Costa Rica is amazing! After arriving, there was a rather short bus ride to the Center, but we were able to see some of the mountains along the way as well as the town of Atenas, which we explored the next day. When you get to the Center you see mango and orange trees everywhere, and the best part is that you can pick as many as you would like! There is also a farm where we are able to get fresh eggs from the chickens and milk from the cows. The dorms are large with a nice common room where we have had many movie and game nights so far. Our group here shares a strong interest in sustainability and this is one of the reasons that we all get along so well.
Our first field trip was to Braulio Carrillo National Park for a hike—we got to see monkeys, a sloth, some poison dart frogs, a snake, and lots of beautiful plants. We stayed the night at a field station in Manu, which had a natural spring where we all went swimming. We also did this awesome bug activity, and boy, are the bugs down here cool! The next morning a few of us woke up to go bird watching with one of the professors before leaving for El Progreso sustainable farm. This farm is family-owned and they grow 80% of all the things they consume. We toured the farm, helped plant trees, harvested vegetables, and also did a hike through the woods where we saw many more frogs.
While the summer sessions are jam-packed, I could not ask for anything more. The professors and staff are amazing and keep everything moving smoothly. We have learned and seen so much in the one week that I have been down here that I just can’t imagine how much better it can get. We have many more trips to go on, many more activities to do and much more to learn, I can’t wait to see how amazing the rest of the summer is going to be.