Costa Rica Teacher's Trip

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Don't be shy!

While walking on the beach this morning the gulls flocked above the water. This drew a large crowd of Costa Ricans realizing the sardines were in shallow and following the sardines would be the larger fish called Jack. From my understanding a Jack is a male yellow tuna.... The fisherman were catching fish and Carlos a nearby fisherman asked if I would like to try. I could not resist and took the opportunity. For the next 10 minutes I ran up and down the rocks fighting the fish, listening to instructions in Spanish and laughing as the drag screamed! I was finally able to real in a Jack about 8 pounds. A smile in Spanish and English says the same thing - my new friend Carlos and I had just made the classic fisherman's bond! Let this be a lesson - if an opportunity exists - don't be shy, get involved!!!! Lars Long

Adventure of a Lifetime

The activities planned by DSA and our awesome Costa Rican tour guide have made this trip nothing less than spectacular. The fun has been perfectly coupled with learning opportunities and training as we prepare to lead our students on our own amazing journey. The trip presents a lot of first-time moments for many of the 29 fantastic teachers - moments that include ziplining above the canopy of a mountain forest, enjoying a hot spring spa, and snorkeling. Thank you DSA for your attention to every little detail. I've learned from this experience that I've made the best choice for planning an amazing and unforgettable adventure for my students.

Dianne M.

What an amazing country! (SAA)

Today we were up bright and early to do some work (it's not all fun and games!). We learned a ton about the trip, our itinerary, and some wonderful fundraiser ideas. When we were done with that we had some free time to explore this fantastic culture. We went horseback riding - this time along the beautiful beaches of Costa Rica. On the way back we passed a bull riding ring (bull fighting is illegal in CR) and even more amazing, an entire tree full of Howler Monkeys - I counted 10 of them! Tomorrow we will be doing some more work and then going on a catamaran (look it up gentleman!) I cannot wait to share everything we've learned with everyone back in Bryn Mawr. Enjoy your weekend - I know we are!

Live from Costa Rica - Mr. Scanlan :)

Helpful Hints and Info

Today, we began with whole group meetings covering topics such as how to build the travel group, fund raising, and basic travel information. We broke into small groups to brainstorm and share what we have done then came together to compile a big list. After the whole group meetings, we met in trip specific groups and received the updated itinerary. Everyone left feeling so much more empowered and excited for the trips. The meetings were such a tremendous help! Plus, we got to know the other teachers who would be on the same trip with us. Thank you so much DSA!

Donna P.

Learning and fun go together

Spent the morning learning about traveling with students. Discovery is an amazing organization- they take care of everything. I can't wait to come back to Costa Rica this summer with the students. After a morning of learning, we had a chance to go into town. I haven't seen any monkeys yet, but I am still looking. It's been another wonderful day!

Elizabeth B.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Did You Know?

One thing I have thoroughly enjoyed about about this trip and the previous trips I have taken with DSA is the continuous learning through our travel guides. I love learning about and immersing myself in the culture, especially eating the food. Through just the short rides on the bus to ZIP LINING! I learned the major export in Costa Rica is pineapple, The army was disbanded around 1950 and armies money is now spent for strengthening the education system, Costa Rica is hoping to be carbon neutral by 2021, students in high school go to school from 7-4, Studying the aspects of volcanoes is mandatory in the curriculum (makes sense). Tilapia is a major export and made up the best lunch I have had in a long time. I love that I can sit back and take it in.

Children, my message is this: 50 Awesome + 50% Learning = 100% Awesome Learning... and the food is great!


Unusual sights ~ Unusual facts

Costa Rica is a wonderful blend of culture and sustainability! It was amazing to learn that by the year 2021, which is the 200th anniversary of Costa Rica's independence from Spain, Costa Rica plans to have a zero carbon footprint. Using power harnessed from their numerous volcanoes, and strategic placement of wind turbines, Costa Rica hopes to reduce its dependence on foreign oil.
Besides the awesome sights and sounds from our travels in the Costa Rica countryside, we also were treated to an amazing sugar cane burn off in the evening sky. Imagine the entire horizon ablaze in flames as the local farmers prepare for a sugar cane harvest the day before.
The last amazing fact is the besides the wonderful arabica coffee that is a long time product of Costa Rica, the pineapple has now imerged as a leading product. If you are going to pick up a pineapple, remember to choose one that is green as it indicates a more natural process than one that may have been chemically assisted to ripen.

We had a great day in Costa Rica!

