West Sylvan to Costa Rica 2017

Jun 23 2017


Today we set out for a 3 day adventure in Tortugero, a turtle refuge on the east coast of Costa Rica. Our bus left bright and early, at 6am, for the 4 hour ride. We then transferred to a boat for the last hour of the trip. Tortugero is only accessible by boat or airplane - there are no roads or cars here!

We're staying in a small hotel right on one of the channels of water. Very pretty setting! It also has a small pool, which the kids are enjoying immensely.

We have seen many animals, both on the boat ride here and at the hotel. Monkeys, macaws, iguanas, basilisks, and a sloth. We've been told that we'll hear the Howler monkeys howling tonight!

We also went into the small town to see the turtle conservancy museum and to walk around. Did you know each turtle lays between 180 and 200 eggs? Tortugero was one of the first and most important turtle conservancies in the world for multiple turtle species, including the green sea turtles. The kids also enjoyed walking around the town, shopping and sampling ice cream and fresh coconut milk.

Jun 22 2017

Today we spent 2.5 hours at a local nursing home. First helping out with landscaping, laundry, maintenance and interacting with the residents. Then we played bingo with the residents, including giving out prizes to all the winners. The kids did a great job helping out and interacting with the people. It clearly made the day of many residents, and we were all proud of the students and their kind behavior.


Jun 21 2017

On Monday, we met up to familiarize ourselves with San Isidro through a scavenger hunt for the post office, bank, supermarket, etc. Afterwards, we went to the school to start Spanish classes. The school is lovely, with well-tended landscape.

Jun 21 2017

Here is a glimpse at the student's language school ELEC in Costa Rica where they have their classes each afternoon. 

The view from ELEC.

Jun 21 2017


On Monday we took the public bus into Heredia, the closest major town. The bus ride was quite an adventure! The bus was very full, and the drivers go pretty fast on narrow roads.

We made it safely though and enjoyed touring the city. We visited the main plaza, an ancient fortress tower, a local Mercado and some shops.

 We had lunch in the Mercado. The highlight of the trip for the kids was the ice cream afterwards!


Jun 20 2017

We spent Sunday with our host families, getting to know them better and immersing ourselves in Spanish. It's been really interesting hearing the kids compare their host families. Each one has unique differences from the kids' regular families, whether food, religion, family members, etc. The kids are taking the differences with excellent spirit!

The group photos were from their first day of activities and classes.  The group photo was taken just before they did a scavenger hunt around San Isidro, getting to know the "downtown" area.

Jun 17 2017

Excited, a little sleepy, and ready for a new adventure! 


Midway on our journey! We have a 5 hour layover in Houston. Christine managed to get us access to a group room to hang out in. The kids have made it games central! Everyone is a little tired but in good spirits.

The group reports that they have arrived safely and the students are now with their host families.