By Sorayda Rivera
Project Costa Rica is a 10-day trip from May 11-20 that includes community service and fun. This is the 12th year TJC will be traveling to Costa Rica. “Costa Rica 12” is the theme for this year’s trip. Project Costa Rica was the initiator of this trip. Some of the project goals per the website include actively participating in numerous outdoor service projects to experience, understand and appreciate the cultural heritage of Costa Rica, to engage in physical activities, including hiking, biking, running, snorkeling and surfing, to explore a variety of natural environments in Costa Rica, to engage in scientific investigations, including both botanical or agroforestry-centered and animal-focused projects and more.
Foreign Languages Department Chair and Professor John Hays explained on this trip the traveler doesn’t do anything “heavy,” but does work. In the past, students have painted; sanded desks; reconditioned health centers; taught short tobacco prevention, first aid, and English courses; and planted trees.
There is an ongoing project the locals named Corredor Tyler. Students in 2010 planted trees to reestablish the land where jaguars roam.
“This trip is a life-changing experience,” Hays said. “It gives you the travel experience you’ve probably never had.”
This trip will accommodate two meals a day, entrance fees, land transportation within Costa Rica and the USA, hotel transfers, administration fees and orientation costs.
The itinerary is always subject to change, but students can expect to experience a full day at various project sites like Quebrada Grande, San Antonio and Las Lilas.
During this trip, the traveler will also visit the Hanging Bridges, Lago Arenal, Tamarindo Playa and more locations. Students can also experience horseback riding as well as lunch and shopping at La Fortuna also known as the gateway to Arenal Volcano National Park, comprising two volcanoes. Keep an eye out for the Resplendent Quetzal, a rare bird that can be found in the mountain forests of Costa Rica.
Amaya Blanton, who is on her second time going to Costa Rica, said her favorite part of the trip was getting to plant trees at a 45-degree angle on a hill.
“You get to see the difference you are making by being a part of the reforestation,” Blanton said. “Everyone is really friendly. It’s an adventure I am going to look back on and tell my kids about.”
Randal Setzler is a first-time traveler and he is mostly excited about seeing the hanging bridges and putting his Spanish into practice.
There is a partial scholarship and students are the only ones who qualify. Application and information for this scholarship can be found on the Costa Rica Travel Study website.
Health, accident, baggage and trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.
For the full trip itinerary, conditions and responsibilities, application information and more, visit https://www.tjc.edu/info/20030/travel_study_programs/224/costa_rica_travel_study.
For additional questions or concerns, contact Hays at 903-510-2457 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Professor of CIS/Gaming and Simulation Development Gigi Delk (email@example.com) and Professor of Mathematics Ramona Alger (firstname.lastname@example.org) are also project leaders on this trip and can be contacted for questions.