Cathy and Katrina

The Poster Country for Peace and Green

Costa Rica! It means Rich Coast -- and rich it is in its history, culture and industry. The country subsists on agriculture, tourism, and clean tech-related industry. The voluntary abolition of the Costa Rican army was driven by the desire to pour the country's money into the development and training of a "different kind of soldier" -- the educated child. The country is also striving to attain a carbon neutral status, having set aside its rain forests as protected assets and recycling whenever possible. This is a blessed place on earth!

-Denise G.

What an amazing day!

What an amazing day! We started the day horseback riding up a mountain and then zip lining down it. We could hear the Howler monkeys in the distance. I am taking notes of the kinds of shoes and clothes that we need to wear when we come back in June. I will be sure to drink more water.

Okay for the unexpected thing from today - I enjoyed eating Yucca. It was yummy!

Elizabeth B.

Everyone's having a good time

Even the monkeys are have'n a "howl'n" good time! ;-)


A new view

As if there aren't enough great views in Costa Rica.... ziplining was by far the best view ever!!!


The Zipline Masters!

Having a great time with great new friends!


Can't wait for St. Al's to experience CR!

The excursion zip-lining today was amazing! I can only imagine how exciting it will be with the boys. The weather here is fantastic (85 and sunny :) and the food is delicious. On the bus ride home we got to witness a controlled brush fire to help with the cultivation of the pineapple crops. We also learned that the majority of people in Costa Rica are Catholic and that all of their churches face West and that whenever anyone asks for directions in a town you can give them from where the Church is located. All the people we have met here have been so nice and helpful. We are having a blast and I cannot wait to share everything I've learned about this wonderful culture with the St. Aloysius Adventurers. Stay tuned for more updates. Via con Dios!

-Ed and Katie

Hot Springs, Horses and Zip Lines...Oh My!

Today was full of adventure. After a whirlwind breakfast, we jumped aboard el autobus de Meyer, and headed out on our two hour commute to the Wellness Gardens. We started our day with group horseback riding and got to figure out whose cabellos were "Natural Leaders," aka who wanted to be in front.

We rode our horses up the mountian and started our high speed zip-lining adventure. There were 10 sections/platforms on our zip-line course and they were all equally amazing, although the very first line was the best to watch. Everyone learned how to hook themselves up to the line and where to place your hands, and of course, how to brake.

There were a lot of screams, one hit tree and a lot of smiles and cheers. There were even some upside down zipliners and some who went without hands. After what seemed like an eternity sailing through the canopy (yet not nearly long enough) we landed back at base camp and enjoyed an amazing meal of authentic Costa Rican dishes.

Shortly after, we enjoyed massages and long soaks in the hot springs, as well as a quick dip in the local river, rapids and all.

-Mia L.

Facing Your Fears and Loving It!

Well, I did it! I know when I get back the first question from my students will be "Did you zipline?". My answer will be a resounding "YES." With my intense fear of heights, I wasn't so sure I could face that fear, but my students have been challenging me just to do it and get on with life. They were so right. Even though I woke this morning sick to my stomach, I knew it was just a case of nerves, and when the time came to take that leap of faith, support from my DSA friends (thanks, Kate) took me right up the stairs and off the platform to the adventure of a lifetime. advice to you, my students, is to remember that life is a balance where facing your fears will allow you to experience some of the greatest joys of life.


Today was absolutely amazing! I learned that I am not as afraid of heights and speed as I thought I was! Not only did I do all the zip lines, I LOVED them! I am meeting some terrific people that I hope to spend time with on future trips as well.

Donna P.

Tips and More to Come

DSA has helped us make our trip successful by providing a hands-on adventure, a sort of simulation during which we've been able to anticipate things we will need. Preparing a backpack well for daytrips - including medical supplies, staying well hydrated, and knowing what to do if a traveler were to get sick on the trip have all been helpful informal tips we've learned by doing and observing. We are looking forward to the formal meetings for more information, too.

David and Debbie L.

Expect the Unexpected

I didn't expect to be ziplining from an upside-down position. It was awesome! Instead of the wind going through my hair, it went through my toes. I didn't expect to see toucans flying through the trees, either, but there they were!

Jackie M.

Expect the Unexpectedqq]]]]

Thursday, February 17, 2011

An Overall Amazing First Day

What a wonderful way to spend the first day in Costa Rica. So far this trip has been full of travel to beautiful new places and wonderful new friends. My day started yesterday at 8:00 PM PST when I boarded my flight from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA, and then on my way to Atlanta, GA to meet up with 16 wonderful educators. We took a short flight to Liberia, Costa Rica and were welcomed warmly not only by our fellow Discovery members, but also by an adorable group of Howler Monkeys.

