Trip Blogs

82 comments:

  1. Poás Volcano

    Positioned at 10.2°N / -84.23°W, with 5,600 hectares of area, is Parque Nacional Volcán Poas. The park contains the geothermal forces that helped shape Costa Rica in the Central Valley Region. At its center sits its main attraction – the Poas Volcano, a stratovolcano that rises 7874 - 8885 ft. in elevation. It dates back around 2 million years. It’s one of the most active and most visited volcanoes in Costa Rica. Although very active, its last major eruption, that covered the surrounding areas in ash, was in 1910. Its most recent eruption occurred in 2011, but didn’t measure up to the magnitude of its predecessor. Due to the fissures in the volcano, smaller craters and volcanoes have developed around the park, which has added to its attraction. The trails around the park, and towards the volcano, have changed because of past volcanic activity and cold winds from the high altitudes. By hiking the trails, you can make your way to a large crater in the volcano that is filled with a green acid, sulfuric lake. This lake has common phreatic eruptions that make it look like a geyser. It is surrounded by steam created when the water seeps through the cracks in the volcano and evaporates. When that water evaporates and gets higher in the atmosphere, it mixes with the suspended moisture in the air and causes acid rain that deposits on the greenery, turning it black and brown. Although there is acid rain, the area is home to different types of aviation, like hummingbirds, tanagers, flycatchers, and toucanets. The birds are offered ample coverage because of the thick flora and clouds that settle on the trees. It’s best to visit the park in the morning to avoid the clouds blocking the volcano and scenery. That’s the time frame our team plans to stand above San Jose on March 23rd, espying what will be shrouded in clouds by noon.




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    1. Great description! I can't wait to see the volcano and other land marks we will be visiting.

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  2. Apprehensions for Costa Rica

    One apprehension or worry I have about the Costa Rica trip is the culture shock that I’ll experience while there. Costa Rica is a very different country compared to the United States. The country is much smaller than the US, and they eat different kinds of food. These things might take some getting used to which is why I’m a bit worried. Also, their official language is Spanish which is also very different from the US. Hopefully I will be able to get used to it on the trip so I can enjoy myself. Another apprehension or worry I have about Costa Rica is when we have to come home. I’m counting on Costa Rica to be a great experience that I’ll really enjoy. We’re going to be doing a lot of volunteer work, we’ll get to experience the Costa Rican environment, and we’re going to learn the culture of Costa Rica. I think these things are going to be very enjoyable for me and the rest of the group. I’m guessing that by the end of the trip, I’m not going to want to leave and I’m worried that I’m not going to want to come home. Of course I know that I can’t stay but I think I’m going to be really sad the day I have to leave. Although I have these apprehensions, I know that I’m going to have a great experience and I’m very excited for the trip!

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    1. I agree, I don't think I'll want to come home at the end of the trip even thought I know I will have to. I'm really excited for what's in store!

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    2. I have to agree with you both, coming home will be a challenge but being able to see new things and then share those with the people back home will be great as well !

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  3. When it comes to family life in Costa Rica, the size and different rules of each family member are very different than an American family. One of the biggest differences between America and Costa Rica are the number of families that live in one house. Costa Rican families live with most of their family in the same house that being the intermediate and extended family. A Costa Rican household contains a mother, father and most of the time children with that there are also the other family members; great grandparents and cousins are also sometimes living in the same house as other. Sometimes houses are not large enough to hold all of those members of the family so they build or buy houses that are close to the others so that they can go and visit each other whenever they chose too. Families cherish their times together and they are all very close, so living close or with each other is something that they feel will better their relationships with each other.

    Just like the United States there are family rules for each member. The mother stays home and cares for the children when the father is working. The children take care of simple house needs in different ways to help their mother. Education is a huge part of Costa Rican family life; everyone in the family wants the child to have the best possible education. Between men and women, men are the ones that are looked at as the “head of the house” they are also the ones that are more likely to work with their hands and do hard tedious jobs as the women cook and clean.

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    1. Do you think the gender roles in each country will be the same or different because they are two different cultures? By this, I mean do you think men will be doing the same type of work in Costa Rica that they do in the States? Will women be taking care of the house and kids the same way? Or will it all be different?

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  4. Being in Costa Rica is going to be an amazing experience and is something that I am looking forward to very much. Although I am excited for this trip I am worried about a few things that we are going to do while there. One of the apprehensions that I have about this this trip is that I have a fear of heights. This might not sound like a huge problem and it probably won’t be until we get to the rain forest. In the rainforest we are going to be zip lining and walking over a very high rope bridge. Although I feel like I will be ok once I have walked over the bridge; the difficult part of this and the part I am most worried about is getting myself to walk over the bridge and it will be the same for zip lining once I am doing it I will be fine. The other apprehension I have is being out of the country for the first time. I don’t think this will be an issue it is just something that worries me because it will be something that I have never done before. I don’t think this will be a problem once I am in Costa Rica but this is something that is worrying me before I leave to go on this trip.

