Monday, October 4, 2010

Costa Rica High School Adventures

 Costa Rican High School Adventure
One of our goals to keep parents informed and kids on the education side of things is to bring technology into the trip a bit. We often keep blogs where we update daily giving parents an idea of whats going on on the trip. The kids often put in comments on the blog and say what is going on and how things are going. We will be participating in EduBlogs and SchoolTube this year and plan to make blogs more educational. We plan to keep parents and kids educated. The kids will have topics each day and filming or taking pictures and have to take short notes on their top have it be the cloud-forest, sloths, volcanoes, culture, ect. They will have to listen to their tour guide ask or investigate the answer through interviews.

We have done this in the past and the kids really enjoy it. This is a fun way of learning since we are outside of the classroom. All these can be set on a private setting for Ridgefield viewing only.

Day 1 – Sat. 16th --------------------- Arrive and drive to hotel in Heredia (La Condesa Hotel)

From the moment we land in Costa Rica we will be at an elevation of 3,000ft. This is 700ft higher than Mt. Frissell. The kids will get their first lesson on how the valley they are in surrounded by volcanoes and mountains were formed. They will have a week spend by changing altitudes and a good basic understanding of the geology is a must when traveling Costa Rica.
. (Meals included: Lunch & Dinner)

Day 2- Sun. 17th  ---------------- Orphanage & drive to Dominical Beach (Villas Río Mar)
Breakfast in the hotel and then first things first. Lets meet some locals. In my opinion the best part about Costa Rica is its people. Although this country lends itself to some of the most amazing natural beauties and most bio-diverse places on the planet the people are still the best part. The orphanage we will be visiting already have a special relationship with the EastRidge school and you can visit last years group as it was one of the most special visits we had to the orphanage of all our groups yet (I mean that when I say it I don’t just write that for every group so it is worth looking this link up:
This is an amazing experience and the girls in the home absolutely love having the visit. We give a little testimonial of some of the backrounds of where some of these young girls have come from and the struggles they have been through. After all the adventure through the week I go back to asking the kids about best parts about the week and visiting these girls is always right at the top where it should be

After visiting the home we will make our way down the Pacific coast where every East Coast kid will get the chance to get their toes wet in the Pacific waters. As we make our way south we will be keeping the kids educated on the different parts of agriculture and how the economy of Costa Rica functioned before tourism. Also we will be explaining to them why the beaches are black? This is often a surprise to many that some beaches are black. There is much to learn from the bus and with the many activities we have there is not much time to be listening to all the songs on the ipods.
(Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

Day 3 – Mon. 18th --------------------------------------- Enter Cave and Rappel (Cave)
After an evening of preparing the kids for the hike to the cave of explaining to them everything they need to have, what they don’t need to take with them, and what to expect, we will begin our hike. This is where the fun begins. With some of the top naturalist guides in the country we will begin with the basics on plants and animals entering into the rainforest the kids will learn about a few of the basic species of the jungle. There are well over 10,000 different species are plants in Costa Rica so we don’t plan to go over every species unless you plan for you kids to retire down here.
Costa Rican Resource choice of HotelImage by Costa Rican Resource via FlickrThe hike in is a nice challenging hike that most all kids will huff and puff and complain atleast once. All kids make it though. When we arrive in the cave we will be having lunch behind two of Costa Rica’s most beautiful waterfalls which is also where we will be sleeping. Its like having your own private dream machine with the volume on super charge all night.

After lunch we will get geared up and begin the rappelling adventure. Each child will get the basic course on how to rappel. Your child will be learn about the different equipment for rappelling, they will learn the knots that are used, and they will learn the process and form they need to be able to descend down the line. By the time they get done with us they could get a weekend job working for the NYPD rappelling off the Brooklyn bridge.

In the evening it is a full blown camping activity with music and campfire. The evening will have a great dinner, story telling, and if you tune into our Youtube channel and your kids are not afraid of the camera we will put on a live CaveTV for you (We have a 3G connection on a cell phone so you can stay connected with your kids throughout the trip).  We want to keep you the parents educated also on Costa Rica and how your kids are doing.

(Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

Day 4 – Tue. 19th -------------- Leave Cave and drive to Santa María de Dota  (Trogón Lodge)

Today they will visit take another hike to nearby pools that are a beautiful area where the kids can swim and relax for a bit before we head back to the cavern for the last meal before hiking out. When we hike out it will be back to the bus and about a 2 hour drive to one of my favorite places in Costa Rica. If you were to look at this place on the internet it probably does not justice it is called the Trogon Lodge. It is because it is located in the Cloud-Forest. Sitting at a computer in an office or an air-conditioned house and trying to sell the setting of a cloud-forested is just a hard sell. But once you get there it is like nothing you can imagine.  It is also one of the most educational places Costa Rica has to offer with all its bio-diversity. We often tell kids if you stand still long enough in the cloud-forest plants will start to grow on you. That’s the way it looks, it is just plants on top of plants on top of plants. We will be in a small Costa Rican type mountain lodge at about 10,000ft (8,700ft higher than CT highest point) and we will be staying the night. We will make the evening very educational with a nature walk explaining the cloudforest and then an activity in the morning where the kids learn more about the cloudforest.

(Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

Day 5 – Wed. 20st------------------------- Cultural Activities at Sitio de Mata (Homestay)
What was your favorite part of the trip? SITIO DE MATA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is what everyone always says. They always have like 3 or 4 things that they say are tied for first but after I tell them they have to pick one then its just the time they spent with the people in Sitio de Mata. Ive been doing this for years and it amazes me how these people keep doing it. They absolutely love what they do. They don’t get millions of tourist I might only send them 15 groups a year. I wish I could send them 30 because this is what they live off of. It is truly one of the most humbly experiences ever and that is why I keep going back with every single group and you better believe  I will be their with the Ridgefield kids this year. Sitio de Mata is a town that has culture and lots of it. They are true Costa Rican campesinos (live in the countryside). It is one of the most beautiful, safest, cleanest water, and just the way things should be places you could imagine. Yes, there might be a few coats of pant missing on the walls of a house or 2 chairs at the dining room table might not match the other 2 but the lesson of living simply and being happy with what you have and not thinking that you have to have to be happy is something that Sitio de Mata gives for Free. One of the best parts is that there are so many kids now and the Ridgefield kids fit the age of the Sitio de Mata kids perfect that the soccer game is about as big as the World Cup (not really). Well all in all this is a culture experience in my opinion that has developed over the years that Im very proud to say can compare with very few out there.
The educational part of this is that the kids learn so much from the local families. Not only do they learn that they have a friend in a small mountain village in Costa Rica next to one of the top 5 rafting rivers on the planet according to National Geographic (COOL!) but they learn to speak some Spanish, cook some of the local cuisine, live a daily life as if they were a child in a rural community in a mountain village in Central America.
(Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

Day 6-Thu. 21st  --------------------------- Rafting and drive to Arenal (Casa Luna Lodge)
 National Geographic has this listed as one of the top 5 rivers on the planet!!! Just put this on any job application for a summer job in high school and Im sure your in.  We already know the kids are going to love this and we don’t have to convince you that this would be an amazing adventure for them. What I can say that you might not know is that this is a Virgin Rainforest from start to finish.

<object width="200" height="137"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="200" height="137"></embed></object>

They will raft 18 miles of Virgin Rainforest. The Cabecar Indians live in this Rainforest. Lets talk about how some of these Indians survive on a day to day basis. Lets talk how the rainforest helps them survive. Lets talk about how the rainforest helps us survive in our classrooms back home in Ridgfield, CT. We take a special part of each trip to educate the students on the importance of the tropics. Not just the big beautiful Jaguars and Monkeys they can see. But all the stuff they cant see that is happening and going on. There is so much infront of kids everyday that can be related back to the rainforest and what better way to touch on the top then when on their trip to Costa Rica.

(Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 7- Fri. 22nd  ------------ Zipline, Organic Lunch and Community Service (Casa Luna Lodge)

The zipline is one of the favorite adventures just because it is a big thrill ride. Not much skill involved but anything that involves a cable that is hanging 700ft above the rainforest floor, speed, and children, then you have a lot of fun involved. This zipline is the most well-known in the country and also the safest. It is also through the rainforest where we will have the chance to do more then just zip and scream.

For lunch today we will visit the Organic Farm. This happens to be one of the most educational experiences you can imagine. We will visit a Costa Rican owned farm where we will see how Don Juan and his family and five other families survive on just two acres of farmland on a completely organic farm. This a lot of hands on for the kids and Don Juan is quite the character. In the evening we will have a farewell dinner celebrating a week of education, culture, and adventure!!!
(Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Day 8- Sat. 23rd ---------------------------drive to the airport and Fly Home!!!

Pack up the bus and drive to the airport…
(Meals: Breakfast)

Price per student based on a group of 20:

Single room $1,650
Double room $1,495
Triple and quadruple room $1,467

Price per student based on a group of 26: (2 buses & 2 guides)

Single room $1,685
Double room $1,495
Triple and Quad rooms $1,490

2 Teachers travel for free.
If there are additional adults in the group there is a slight increase in the cost because most adventures have a lower student price.
Package includes: Private Transportation, lodging, bilingual/naturalist guide, tours listed on itinerary and 21 meals

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment