Arguably, the best way to learn about a culture is to experience that culture first hand. Students, teachers, and administrators alike all know this, especially at Medina High School.
For years, the teachers at MHS have been coordinating school incentive trips to foreign countries to further students’ knowledge of different areas. Places like Argentina, Peru, Germany and more have all hit the list.
Just recently over spring break, the Spanish department organized a trip to Costa Rica. Complete with 21 students and 4 teachers, the group set out on March 26. The trip lasted until April 4 and the students never failed to have a full day.
The students were able to enjoy the different views of Monteverde, Costa Rica’s esteemed cloud forest, Manuel Antonio, the secluded beach town, and San Jose, the nation’s capital. Among other things, highlights included zip-lining through forests, white water rafting through mountains and communicating with locals through Spanish.
Traditional foods and dances were all introduced to the group each day in order for everyone to be fully engulfed in Costa Rican culture. From rice and beans at every meal, to exotic fruits unobtainable in the U.S., each encounter with new foods helped enhance the experience.
The beautiful country offers many opportunities for awe inspired moments, but to Sharon Schorr, one of the Spanish teachers on the trip, one of the greatest parts about the trips is witnessing the students getting involved and developing a love for travel. “[The students] really get it, and that is all that I can ask,” said Schorr at the conclusion of the trip.
Delaney Cullen, a Sophomore at MHS said, “It was really cool becoming so close to people in only a couple days. I didn’t know half of the people going at the beginning, but by the end we practically were all best friends.”
“Learning about a country from a book is one thing, but actually traveling to the country and experiences things from their perspective is a totally different idea,” said another sophomore at MHS, Cassie Bryan.
Every trip needs a native in order to tell the tales of the land, and this one was no different. Erika Calvo, a long time resident and tour guide in San Jose, was the lucky leader for this trip. A spunky, five-foot girl who clearly has a love for her country, had an absolute blast showing off her native state. Calvo was quoted as saying, “Pura Vida (sort of the international phrase of Costa Rica, meaning ‘Pure Life’) is more than a saying. It is a way of life that everyone should have the privilege of experiencing.”
Costa Rica was rated the happiest country in the world, and there is a clear reason as to why. The country’s landscape leaves no room for disappointment; not everyone is able to experience this, but luckily 25 Medinians had a first hand look at the land of Pura Vida.