Merrill High School Spanish students had the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the world as they traveled to Costa Rica in March. All agreed that experiencing culture first-hand, increases understanding much more than reading about it in a book. Students also realized the value of their Spanish speaking skills, as they stayed with host families and interacted with locals.
The week of March 18-26 was memorable and fast-paced.
It included a service project, tours to different parts of the country, and a little relaxation at a Pacific Coast resort.
For the service project, students purchased plants and other gardening items to beautify a playground in a high-poverty neighborhood. As the MHS students cleaned the area, planted their purchases and re-painted the playground, local children came out to join in the work. Families living nearby were very appreciative and will be able to enjoy the playground for a long time.
Tours included visiting the Doka Coffee Plantation to learn about the growing, harvesting and processing of one of the country’s major exports. La Paz Waterfall Gardens had not only breathtaking waterfalls but also a rescued wildlife preserve. In the Arenal Volcano region, students visited a rainforest as they walked through the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, enjoyed themselves at Baldi Hot Springs and flew through the air on the Sky Trek zip lines. Wild monkeys stealing visitors’ lunches at Manuel Antonio National Park was quite the sight. In addition to all of these tours, students enjoyed cooking and dancing lessons.