July 8, 2017
Today was a long day for most of us! 20 students arrived from various parts of the world, coming together in this incredible country. We spent the day learning each other’s names and backgrounds and strolling around Alajuela, Costa Rica. The students were all chatting away, laughing a lot until lights out. It’s gonna be a great program! Off to home base in Uvita tomorrow! More soon.
— Hannah, International Director
July 9, 2017
After a four hour bus ride from San Jose, we arrived at our home base, the town Bahía Ballena. We stopped at a crocodile farmers market where we saw over 15 relaxing crocodiles in the water. Along the way we also saw a female sloth wrapped around a tree. When we arrived we took a tour of the community where we saw multiple specifies of animals including birds, cows, horses, crabs, etc along the beach we will be working on. We are looking forward to surfing and service tomorrow!
June 10, 2017
Today was our first day of service! We went back to the beach and got our hands dirty and planted trees with the lovely locals! We also had our 1st surf lesson where we learned how to ride the waves on your stomachs and eventually stood up even though it was a challenge! Later a peace corps speaker gave a presentation on tourism in the country. It was very eye opening as we learned the impacts that tourists have on locals. We ate a yummy dinner and finished the night in a mentor group!
– The Student Blog Team (Alex, Sage, and AJ)
Thanks so much to our blog team! Here is a list of the roles each student signed up for to help our whole team experience run more smoothly:
Bloggers: Alex, Sage, AJ
Homebase Homies: Sophie, Kentony
Time keepers: Haze, Sophia
Conservationist: Jason, Maria, Antonella
Service Leads: Daniel, Charlie, Elyas
Schedule Leads: Katherine, Paulina
Thank you Leads: Laura, Gaby
Head Counters: Luis, Anni, Amanda
July 11, 2017
Today we had guest speaker Amy! We talked about GPS, GIS, and the positive impact that technology can possibly have on environmental trends. In the afternoon, we used the knowledge we learned in the morning for our service by mapping and identifying plants. We also painted signs to protect our reforestation areas. Travis came later in the night to teach us about the three R’s; refuse, reduce, and reuse.
-Student blog team
July 13, 2017
This morning we awoke to the sound of pouring rain and thunderstorms. We traveled over to escuela ballena (whale school) and helped paint the exterior of the school. Even though there is only five students attending the school, the campus was beautiful and it inspired us how valued education is in Costa Rica. The general happiness of people here is something that has positively impacted us as a whole. Continuing the fun, we took a dance class and learned salsa, meringue, and bacheta. Dancing with partners was a blast!
July 15, 2017
Today was another amazing day! We woke up in the morning and started our treck to a near waterfall! We arrived to a beautiful light blue waterfall followed by many natural pools to swim in. We jumped off rocks and swam and had a great time! We stopped for pineapple mango smoothies then hit the souvenir shops before lunch. After lunch Amy came back to talk about GPS mapping. In the evening we played a soccer game with the local children! It was a highlight of the trip and the kids were so friendly and the game was so fun! We had a delicious meal for dinner that our host Wayne barbecued multiple meets followed by arroz con leche for dessert! A fun filled day!
July 21, 2017
After a delicious lunch, we said goodbye to our wonderful and kind hosts, Wayner and Noilyn. Their willingness to share their home, culture, and community with us was so special, and we are so grateful for the time we spent in Bahía Ballena. When we arrived in San Jose, we spent the last night talking about our incredible experience and sharing our highlights of the trip. Even though we come from different corners of the world, we were able to form such strong bonds over fourteen days through service and protecting the environment. I speak for all twenty of the students when I say these two weeks have been life-changing, and we will never forget our Costa Rican experience!
-Alex Blum, part of the student blog team
Hannah Calloway here, International Director of Protecting the Pacific, and a proud member of this amazing community that the students of session 2 built. Everyone is now on their way back home, to start building paths at home with their new experiences abroad. We will miss you all so much!