Albemarle County Schools

Bienvenidos al blog de Albemarle County Schools!

Our first week been full of excitement and new experiences!

On Sunday, the group arrived at the airport in San José and then headed to CPI Heredia to meet their host families and have their first experiences with Costa Rican culture.

On Monday, the group met their Spanish teachers and experienced their first Spanish classes in CPI Heredia.  After their classes, the group learned how to make enyucados, a traditional Costa Rican dish, in a Latin cooking class.  Later in the day, we all learned how to salsa, merengue, and bachata in the Latin dance class. After our dance class, the group acquainted themselves with San Joaquín de Flores during a walking tour of the area.

On Tuesday, the group headed to Rio Tarcoles for a tour of the river and its famous crocodiles.  Along with crocodiles we saw a wide variety of birds like red macaws, herons, and storks. The group also got the chance to see a crocodile that was nearly 17 feet long!  After the tour, we stopped for ice cream to wrap up a successful day.

After classes on Wednesday, the group headed to San José to tour the National Museum and learn even more about the history and culture of Costa Rica.

On Thursday, the group visited the La Paz Waterfall Gardens to hike and see the wide variety of animals in the animal sanctuary.  They got the opportunity to see their first sloth!

On Friday, the group had Spanish classes and a free afternoon to explore San Joaquín de Flores.

On Saturday, the group packed up and headed to Manuel Antonio National Park to enjoy beautiful beaches and explore more of Costa Rica.

This week, we are continuing our Costa Rican experience in the CPI campus in Monteverde.

Hasta luego!


SPI Study Abroad- Monteverde!

Being in a different country and culture by yourself is definitely a challenge, especially if you’re young. As 28 SPI Study Abroad students travelled to Costa Rica they definitely had many expectations of how their adventure was going to turn out. So far these first to days have been enjoyable!

Day 1: Students arrived to the Liberia airport, they had the chance to meet each other and start to make new friends! They stayed in Hotel Boyeros in the center of Liberia, relaxed in the hotel’s pool and jacuzzi and had dinner in El Callejero restaurant.

Day 2: The early risers watched the Costa Rica vs. Serbia World Cup game at 6am, later on other students came to watch it, and soon enough everyone caught the football fever! We left Liberia and headed to Monteverde, where they had their orientation and oral and written exams. On the afternoon they met their Familias Ticas. They were all extremely excited!

Day 3: In the morning we went to Santa Elena to make a Treasure Hunt. Everyone was into it and very competitive to win! Their price was Costa Rican ice cream and 4 boys who were really good friends won! We later had the Latin Cooking Class where SPI students made a delicious 'arroz con pollo' and ’tortillas’. On the afternoon they had their first Spanish classes and now their off to their Familias Ticas!

Day 4: The students went to Life Monteverde, a sustainable farm were they learned about sustainability in Costa Rica. They all had a chance to look around the farm and discover the beauty of the forest. At the very end in small groups they all worked together to draw a poster explaining what they learned.

Day 5: The Trapiche tour was one of the favorite activities for many students! They learned how the sugar cane was processed to make candy and how coffee and chocolates are done and exported all around the country and outside as well. 

Day 6: This was a hard working day. They went to the Santa Elena’s recycling center where the students learned how plastic was separated to recycle. They did an amazing job and ended up recycling 22 bags of plastic!

Day 7: The students went to Sky Hanging Bridges, they saw a lot of nature and had the chance to take beautiful pictures in the wilderness!

Day 8: Everyone’s favorite day, Isla Tortuga! The kids woke up very early to take a small trip to the beach. Everyone danced in the Catamaran (the boat) and  enjoyed of the music and food. At the beach they played volleyball, did snorkeling, the banana boat, relaxed, took pictures and kept on dancing a little more! 

Day 9 & 10: On Monday SPI students went to Santa Elena Reserve where they learned about the the Costa Rican wildlife through a guided hike, and on Tuesday they watched The Incredibles in Spanish and had a latin cooking class where they did the traditional dish of picadillo and tortillas.

Day 11 & 12: On Wednesday the students socialized and played an entire morning with kids of the area as part of their volunteer activity, and on Thursday they had a free morning and dance class in the afternoon. All of them learned how to dance: bachata, merengue, salsa and cumbia!

