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Students venture to Costa Rica

Young college students from Tyler will wake up in a hotel surrounded by the deep green and wild animal sounds of the rain forest before embarking on a grand adventure in Costa Rica.

Students from Tyler Junior College and the University of Texas at Tyler will head to Costa Rica this May to serve the people and have a once in a lifetime experience.

“We always gain more than we put out,” said John Hays, Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages . “It’s a given, we take trinkets comparatively speaking. We always live and learn more than we leave.”

There are 16 students from TJC and UT-Tyler going on the annual trip and many of them are nursing students. They will be doing their service project, guided by the Peace Corp., at a high school in Dos Ríos in the province of Guanacaste.

The service project will take place during the first four days of the trip and will consist of health seminars, known as “charlas” to the people in Costa Rica, actually held by the students.

“The seminars will be about first aid,” said Hays, “We will also talk about family health. We are going to talk about things that are in general non-intrusive.”

In addition to these seminars, there will be interviews and basic health assessments. Students will bring old stethoscopes and leave them behind. Each student has been asked to bring a first aid kit to leave at the high school as well.

“On the last day, that is the fourth day, we will have a big barbecue and say goodbye,” said Hays.

The trip is a total of 10 days and the last six days will be the exploration of the island. They will stay in nice hotels and sight see, even scuba dive in the Caribbean.

“We will also go meet with the country director of the Peace Corp, Steven Dorcey, and have an afternoon reception in San Jose, the capital, and then the next day we leave” said Hays.

 Anyone can go on the trip to Costa Rica as long as they register before the deadlines, but the trip fills fast.

“The trick is to get in early once we do our initial advertising in September,” said Hays.

The deadlines for the 2012 trip are past, however, it is not too late to get in for the trip in 2013.

Students who would like to go but cannot afford the total cost of the trip can apply for a scholarship.  TJC students receive scholarship funds from SSFAC, and UT-Tyler also provides scholarships for its students as well.

“We actually got five scholarships from SSFAC,” said Hays, “They awarded us $5,000.”

UT-Tyler matches the amount of funds TJC is given in scholarships, and Brooke Sadler, a student at UT-Tyler, is the recipient of a scholarship from her school.

 “I got a scholarship to go and I am so grateful and so excited to go.” Said Sadler.

The total cost of the trip came to $2,060 this year and that includes nearly everything for the trip except any extra gratuity or money for souvenirs.

If anyone has any questions or would like to attend next years’ trip contact John Hays at 903-510-2457 or email him to jhay@tjc.edu.  


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