PVHS Spanish Students’ Costa Rican Adventure
PVHS Spanish learners traveled to Costa Rica June 18-28, along with Spanish learners from Cocalico High School, Ephrata Area High School, Twin Valley High School/Middle School on their recent trip: Tortuguero and Beyond with Worldstrides Student Travel.
During the 10-day learning experience, learners visited Guanacaste, Arenal Volcano, Sarapiquí, Tortuguero, San José, and Manuel Antonio. Highlights of this trip included Santa Rosa National Park; Arenal Volcano, National Park, and Hot Springs; a boat tour of the Sarapiquí River; ziplining; Tortuguero National Park; and white-water rafting. In addition, learners were able to visit six of the seven provinces of Costa Rica during this tour.
In Arenal, the learners brought school supplies to a local school and spent the morning visiting with them and even playing a game of soccer. The learners also collected money and then bought supplies such as bleach, diapers, and milk for a local orphanage.
During the tour, the learners experienced a variety of lodging, including “ecotourism” lodges. That means there is no air conditioning and very limited wifi. The learners experienced this type of lodging in the tropical rainforests of Tortuguero at the Evergreen Lodge, which is only accessible by boat through the canals.
Every other year PVHS Spanish learners have the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure along with other learners in the travel cohort. These trips provide learning experiences outside the classroom walls in culture, nature, and history, as well as the Spanish language. The hands-on experiences of these trips provide opportunities to learn through school visits, cooking lessons, nature hikes and lessons, and other adventure activities. According to PVHS Spanish learner Jonathan Bolton, “I felt that one of the best experiences was going to Tortuguero and seeing that small environment and being able to interact with the school children by dancing and playing games with them. But my favorite part of the whole trip was going in and around national park areas to see and learn about the various types of wildlife like the macaws, howler monkeys, toucans and sloths–seeing all the varying types of the animals and their diets.”
Teachers participating in the trip included Jennifer Bilby and Dale Amspacher from Pequea Valley, Elizabeth Techman from Twin Valley, Jennifer Kieffer from Cocalico and Joshua Shortuse from Ephrata high schools.
PVHS has traveled with this group since 2016 and the three other schools have been traveling together since 1992. The cohort is currently working on and planning a trip for the summer of 2020.