Missouri State 2018

Bienvenidos al blog de Missouri State University!

Our first week been full of excitement and new experiences!

On Friday, the group arrived at the airport in San José and then headed to the market in Heredia to experience their first casados, a typical Costa Rican dish.  Later, we checked into our hotel in San José and headed to a delicious group dinner.

On Saturday, the group headed to La Paz Waterfall Gardens to hike and see the wide variety of animals in the animal sanctuary.  That evening, the group had their first MSU class with Dr. Haram.

On Sunday, the group arrived at CPI Heredia for their orientation.  Shortly after, they got to know San Joaquin with a walking tour of the host family locations and lunch. We finished up the day with host family introductions and our students spent their first night with their new families!

On Monday, the group met their Spanish teachers and experienced their first Spanish classes at CPI.  That evening, we got to hear a presentation from a Costa Rican teacher on the Costa Rican education system and how it differs from the education system in the United States.

On Tuesday, we got our first experience in cooking arroz con pollo, a traditional Costa Rican dish, during our cooking class at CPI.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the group visited a local elementary school to work with the children in their English classes.  The girls got the opportunity to experience the Costa Rican education system firsthand and discussed their observations during their debriefing session later that evening.

On Friday, the group had the opportunity to volunteer in La Carpio, an immigrant community.  The girls were able to help community kids with their English skills and learn more about the unique experiences of the residents of La Carpio through the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation.

On Monday, we will continue our Costa Rican experience in the CPI campus in Monteverde.

Hasta luego!


Lebanon Valley College

Lebanon Valley College

Día tres en la primer semana de los 29 días que el grupo de Lebanon Valley college en Costa Rica y las chicas están pasándola de maravilla. Habiendo llegado el domingo a Alajuela y luego de una breve introducción a lo podrían esperar en su estancia tanta en las familias como en el país. Ya con algo más de calma y ubicación, el segundo día iniciamos la semana con clases de español hasta el mediodía donde pudimos gozar de una excelente clase de cocina donde aprovechamos para comer un delicioso y tradicional arroz con pollo para agarrar fuerzas e ir a caminar por los alrededores de San Joaquín, aprovechando para cambiar dinero en el banco y así tener algunos colones. Al dia siguiente, luego de las clases de español nos fuimos de nuevo a caminar pero esta vez a Heredia Centro. Ahí comimos en el mercado central, visitamos el parque central y terminamos en la Universidad Nacional donde las chicas reflexionaron y realizaron una entrada en su diario acerca del viaje y sus experiencias



Rollins College 2018 - Week 1


Our first week in Costa Rica has already flown by and the experiences during these past eight days have been incredible. Last time we touched base we were touring San José, getting to know our host families and the CPI school facilities in San Joaquín de Flores. Today we are heading towards the Arenal Volcano for a weekend excursion in which we’ll do hikes, soak in natural hot springs and get to meet members of the Guatuso indigenous group. We are looking forward to this amazing new experiences. 

With that being said, here’s a synopsis on this past week:



Our Monday started off the day business minded, as we entered the CINDE headquarters in Escazú. There we were greeted and treated as executives, getting to know the role that this internacional company plays in attracting foreign investment into Costa Rica and how it works with an innovative formula, in order to position the country among the best ones in Latin America to invest in. After CINDE, we were able to visit a local mall at a high class town, were we got the chance to compare different shopping areas that the country has to offer, according to the social class and areas. During the afternoon with went to class with Doctor McInnins and later to our first Spanish class! 



Early morning we headed to the Britt Coffee roasting farm in Heredia, were we had a private tour with one of the company’s executives and got a chance to understand the expense of the roasters and their commitments to creating sustainability and social awareness inside the coffee producing communities. After that, we immersed ourself among coffee fields and mango trees, as we savored different types of delicious coffee strings. 



The Costa Rican - American Chamber of Commerce was a lovely opportunity, since we got to meet with the company’s CEO in Costa Rica and discuss international and national matters. The CEO spoke about the importance of AMCHAM for the country and the role they play in governmental policies. After AMCHAM, we did a walkabout downtown Heredia, were we visited the central market, ate typical foods, visited the Catholic Church, the plaza and ended up our day eating Colombian street food and smoothies over at San Joaquín de Flores. 



If I had two words to describe this experience it would be Eye Opening! Today we headed towards the east side of San José, were we entered the shanty town El Triángulo de Solidaridad (Solidarity Triangle). This community, inhabited mostly by Nicaraguan immigrants, is the other side of the Costa Rica tourist don’t get to see. Walking throughout the tiny muddy streets, where houses made out of tin barely fit, made us be grateful of how much we have back at home that we sometimes pass unnoticed. This was a great experience for all us, as we got to see how people live in this high risk conditions, but still find time to thank God for what they have. 


Now we continue our journey throughout the country... and I'll keep you posted! 




Welcome Rollins College 2018!

Well hello there, curious reader!

Thanks for taking the time to read me!

I’m pretty exited to report on the adventures of this awesome group as they go through their journey here in Costa Rica!

Over the course of these past two days we have already done and learned so much together!

So let’s take a glimpse of how these fist days have gone by! :) 


As soon as the group arrived to the rich coast, they had their first taste of Costa Rican food and got a chance to walk around San Joaquín de Flores, the historical little town were we will be spending our first week of stay in Costa Rica. After that, we visited the Spanish School and got a chance to introduce ourselves and to talk a little bit about our expectations on this trip and what we’ll be seeing and doing. We then checked in at the hotel in San José, were we had a good talk with Doña Cecilia on academics, eat a delicious dinner and called it a day!

On Day 2 we got and early start and got a chance to go to Sunday mass at a Catholic Church in San José, giving us the opportunity to understand from first hand the deep influence of the Church and the weight of the faith among the Costa Rican people and their culture. After that, we walked towards a farmer’s marked, visited the Museo Nacional (National Museum) and got a chance to appreciate the old buildings in San José and its magical parks, that make up so much the daily life here in Tiquicia. During the afternoon we met with our familia tica (Costa Rican family) and headed to our new homes for the week!


 For tomorrow and the next few days in the Central Valley we have a busy schedule, but I will make sure to keep you posted!

 Have a good one!

Pura Vida,

Patricia :)