Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ridgefield 2015

Thursday, June 25 --- Arrive & Travel to La Condesa Hotel (La Condesa)

Today the Ridgefield kids will be welcomed by CRR staff upon exiting the San Jose Airport in Costa Rica. The staff includes your drivers and expert guides all giving their part to make it an unforgettable experience.

We will travel to the first hotel of La Condesa where the kids will have some time to play in the pool and swim off the long day of travel. We will then have dinner planned and have a welcoming orientation where we will go over all safety instructions and a chance to get the kids excited about the themes of the trip and start dialing in on the educational components of the week long adventure.

We will be focusing on learning about the cultural and biodiversity of Costa Rica. We will also be taking a broader look at the topic of sustainability from a local level and onto a global scale. Its a week long of adventure, service, and fun while keeping our main focus on getting a message across and sending your kids home more educated and exposed to the amazing wonders of the natural world while a chance to partake in different service projects.

The pillars of the CRR tours are to offer kids a chance to experience happiness the way of the Costa Ricans (who were voted as having the lowest stress of any nation!) by offering 3 simple pillars:

1.) Educate on the benefits of nature, community and friends and family, and taking risk.

2.) A healthy community starting with your own body (foods you eat), moving onto friends and family, and ultimately the global community

2.) Protection of nature and exposure to the natural world. The kids will learned from their naturalist guide the many wonders of the rainforest while being exposed through nature hikes and thrilling adventures such as rafting, zipline, and waterfall rappels 

3.) Service through helping others, visiting an orphanage, and rural village service projects.

4.) Gratitude Gratitude Gratitude

Friday June 26th ------------- Visit Orphanage and Hike to Cavern (Sleep Behind Waterfall)

Today we will get an early start and travel to the Central Pacific of Costa Rica. In route we will be passing by the Hogar Sembra Orphanage. This is an orphanage that the Roth Family and Ridgefield have developed a working relationship with passing by every year. The visit is a chance for the Ridgefield kids to exchange gifts with the local kids and be the best part of their month. Games will be played smiles exchanged and memories made as the Ridgefield kids offer an unforgettable morning of the local kids.

After the visit to the orphanage we will make the two hour drive to the Southern Pacific where we will begin hiking to the cavern. This is one of the more unique experiences you will find anywhere with the opportunity to sleep behind three beautiful waterfalls. During the hike we will have our first immersion into the primary rainforest where the kids will begin to learn from their naturalist about the different layers of the rainforest and its function as working as the planets "lungs" giving nations far and near an opportunity to have clean air. Along with the rainforest we will be experiencing an organic garden where the kids will have the chance to learn about the many different fruits of the tropics along with the important topic of global warming and how small organic farming can help reverse the effect by making our soils healthy and trapping CO2.

After the educational hike we will arrive to the area of the waterfalls where we will have lunch. After lunch we will gear up and get ready for a 120ft waterfall rappel down one of Costa Rica's most majestic waterfalls.

In the evening we will have dinner and a bonfire and enjoy a night of telling stories and playing games behind the waterfall. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

SaturdayJune 27 ------------ Visit Upper Pools & Travel to Turrialba (Casa Turire Hotel)

Today we will wake up behind the waterfall and enjoy breakfast before making another hike to some smaller nearby waterfalls and pools. This is a chance for the kids to enjoy the morning swimming and getting a free massage from the waterfall as they play in the pools and jump off some rocks into the beautiful pristine pools of the nearby waterfalls.

After the hike to the waterfalls we will exit the cavern and meet up with the bus. The bus will drive us over one of Costa Rica's highest mountians at 10,000ft offering our naturalist guides a chance to talk to the kids about tectonic plates and the change of different life zones as we make the climb and descent from Pacific to Caribbean.

Our final destination will be the beautiful Casa Turire Hotel located in the valley of Turrialba with views of the Turrialba volcano which will be a nice touch to the topic of tectonic plates. We will have to ourselves and a chance for a very nice hot shower and comfy bed after sleeping behind the waterfall from the night. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

SundayJune 28 ---------- Travel to Homestays (Sitio de Mata Homestays)

One of the finest parts of the trip is our Sitio de Mata Homestay Project. After a relaxing morning we will make the drive to the village of Sitio de Mata. The kids will have their crash course of Spanish and we will arrive to the homestays where all the moms will be waiting for us.

There is so much to be learned from this two day visit but the most important will be just how happy and pleasant the homestay families are. They might not have all the modern luxuries of life but they are surrounded by beautiful nature, have a healthy diet, a very strong community and family ties, and a solid recipe for being very happy.

Each kid will be assigned to their homestay family and the fun will begin as we have many different activities planned for the two days. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Monday, July 29 --------------------- Community Service Projects & Homestay Activities (Sitio de Mata Homestays)

Today is a full day of activites in and around the village. Everything is in walking distance and each house is literally only 20 ft away making for a very tight knit community and easy access for the kids to visit other homes.

We will have different activities such as cooking classes, dance classes, community service project and an unforgettable evening fiesta. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Tuesday, July 30 --------- Rafting Pacuare River  (Pacuare Ecolodge)

Today we will say good-bye to our new friends and it usually takes a few hours and some tears before we get the Ridgefield kids on our way to the river rafting adventure.

We will then head to the Pacuare River voted by National Geographic as one of the top 5 most scenic rivers on the planet. This is an amazing two day adventure with a chance to stay the night at the beautiful Pacuare Ecolodge which happens to be the private river lodge of CRR. Here we will have games, amazing food, and a chance to spend another night in the jungle. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Wednesday, July 1 ------------------ Raft Pacuare Canyon & Drive to Arenal (Montana de Fuego Hotel)

Today the kids will wake up to the sound of the river and the astonishing views of the Pacuare River canyon. After breakfast we will gear up and make our way down the famous Pacuare Canyon where they will stay wet from start to finish and past by 200ft waterfalls and 300 ft canyon walls of rock that rise straight up. This is a day the kids will love and make for more fabulous memories.

After we get done rafting we will make our way to the Arenal Volcano which happens to be one of Costa Rica's most active volcanos. We will be staying in a hotel that each room offers a remarkable view of the perfectly cone-shaped volcano. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Thursday, July 2 ----------------- Zipline & Organic Farm Tour (Montana de Fuego Hotel)

What better way to spend our last day in Costa Rica than flying through the rainfores on the famous zipline adventure. We will be zipping from mountain top to mountain top with views of the Arenal Volcano and Arenal Lake.

After the zipline the kids will have the chance to buy some souvenirs in the town of La Fortuna and then we will spend our last activity having a hands on experience with one of Costa Rica's best organic farmers Don Juan! Here the kids will have a chance to do everything on a farm you can imagine and have the best tasting meal of the trip after the harvest the crops themselves.

In the evening we will have the farewell party reflecting on all the great memories of this adventure. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner)

Friday, July 3 --------------- Drive to San Jose Airport & Fly Home!

Today we will make the drive to the San Jose Airport where we will send your kids home with a better understanding of what Costa Rica and "Pura Vida" is all about! (Meals: Breakfast)

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