Thirty six students came from all different parts of the U.S, ranging from sunny California to snowy New England. We have some southern belles and some mid-westerners, don’t ya know. We started the semester off with curiosity, anxiety, and ambition, but we all came with the same thing in common: a passion for sustainability and the desire to explore the tropics. We knew that coming here would allow us to expand our boundaries and exercise our minds and bodies. We met five new outstanding professors, two new caring mentors, two new helpful interns, and thirty five new brothers and sisters.

Together, we have formed unforgettable memories, triumphed over difficult obstacles, and traveled far distances. This includes hiking 4,000 feet to the top of Volcán Maderas on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua, swimming in both the Pacific and Caribbean, crossing country borders, and advancing our Spanish speaking skills with local Ticos. We have lived sustainably on a farm, mastered the card game of Euchre, showed off our impressive soccer skills against the staff, and managed to turn the common room into a giant slumber party.  Those are just to name a few.

Now, finals have passed and so has our last field trip. We went to Santa Rosa National Park and I cannot think of a better place to end our journey. We got to camp on a quiet beach that had white sand and giant waves that crashed down with life and energy. We got to watch the sun set over the ocean and at night we saw bioluminescent algae and shooting stars that lit up the water and sky. It was the perfect way to spend our last time together as a giant group before splitting up for Directed Research and heading home.

Thinking about everything that we have done and accomplished, and getting to experience this all with a group as charismatic as this, leaves a permanent smile on my face. Even though soon we will all be parting, Costa Rica will forever be imprinted in our hearts, and I’d like to end this reflection by reminding everyone that the end of one adventure is the beginning of another. Pura Vida!