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12 posts categorized "Custom NCGS"

Kpop Dance & Dance Covers ( Brenda)




project done by: Brenda, Natalie, & Kacey

Final Days in Monte Verde

We have spent the last week of our trip in Monte Verde where the CIEE Costa Rica Headquarters is. Being in Monte Verde has brought our experience full circle and we have been able to spend time with all of our instructors along the way. Here are a few highlights from our week. We learned about ecotourism and than went zip lining. Everyone went and it was an absolute blast! We met Doña Hermida who is a female coffee farmer. Here we learned about agriculture and coffee production. She lives almost completely off her land and supports her family with coffee sales. We had an amazing morning with her and drank lots of delicious, fresh, organic coffee. Image
We explored the local forest reserves which included the cloud forest and the children's eternal rainforest. We also went on a night frog tour. At they locations we revisited the importance of biodiversity and learned about conservation. We're all leaving with a special place in our hearts for the rainforest. Image
We visited a local women's artisan co-op and visited a local private high school called the Cloud Forest School. Here we met two local high school girls who gave us a tour, shared their stories, and than brought us to climb a giant fig tree. The school is a Spanish-English immersion school so the students receive half their classes in each language. It also focuses on environmental education. We really enjoyed hanging out with the local girls. Image
We also participated in dancing class to learn salsa and had a cooking class with a local women and her daughter. These experiences just scratch the surface of all the amazing things we've done here in Monte Verde and in Costa Rica as a whole. We will be flying back to the states tomorrow. We are all so sad to leave such an incredible place but we're walking away with friends we'll have for a lifetime and memories that can never be forgotten. Gracias to CIEE and the people of Costa Rica for their hospitality. Hasta Leugo, until next time.

Isla Chira- The Women of the Island

We spent the last 5 days on an island called Isla Chira where we learned about sustainability and economic development projects that are lead by the women of the island. It's an island that runs on girls power. We apologize for the lack of posts but the signal was not strong enough. Here's a recap of what we did. Saturday- We arrived on the island Saturday afternoon and got settled in. Sunday- This was a great day to recharge and explore the island. There was an optional trip to a historic church and a fun bike ride through meadows. Monday- We learned about the mangrove forests and how incredibly important they are to island ecology. Then, we took a trip to a mangrove forest and explored all of the biodiversity they support. We learned that mangroves are the nurseries for over 70% of tropical species! We also had a chance to swim in an estuary and feel the temperature of the brackish water. In the afternoon we met a group of women who have dedicated their lives to mangrove reforestation on the island and helped them by planting new mangrove seeds. Tuesday- In the morning we learned about sustainable fishing and learned artisanal fishing techniques from a pioneering group of fishers who have been working to promote and control sustainable fishing methods on the island. The girls were able to try their hand at fishing using a basic line and hook method. Although we all really enjoyed this morning we only caught 3 fish in total. We were able to enjoy some fresh fish for lunch though made by the women of the fishing organization. In the afternoon we visited one of the local elementary schools and had an English-Spanish lesson with the kids. We taught them English childhood songs and they taught us Spanish ones. It was an absolute blast. To finish the day we had a fútbol match with the local ticos. Wednesday- Continuing on our theme of sustainable practices, we met with a group of women who work as clam diggers and maintain and reforest the surrounding mangroves to keep the clams at sustainable numbers. After clamming with them, they made us an incredible lunch where we were able to experience being served an entire fish for the first time. It was really fun to watch the girls navigate how to successfully get the meat off the fish bones. In the afternoon we visited another women's artisans group and learned how to make some traditional Chira jewelry out of seeds from the guanacaste tree (the national tree) and ornaments out of gourds. This was one of our highlights on the trip. To complete our time in Chira we finished Wednesday evening by watching two young adult locals perform three traditional Costa Rican dances. They then taught all of us one of the dances. The girls were quite good and the night was filled with laughter, music, and dancing. We truly had an incredible time in Chira and are excited for our next adventure exploring volcanoes and learning about renewable energy in Guayabo. Stay tuned for more posts!

Costa Rica is our Classroom

From the moment we stepped foot in Costa Rica we have been immersed in culture and exposed to our surrounding environments. Our instructors lead us on hikes and stop along the way to show us different species, snorkel the coral reef along side us, and pull off on the side of the road to show us something new. Recently we hiked at Costa Rica's only handicap accessible national park, stopped to see a African Palm oil factory, and walked across crocodile bridge to see about 22 crocodiles. Since being on Chara Island we have started to learn about sustainability and the important role women play in the community. Every where we go our instructors help us to become apart of the learning process. Costa Rica is our classroom. Image

The Waterfall


Our instructor Gisella telling the girls about a fish that was freshly caught in the ocean


More adorable monkey pics!


Hiking into the Rainforest


Squirrel Monkey



Today we left a little piece of heaven known as Corcovado. We stayed at a beautiful and rustic hostel known as Jungla del Jaguar. We met a group of incredible people who took extremely good care of us, learned to appreciate the little things, and explored a tremendous amount of biodiversity. Here are some of our amazing stories from our time there.

1. We travelled to Corcovado from Sierpe by boat. Along the way we saw squirrel monkeys and a crocodile in the mangroves.

2. While staying at the Jungla del Jaguar we met incredible people including Suzanna who owns the hostel and surrounding lands, Lila and Suli who cooked delicious food for us, Oswaldo and Plinio who helped us carry our luggage, assisted us in and out of the boats, and most importantly took care of insect problems and feed us fresh coconuts straight from the trees. Finally, we can't forget Dylan who's an American study abroad exchange student who's helping at the hostel for three weeks. He hiked with us and took care of any handyman stuff we needed. Throughout our time there we really grew to love these people and were sad to say goodbye.

3. On our first day we went hiking through the rainforest and heard amazing stories from our instructor Dr. Alan Masters. We stopped along the way and saw helicopter damsel fly, white faced monkeys, learned how leaves got their color, explored the density of the rainforest and so much more.

4. We had a fun-filled day on the water that started by seeing a mom and baby humpback whale, we snorkeled the coral reef, had a picnic at a national park, and walked to a big beautiful waterfall with a cold freshwater spring. These are only a few of our highlights. Needless to say we had an incredible trip. Tomorrow we are traveling to Isla de Chara. This is a remote island and the students will have no wifi. There may be an opportunity for us to blog and we will if we can but plan to not hear from your daughters until Thursday night. Hasta Leugo!