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Costa Rica Travel Study

Nick Kenebrew, Sports Editor

Tyler Junior College is offering a 10-day service project in Costa Rica. The project started in 2009, when Dr. Mike Metke, Chancellor for the college district of TJC, and John Hays, Spanish Professor Department Chair of Foreign Language, wanted to do something scholastically with students.

The trip is held every spring and all students are welcome to come.

The 10 days are split between four days for targeting community service and six days for viewing Costa Rica.

The goals of this project are to engage with and explore the many natural environments in Costa Rica. “The community service allows you to have a one-on-one relationship with somebody in Costa Rica, and that in and of itself is very valuable,” Hays said.

Also, students have a chance to get one of 10 $1,000 scholarships, “As long as you show your GPA, reference from a teacher and write a one-page composition of what you’re doing scholastically,” Hays said.

Four years ago, Hays made contact with the University of Costa Rica with visiting members of the board that with the travel group that year. They identified two students from the University to win scholarships to come to the United States and study.

One of the students, Yanitza Castillo, now works as an academic advisor here at TJC.

The group will collaborate with the University again this year, “With a one-day community service either working in a school health or an agricultural project,” Hays said.

The trip is expected to cost $2,300. “We don’t have a specific price. The airlines are not going to come online until Dec. 1, 2018,” Hays said.

The trip is scheduled for May 13-22 of 2019.

Hays wants to encourage any and all students to get exposure to what is out in the world.

“I’ve never known anyone to go abroad and not come back changed. It’s a life experience,” Hays said.

More information will be presented in a meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Jenkins 112.

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