5th Annual Project Costa Rica

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Day one began with a rainstorm coming over a volcano in the distance. According to Denise Hudson, bright, multi-colored flowers were then painted with fresh raindrops.
Howler monkeys talked to one another, so close it felt like they were right outside the window

Hudson, Professor AD in Nursing at Tyler Junior College attended a life-changing trip to Costa Rica with TJC and UT-Tyler students and faculty, otherwise known as Project Costa Rica.

For it being her first time out of the country, Hudson joked that she was not too sure of what she was getting herself into.

“Getting the passport, the instructions we had when we were packing was like…Whoa,” Hudson said.

Although upon arrival, her perspective changed. Positioned between two volcanoes, the Curubanda Lodge was home to a little dairy farm, abundant with color and flowers.

“It was very welcoming,” Hudson said.

A wide variety of food was given to the group such as: papaya, rice, fresh tortillas, eggs, homemade bread, plantain bananas, black beans, fresh steamed milk, freshly ground coffee from the area and so much more. Hudson emphasized how delicious the coffee was.

“ Uncooked or unprepared, they (the plantain bananas) were delicious with the black beans and rice,” Hudson said. “The flavors were very good together.”

Hudson and some students were invited into a local’s home in Dos Rios, village north of Panama. They were able to see a family in their natural environment. One of her observations was that no one was ever in a hurry to do something; everything was savored.

“When they’re cooking their meal everyone talked and it just took forever,” Hudson said. “They don’t rush through it.”

Dos Rios was the destination for their service projects. Nurses taught first aid tricks and trades to locals.

John Hays, department chair of foreign languages who has helped organize this particular trip for five years now, believes that this summer of 2013, the Project Costa Rica group will be painting, plumbing, building a bathroom, and placing septic tanks for the locals.

After four days of service, the time for some relaxation and fun kicked off. Zip lining through the rainforest, horse-back riding up and down a volcano, and diving in the Pacific Ocean was a day for students and faculty to let loose.

“It’s really spectacular,” Hays said of his many adventures and visits to Costa Rica in the past.

A total of 15 people, students and faculty, can attend. Thus far there are no definite spots taken, but a deposit of $100 is due Nov. 30. The total cost range is ” $2,000, but there is a $1000 scholarship available. The total cost covers 10 days of travel and lodging, excursions and transfer to and from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. It, however, does not include souvenirs, personal expenses, medical expenses, gratuities, optional activities and/or tips to guides/drivers. The dates for this trip are May 13 through 22, 2013.

For any questions email John Hays at Jhay@tjc.edu or stop by his office, J172, or call his office number (903)-510-2457.

Mandy Drager

Staff Writer

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