These cute little guys were busy munching on the fresh green leaves of the nearby trees, and I am sure from their vantage point, were spying on the sunbathers.
After watching them for a while, I took the little dirt path around the outer edges of the pool down to La Playa Crystal, or Crystal Beach.

The beaches here in this area of Costa Rica are known for their surfability as well as their beauty, and I could see why. The sand was all small crushed shell and coral, and if you looked closely, you could see these tiny little hermet crabs scrambeling on the edges of the surf.
It wasn't long until the sun went down, and it was time to head back to the hotel to meet up for a dinner comprised of wonderful fresh fruits, lamb and risotto, and wonderful company.

-Mia Leidelmeyer

Adventures Along the Equator

The food, the weather, great conversation, new friends, super adventure...what more can I say!? You really have to be here to experience it for yourself!

Hello St. Aloysius from Filadelphia to Philadelphia

Day 1- Awoke at 2:30 am for a flight from Philadelphia to Costa Rica. We were thrilled to meet many members of our Discovery guide group in the Atlanta airport on the way and make new friends. Upon arrival at Guancaste airport (Liberia), we picked up bags and proceeded through immigration before boarding a comfortable tour bus that took us to our resort. The guide on the bus was fantastic and full of information on our destination. For instance, Costa Rica doesn't have seasons as we do in Pennsylvania. They have a rainy season or dry season. As we were driving, we passed through a town called Filadelphia!

Additionally, we learned about the education system here. There are over 1 million students in the public school system here (over 20% of their population are students!)

We arrived at the resort and were well received with a refreshing drink, our itinerary and other helpful information. After freshening up, we had a nice lunch and were able to view several Howler monkeys (one with a baby). Then we walked into Tamarind to watch the sunset from a lovely little restaurant on the beach.

Now we're full after a yummy dinner at the resort and ready to turn in to rest up for another exciting day tomorrow!

-Ed Scanlan

Costa Rica is beautiful. I'm thoroughly enjoying having an opportunity to relax after all the traveling today and I'm definatly looking forward to tomorrow... zip-ling, horseback riding, and the wildlife. Time for more rest!

100% Accounted For.

Just got word that the second arrival group has boarded their plane, they have a meal in hand, and ear to ear grins as they taxi away from the terminal. I look forward to their arrival in a few short hours. For the first group, they all arrived safely and are making themselves right at home. Hopefully the monkeys will hang around to give our second round of adventure travelers a true Costa Rican welcome.

There is no 'Beer' in Liberia!

Don't get alarmed but I was informed yesterday at my arrival into Costa Rica that there is no beer in Liberia. I'm not talking about the beverage, I'm sure there is plenty, I am referring to the pronunciation. Liberia is pronounced Ly-ber-ia. So much for my high school Spanish classes.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Monkeys have invaded the pool!

A troop of howler monkeys have decided to stop in and visit us by the pool. At 94 degrees, who wouldn't want to be in the water. The Costa Rican officials have received my order and granted 5 more days of sunshine. Looking forward to having some company!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Greetings teachers, spouses, and blog followers! We are gearing up for the annual Educator Professional Development Trip to
Costa Rica February 17-21.

This year promises to be packed full of activities designed to give our participants:

• Hands-on experience traveling in a group
• Tips on how to be safe while traveling with your students
• Information on how to make your trip fun and engaging
• Ideas on bringing your experience back into the classroom

Along with the interactive workshops, you will be experiencing a taste of Costa Rica. You’ll explore a rainforest on horseback, fly through the trees on zip lines, and snorkel with diverse marine life that lives in the sparkling waters near Tamarindo.

We have created this blog because we want you to share your travel experience with everyone back home. You are more than welcome to share how excited you are for this trip even before you depart. Most importantly, I encourage you to blog during travel. We will have netbooks available for you to use while at the resort so there is no need to pack your own computers.

Also, be sure to friend us on Facebook. After the trip, we will be posting pictures from our adventure for our photo contest. You will need to be a friend to vote for the winner. Be sure to have all of your friends join us on Facebook as well so they can vote, too.

I look forward to reading everyone’s blogs. See you in Costa Rica!

Chris Osborne
Discovery Student Adventure
Program Manager

Programs Details

Duration 5 days
When February 17 - 21, 2011
Focus Group management
Hands-on learning exercises
Travel safety