Quakertown Students Travel to Costa Rica

Quakertown Students Travel to Costa Rica

Julie Pizzi, Editor

The travel club provided students with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Costa Rica. On April 11th, 14 students, including me, and two teachers, Senora Fuller and Mr. Magditch, traveled to Guanacaste, Costa Rica. When we landed we met our unforgettable tour guide, Walter. We could not have asked for a better tour guide. He helped us become a family and at the end of the trip, he said we had “a certain vibe about us that would make it hard not to be around us”. He helped us commit to our goal of learning Spanish on the trip. He told the native people not to speak English. This forced us to try to speak in Spanish. 

One of the activities we did almost every day, was going to a farm; where we learned about sustainable energy using “caca”(manure). Furthermore, we had the opportunity to hold chickens, milk cows, pet goats, and see pigs. The farms talked about how they take the manure and convert it into the energy that runs their farms. Moreover, one farm introduced us to making cheese. We used their fresh cow milk and added some spices and followed the instructor’s steps to finally form a large block of cheese. However, there was one little twist when we made the cheese. The instructor only spoke in Spanish. He had the steps written on the board in Spanish as well. This allowed us to really pay attention and even learn some new Spanish words.

However, Walter also had us participate in kayaking, whitewater rafting, ziplining, making soap, cooking classes, salsa dance lessons, and going on hanging bridges. Walter made sure we always had fun and sometimes he would participate in the activities with us. Other times he was making plans for our dinner and making sure everything was set for the next day. Whenever we made something we got to keep it. We made tortillas, empanadas, and some other baked goods.

 Our hotel rooms were quite interesting. They were not like the hotel rooms that we are normally used to. We stayed at a total of four hotels. Our first one was nice, and the two nights that we stayed in that hotel we got together and played cards. When we got to the third hotel some students were a little shocked. Two of the rooms were like treehouses. They even had geckos in their rooms.  But in almost all of the hotel rooms, there were cats and dogs. Our group loved to play with them, for the animals were very friendly. There were many pictures taken with the cats and dogs. It is what most of us will remember about the hotels. 

The food was very interesting. Every day we had Rice and beans at almost every meal. I found out I really enjoy eating plantains. I got a little more comfortable with trying new foods in Costa Rica. Walter would tell us to always try the food that we were offered. At one of the farms we went to we learned about different types of fruits in Costa Rica. Some fruits we tried included guava, papaya, pineapple, starfruit, sugar cane, passion fruit, and watermelon. It was eye-opening to taste how much better fruit is without using chemicals as we do in the U.S.

One day Walter wanted to test how good our Spanish was by sending us on a scavenger hunt in a little town. We were split up into two groups and sent out into town with a list of things we had to ask about and some things we had to buy. In doing this activity we became closer as a group and it forced us to come up with questions to ask people in the town. 

By the end of the trip, our group became a family. Walter and our bus driver Victor were also a part of our new family. Walter was the best tour guide anyone could ask for. He would help us when we wouldn’t find the work we were looking for in Spanish. Making sure everyone was having a good time was his goal. And he loved matching our energy. Our group continues to talk about Walter and Victor, for we will never forget their amazing characters. Walter has taught us so much over the span of just one week. Overall, this trip did teach us Spanish, but it also taught us about teamwork and family.