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Costa Rica Tour

Parkwood High School students and staff traveled to Costa Rica in July of 2015 for a global and ecological enthralling adventure.  The students began the tour with an early morning flight from Charlotte International Airport to capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica.   From this city they ventured on to visit the Poas Volcano and a local Hot Springs before journeying to the Arenal Region.  They then spent a day at Lake Arenal and hiked to the La Fortuna Waterfall.   Later the group visited a local elementary school and donated money as well as school supplies to the local students. Our students visited classrooms, spoke with and assisted students, and shared a Costa Rican lunch with the students in Costa Rica.  A group of students from the school presented a program of Costa Rican songs and dance as well.  The students learned to truly appreciate their own school facilities and programs in contrast to the schools in Costa Rica.

The travelers then continued on to the Monteverde and Green Mountain region near the Continental Divide where they learned about the spectacular array of flora and fauna in six unique ecological zones including the Santa Elena Cloud Forrest, rainforest, dry forest, and more.  They experienced so many diverse species first hand including sloths, howler and white faced monkeys, butterflies, toucans, and insects and birds of all types.  The students then planted tree seedlings in a reserve near Monteverde and hiked along a trail in a butterfly sanctuary.  A visit to a local coffee farm and processing plant was both fun and interesting. Students learned of the many steps involved in the production of coffee and got to experience and take part in several of the processing steps including picking, raking, and culling the beans for ripeness.  This gave the students an up close look at industrialization in this region of the world.  In the afternoon horseback riding along the local countryside gave students a close up look at beauty of this region along with another view of coffee plants and local farming methods.

The group then traveled to the Manuel Antonio National Park and took an excursion where they learned about and experienced additional species and also enjoyed a crocodile boat cruise; providing an up close look at these reptiles and other river habitat.   A quick return to the Pacific Coast allowed for a wonderful and refreshing day at the beach.  The students stopped off at the local town of Sarchi for lunch and additional sight-seeing before returning to San Jose.

Written by: Jim Williams, PWHS Guidance Counselor
Posted: Oct 06, 2015 by Lisa Moniz

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