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    1. Don't worry about the heights. You'll be safe, if it wasn't we wouldn't do it! And leaving the country is exciting, even if it is your first time :)

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    2. Reply by Jesse DesMuke:

      Sarah great blog, as for fear towards travelling to another country, from my personnel experience I agree that traveling to a different country can be somewhat scary, but it's also very exciting to to see a whole new part of the world. I am certain that once we land in Costa Rica you'll be excited to see all the new culture.

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  5. On the fifth through seventh day of our trip, we will be going to Quebrada Arroyo to perform service work and hike though out the rainforest. Quebrada Arroyo is a small village in the mountains above Manuel Antonio. The area was settled more than fifty years ago by a small group of struggling pioneering families. The people benefited from the rich soil of the land and began planting vanilla plants; after some time a pest struck, killing the plants. After a while, some villagers decided to stay on the land to help preserve it, so they decided tourism would help spread awareness to protect the rain forest. With the help of the United Development Program, the community began to build cabins, bridges, and bought many pieces of land. The people from the Quebrada Arroyo community have been working to protect more than 80 acres of rain forest in the region. Now, many of the plants and flowers can be used for food and medicine. There are plenty of amazing natural swimming pools and even a 200 foot waterfall. On the fifth day we will even be going across a four hundred foot suspension bridge which will be quite a challenge.

    After our work in Quebrada Arroyo we will be heading to Manuel Antonio National park. Manuel Antonio National Park is a tropic lowland rainforest, marine and beach. It was created in 1972 to help preserve the rich rainforest, beaches, and to protect the many endangered species that calls it home. It is internationally recognized as being one of the most biodiverse parks in the world.

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    1. So excited to visit Quebrada Arroyo

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    2. The excitement of visiting other countries and cultures is inspiring, our lives in comparison are shaded by us living it day to day. God created a beautiful world for all of us. enjoy! the Blessing..

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  6. Apprehensions for Costa Rica

    There are quite a few apprehensions I have for the Costa Rica trip. I’ve never been on an airplane before, or even in an airport for that matter. What happens if the flight is delayed? What if I get lost in the airport? What if my luggage gets lost? My concerns are kind of silly, but they are small worries I have. One of my biggest worries is not seeing my family for almost two weeks, especially my dogs. I have never been away from my family for that long, and I wouldn’t be able to call or text them like I could if I was in the States. One of my strategies to try and prevent homesickness would be to bond with my peers on the trip. I’m going to be surrounded by a great group of people so I don’t want to mope around by thinking about my family back home.

    Another apprehension I have is about the food. I am a very picky eater, and I don’t have a big appetite. I don’t want to be disrespectful to the people who prepared the food by not eating it or throwing a lot of it away. I’m willing to try the food, and maybe because it is from a different culture I’ll like it. Some of my peers have also said that they have bigger appetites or like a specific food that we are going to have so they would eat it. Besides not being with my family, being worried about the food, and a couple other silly things, I am going into this trip with an open mind and excited for what is in store.

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    1. It was very interesting hearing about your apprehensions, being as though some of mine are the exact same. Nice to know someone feels the same way about going on the trip.

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    2. I relate to a lot of this also! The plane, being away from home, and the food are all fears of mine as well. It will be very different, but it's nothing we can't handle. As long as we all work together and help one another we will be just fine!

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  7. Historic Moment in Costa Rican History

    From 2010-2014 Costa Rica had the first female president, Laura Chinchilla. Chinchilla is a political scientist who graduated from the Universidad of Costa Rica. She is married to Jose Rico and has one son. Chinchilla ran for president when she was 50 years old. She won the election with 46.7% of the vote before the two other candidates dropped out of the race because the next runner up was 20% behind her. Chinchilla was elected by the people for her stances on fiscal reforms and ecotourism. While running for president her promises were to increase spending for law enforcement and education, to combat illicit drug trafficking and to create jobs in environmentally friendly and technological companies. While running for president Chinchilla made it clear she is anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage, like the rest of the country. She is not new to the political scene; she used to be the vice president but then stopped two years before her term to start running. Before she was president she was also involved in Project Advisory Committee of Civil Society and Public Safety, the Central American Dialogue Foundation Arias for Peace and Human Progress, and the Foundation for Peace and Democracy (FUNPADEM). According to some polls her presidency was the least popular in recent history.

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    1. I think it's really interesting Costa Rica has already had a female president. Who was Laura's opponents while he ran? Why was her presidency one of the least popular?

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    2. I find it to be absurd that this woman is against a woman's right to choose and an individual's right to marry and love who they please.

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  8. What is a team player?

    A team player is someone who helps their team the entire time in any way they can. A team player should demonstrate leadership and perseverance no matter what the activity is. A team player also should be asking their group mates if they need help with what they’re doing and try to make the worker easier and more efficient for their group members. Our group might be assigned to clean up a road or field that is very essential to the community. A team player should try their best to work the entire time. Another service job we might have to do is to make cement mix to build foundations for people’s homes.

