we had the opportunity to volunteer at a coffee co-op.  The group spent half a day working at the smallest coffee co-op in Costa Rica.  The work that we did in just 3 hours saved a co-op worker two whole weeks of work! The group worked on the plantation digging holes to stop erosion from ruining the co-ops crops.  While the work may have been laborious, everyone handled it with such grace.  Hardworking team Bradley and John set the pace and showed the rest of the group how to have a good time while digging.

Our last adventures in Monteverde were our most daring yet.  We spent an afternoon zip-lining through the cloud forest. The group tackled nine zip-lines, one of which was over half a mile long and we hardly heard anyone scream.  For those who were a little bit scared, Diana and Kyle set a stand-up example of what it means to conquer your fears.  The whole group was fearless and it made for an amazingly fun and adventurous afternoon.

Now we’re on our way to Arenal to relax at the hot springs and see the volcano before we head back to the Central Valley for the last leg of our trip.

As they say in Costa Rica: Pura Vida!

Adam, Jamee and Avra