Day 13 & 14: On Friday they did their last volunteer activity. They went to Life Monteverde where they helped to plant trees and work around the sustainable farm. They also had their closing ceremony where every single one had a creative part in their presentations. From signing to creating their own songs in Spanish or acting out sketches! They were incredible! Their last day involved getting to the airport, where half of the group was dropped off and everyone said their goodbyes. The other half is head off to new adventures in Flamingo Beach!

This SPI Study Abroad group is incredible, and we hope they have the best time here! :)

-Fabi Granados

St. Francis School 2018: A brief on week 1!

Well hello there again!

Our week here in Monteverde has gone on so fast we’ve barely had chance to sit down and take a breath! The St. Francis Summer 2018 experience here in Costa Rica has been amazing so far and we are still craving some more adventure! Over these past days we did two canopy tours; The one on Monday at Sky Adventures was magical! We got to fly among clouds so thick one could barely see the ending of the cable! The second zipline experience was today at 100% Aventura, were we got a chance to slide down Latin America’s longest cable, and IT FELT LIKE FLYING!  Also, we swang like monkeys on lianas, as we did the Tarzan atraction, which was indeed one of the best adrenaline shots ever for many of us! 

Apart from flying above the skies, we visited the Trapiche coffee, cocoa and sugar cane farm, were we learned the ways these agricultural products are produced in Costa Rica. We also got a chance to make our own chocolate and sugar cane candies, which were delicious!!! 

In terms of academics, Spanish classes so far are going great! We are divided in classrooms of no more that five students, according to our language advancement levels. So far we have taken class every day for the past week and we seem to be getting better at it!

Tomorrow we are going to learn how to make some Costa Rican traditional dishes with Doña Beatriz, our cook here at CPI. Afterwards we head towards Arenal, were we’ll spend the weekend doing water rafting, rappelling waterfalls and soaking in natural hot springs! 

I’ll keep you posted as our adventure here in Costa Rica continues! 

Pura Vida! 

Patricia :)

Good Shepherd 2018

Day 2 Monteverde 

Good Shepherd Group arrived at CPI Monteverde for Orientation. On the first hours they did great on all the evaluations. After Orientation chat, Costa Rican families arrived to take the chicos to their new Costa Rican houses to enjoy their first night in Monteverde.

Day 3 Monteverde 

Perfect day to get immerse into the Costa Rican culture! ! This day began with a walk to Santa Elena town, the chicos enjoyed a scavenger hunt and shopping time in this cozy town. Then we walked to CPI where all the chicos had a cooking class with Doña Beach and Abigail. In the afternoon with excitement they started their Spanish classes. At night they had the amazing experience of a night hike where they saw the two toed sloth, the green tree pit viper, stick bugs, frogs, lizards and more.

Day 4 Monteverde 

Today the chicos where on the canopy of Monteverde'so cloud forest. They enjoyed so many zip line cables that took them over the canopy, into tree tunnels and also jumping and swinging in the crazy Tarzan swing. Then back to Spanish classes where they are learning so much, after class a hole evening to practice Spanish with their families.

4th Week in CR, Lebanon Valley College

Hola amigos!

Ending a lovely week in Monteverde, we headed to the beach on Sunday morning. Las chicas got to enjoy of the calm and refreshing water of Catarata Llanos de Cortez, we then headed to Flamingo Beach, where the girls meat the new host families.

On Monday we went on a walkabout Flamingo to check restaurants, souvenirs and enjoyed of a nice afternoon in Flamingo beach with white sand and waves!

Tuesday was the perfect day for Playa Conchal. After Spanish class we traveled to Brasilito, where we had a delicious casado meal and got energy to walk to Playa Conchal. Here we enjoyed of the sand and waves, the calmness of the water and the shells were the highlights of the day. 

Wednesday was a day for class at the pool! After lunch the chicas had class with McEvoy at the pool plus learned the lyrics to famous Spanish songs like Bailando and Mi primer millon. 

Today, Thursday is going to be a great day interviewing people around campus about their life in Flamingo to learn more about the cultural and history of the country.

With lots of love,

Fabiola FZ.