We, at CPI Spanish Immersion School, were very excited to receive the Parker kids on Friday night at the Liberia airport. All the kids and professors arrived over excited to start their Costa Rican adventure and Spanish classes.
To break the ice, we went on a beautiful catamaran and sailed the pristine pacific waters of Guanacaste, we dropped anker in front of a private beach where we all swam and snorkeled around. The kids spotted many different animals and found beautiful shells, and our guides even spotted two octopuses. After swimming and jumping off the boat we enjoyed a delisicious lunch and sailed back enjoying the sunset.
This was a beautiful start to an amazing week.
On SUNDAY we relaxed at the famous Flamingo beach where we played in the waves and some kids even swam out in the ocean. After our swim we waved the beach goodbye and started our journey to Monteverde where the students were greeted by their host families.
Both the students and families were very excited to meet each other and head into the unknown of living with a family that they have never met before. This is definitely something that will put them outside of their comfort zone.
MONDAY morning was our first day of class but before starting class, all the students where over excited to share their experiences with each other and the teachers about their first day with their family. There were many stories and all were good.
8:00am came around and it was off to their next “reto”, which is being in an immersion class for 4 hours. The classes were fun, and now they were ready to start their adventure in the sky!
ZIPLINING in the cloud forest is no joke, you are high up in the SKY, above the canopy and just soaring through the air like an eagle. Everyone was 100% excited, fearless and geared up. We started with a test cable to get the feel for it, and then we went up in a tram where the real adventure started. We started at an elevation of 262 feet and after 7 cables, ended with the longest cable being 2,100 feet.
Being part of an immersion program is about fun but we always try to incorporate education and culture along with the experience. On TUESDAY the group visited a local organic farm Life Monteverde, where they learned about the ins and outs of coffee, sustainable farming and nature conservation. The farms mission is to produce, protect and educate contributing to perpetuate life on earth and the objective is to help people achieve more awareness about sustainability in their day to day activities. This was a true eye opening experience for the students.
LATIN COOKING & SCAVENGER HUNT
When visiting a different country the cuisine is one of the most interesting parts, seeing what people eat on a daily basis and how different it can be from what our students are used too. On WEDNESDAY Doña Beatriz shared her cooking secrets with us and we learned how to make the famous “Arroz con Pollo”, which is a typical Costa Rican dish. We put on our hairnets and got to work and prepared our OWN lunch.
After our delicious lunch we headed to the local town of Santa Elena. What better way to get to explore a local town than by doing a scavenger hunt and have students interact with locals and buy local goodies. We split up in 4 groups and explored by completing certain tasks on our scavenger hunt. The students got to interact with locals and practice their Spanish in real life situations. The students did great and really stepped outside of their comfort zone.
Sugar cane, coffee and chocolate? Who can ask for a BETTER combo. On THURSDAY we visited a small family owned farm, which used to produce sugar cane for a living, but when processed sugar became available and famous the family needed to find a different way to make a living. They decided to turn their farm into an agro-tourism farm with the aim of showing visitors a representative part of Costa Rican culture, where they can appreciate the old way old ways of processing brown sugar (tapa de dulce) and processing of fresh coffee cultivation.
CHILDREN’S ETERNAL RAINFOREST
As you must know you Costa Rica is known for protecting its biodiversity, this is done through private organizations and through the government. On FRIDAY, we visited the Children’s Eternal Rainforest which now is the largest private reserve in Costa Rica and was all made possible because of children around the world raising money by selling baked goods, to be able to buy land and protect the forest. We learned so much about the different micro climates in Monteverde, and we even saw the famous three waddled bellbird.
DANCE, KARAOKE & BBQ
Ticos know how to end on a good note. On our last night in Monteverde we had a closing ceremony party for the Parker kids, where we danced, laughed and sang all night. We also enjoyed a typical Tico ‘PARRILLADA’. The kids had so much fun and did not want the party to end, but like everything else this trip has to come to an end.
We hope all the students have enjoyed the trip as much as CPI staff members have and that during their time here they have learned a lot about Costa Rica and themselves!
PURA VIDA PARKER, WE WILL MISS YOU!!
Muni & Yoza