Sunday, May 15, 2016

Heading home!

Hello family and friends of the Colorado Academy program in Costa Rica. The students are checking in for the flight back to Denver. The flight is on time and we don't anticipate any delays. Please don't hesitate to call with any questions 303-679-3412. Thank you for your trust and support!

UA1490L 15MAY SU SJOIAH 1255P  545P
UA1963L 15MAY SU IAHDEN 1000P 1132P

Erin Hawk
Director of Operations 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

La Despedida

It is hard to believe, but we had to say good bye to our home stays and the community this morning. It has been a wonderful experience and in just 5 short days we have made new friendships that will last forever. Everyone bonded with their host parents and had a great time playing Uno, braiding hair, or just playing soccer with their host siblings.

Yesterday, we finished up our work at the high school. We were tasked with building an expansion for the cafeteria patio and we were able to level the ground, move some rocks, and get almost all of it covered in cement. The teachers and students hosted a farewell party where we played games, sang karaoke, and had a friendly soccer game.

The festivities didn't stop at the high school, we later went to the leader of the community's house to have a celebration and thank all the host families. It
was a wonderful chance for students to do say thanks to their families and dance with their siblings.

Tonight we are back at the hotel after a busy morning of packing, playing soccer, and whitewater rafting. Everyone is excited to get home and share all their experiences with you tomorrow.

Tomorrow we are off to an early start, 7:30am departure for our 12:55 flight and then finally arriving back in Denver late at night.

Hasta Pronto!

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Amazing Race

            Yesterday we participated in an adventure race. There were five activities that we had to complete. We ground sugar cane to make sugar cane juice and were forced to drink it in limited time, and yes, it was disgusting.  

We had to milk cows; the Lillies discovered their secret talent for milking cows. 

We rafted down a river through a course in tubes that were tied together.  

We learned steps from a Bachata dance. 

 Finally, we learned how to make authentic corn tortillas; they were amazing! This helped us to become a closer-knit team and work together. 

Today we headed to the school to work in the morning. We are finishing up the first layer of cement on the patio and will then partake in a school party. We are getting to know the students and even had time to go to class with them and play different games. This is our last night in the community and we are going out by having a big party with all the different homestay families.

Tomorrow we return to the Ecolodge and have a busy day of soccer, whitewater rafting and packing.

Lily Jorden, Lilly Gastis, Gabbie Ramseier

Botany Class

Today the students continued to work on the service project. They dug out land and made concrete. As the working hours past, students had the opportunity to take part in a PE/Gym class. This class allowed students to collaborate with the local students in a game of capture the flag.  After, the students headed back to Chilamate Eco Lodge to swim in the river and have a delicious lunch. Soon after, the students headed to Jamie’s house to learn about various plants and their beneficial properties. They experimented with natural dyes, giving them a temporary tattoo! 

They also learned about medicinal plants and experimented with different flavors.
Students also drank fresh coconut water, experiencing the true taste.

 Students also made comets out of palm fronds and baby coconuts. To top it all off, they were given homemade ice cream from Jamie’s all natural kitchen. Unfortunately, we arrived to late to take part in the nightly soccer game, but everyone got home safely and enjoyed a good home cooked meal.


Alex Main and Alexandra Kaleugher

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Service Project Day 2

Yesterday, we went to a sustainable farm to learn from a local farmer, Daniel Vega, about how to run a farm. We walked through the farm and saw everything from the pigs to the extensive pepper fields. Most of the pepper wasn't ready to be harvested but we managed to find some.

We even managed to find a Bullet-ant nest!(no one was hurt). We also learned how he makes all the natural fertilizer with what he gets at the farm.

Then we parted ways to go to our home stays and most of us even went down to a field to play a huge fun game of soccer.

Today was the second day of the service project. We continued to level out the ground and prepare to pour cement for the new lunch area.

We visited an English and PE class to collaborate with the students at the high school. We swam in the Chilamate river and had lunch at The Chilamate Rain Forest Echo-Retreat.

Then we learned about Ethnobotany and we went back to our home stays, ate dinner, played games with out home stays, and went to bed.

Written by Boet and Kiah.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Welcome to Paraiso!

We packed up and left the ecolodge yesterday and made it to Paraiso without any problems. We are about 20 minutes away from Chilamate and already started to get accustomed to our new community and families.

We visited the high school and played some games with the local students.

At night many of the families got together for a game of soccer on the field.

Today we are starting our community service project. We are building a new patio for the the cafeteria and that means moving rocks, leveling the ground and pouring cement.

This afternoon we are headed to an organic farm to learn how they grow pineapple, vanilla, pepper, and how to take care of different farm animals.

Pura Vida!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

An amazing first full day!

Our first full day in Costa Rica was fun-filled and jam-packed. We woke to the sound of howler monkeys in the trees, and had a delicious breakfast before heading out on a hike in the Chilamate rainforest with local naturalist guides. We experienced firsthand the incredible biodiversity of the area--among the flora and fauna we spotted were lizards, insects, and even a mother and baby sloth high up in the canopy (we think this is definitely in honor of Mother's Day).
We spent some time after our hike playing some team-building games, and once we had worked up a sweat we headed to the river for a swim.

To round out a full day, we went zip-lining--nine different lines through the canopy! Everyone, even students who worried because they were afraid of heights, had a wonderful time.
Before we headed out on a night hike, students posed for a quick photo to let their moms know how much they love them.
Everyone is happy and healthy, and excited to meet their host families for the first time tomorrow! Sending love back to Denver and will update again soon.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Llegamos a Costa Rica!

After an early morning we all arrived in Costa Rica safely and with a smile on our faces. All of the kids are doing well and looking forward to a long night of sleep. Everyone is speaking Spanish and doing their best to push their comfort zone. Already we are becoming a tight group of friends and everyone is looking forward to an exciting week.

Already we are getting busy playing team games.

Tomorrow we are looking forward to our first hike in the rain forest and going zip lining in the afternoon.

Pura Vida!

Students are in Costa Rica

Hello family and friends of the Colorado Academy program. The group is in Costa Rica. They will start updating the blog tomorrow. Please don't hesitate to reach out with any question 303-679-3412. Thank you for your support of this program!

Erin Hawk
Director of Operations