    A team player would also do their best to make sure everyone is getting along. If everyone gets along, the work will be completed more efficiently and well done. If people dislike each other, they might not work as hard or collaborative with the people in their group which could ruin the whole job. Rules that every member should follow are, to respect the way others do things, work an equal amount as everyone else, and to not complain or be annoyed by the work they’re asked to do. Each group member should also try and motivate each other so that way people are engaged and continue to work together. It is important that while assisting the Costa Ricans with their community, that we do things the way they ask us to. This shows them a sign of respect and it demonstrates that we’re there to help them in any way they ask. “When in Costa Rica, do as the Ticos do”.

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    1. Great description of a team player! This is such an amazing opportunity to learn one of the most important life skills there is. Not only in your job but being part of a family. Being a team player is very important. Very proud of you Jeremy!

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  9. Tortuga Island

    One of the places that we will be visiting is Tortuga Island or Turtle Island. It is located at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula which is about a one and a half hour boat ride from Manuel National Park, where we will have been the previous day. This is the last place we will be going before our journey back to the states and it is just a day of fun at the beach. Turtle Island gets its name because of its shape which resembles a turtle. Animals such as scarlet macaws, monkeys, and peccaries can be found on the island. During the day we will lie on white sandy beaches, swim in bright blue waters and observe the tall swaying palm trees. We also have a wide selection of activities to enjoy such as, hiking, swimming, volleyball and even snorkeling. Snorkeling is the main attraction on Tortuga Island, where we will expect to see angelfish, parrotfish, sea anemone, starfish, damsels, gobies and puffer fish, white tip reef sharks, yellowtails, grunt, spotted eagle rays, octopi, frog fish and many different species of eels. This should be an exciting experience for the team and a great way to end our trip

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    1. Tortuga island sounds like it is going to be very relaxing and fun.

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    2. What a great way to end your triphone! Sounds so exciting!

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  10. Independence Day In Costa Rica

    Before Costa Rica was an independent country, it was part of Spain. After Spain was defeated by Costa Rica, it was granted independence on September 15th in 1821.Soon after they became independent, a dispute occurred over whether Costa Rica should be a confederation or join independent Mexico. Costa Rica decided to remain independent and on December of 1821, Costa Rica celebrated its first election.

    On the eve of Independence Day, they celebrate by lighting the Independence Torch – a symbol of freedom. At 6:00 pm the TV stations and radio stations broadcast the national anthem for the country to listen and sing along to. After the anthem is over, the Faroles Parade begins. People make homemade lanterns to symbolize the original Freedom Torch. The Freedom Torch is a symbol because when Costa Rica gained independence a woman, Dolores Bedoya, used a torch to motivate her neighbors to celebrate the freedom. A torch is lit on the 9th of the month in Guatemala and it travels through many Central American regions. The torch is dropped off in Cartago, Costa Rica.

    Children dress in traditional clothes and perform, and then the fireworks begin. The next day, the 15th, other parades take place. School bands perform and children dress in traditional clothing and dance to the beat of the music. Costa Ricans sit and stand along the side walk to watch. The parade is normally peaceful, friendly, and very family oriented. Only few people work since it’s a day of celebration. Typically there are stands along the side walk that sell food like chicken and rice, black beans and rice, and other traditional foods. It’s truly a day to remember their heritage and how far they’ve come as an independent nation.

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  11. Ecotourism is when a group of people or individuals travel to a country or different area to see how the environment and communities are being affected by the actions of people and give a helping hand to help out the community. In Costa Rica we will be visiting the community of La Carpio and help build roads or houses. We will also be building friendships while experiencing Costa Rican culture. In the rain forest we are stopping at Quebrada Arroyo village. While there we will experience the beautiful scenery and what nature has to offer us. In the rain forest we will help restore it back to its natural beauty. We will encounter animals, close and far and sounds of the rain forest that can stretch across the forest.

    Ecotourism helps Costa Rica both environmentally and economically. Ecotourism helps Costa Rica’s environment by drawing attention from the rest of the world to spread importance of keeping the environment clean for people and the earth. Helping Costa Rica stay clean and fix any problems will help animals stay strong and not face extinction. Ecotourism will help create more jobs and opportunities for Costa Ricans and look at creating more efficient ways to keep the environment and economy stable. Ecotourism will not only help Costa Rica but also set examples for other countries across the world.

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    1. Ecotourism has really done wonders for Costa Rica. It's not only helping the environment, but it's also helping the people economically.

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    2. As long as you do your best and really take everything in.. realize that they are happy with what they have.....

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  12. Ecotourism is tourism directed towards exotic places that are often threatened especially to support wildlife. Basically it is tourists coming to natural reserve areas and helping to reserve nature and help wildlife. We are going to be a rain forest that not many people have been to. We are not going to damage the rain forest and be cautious with what we do in the Costa Rica as to not disturb wildlife. We will help the rain forest with whatever is needed to be done to protect it. We will help plant indigenous plants in the rain forest. Different plants will grow from other places to make the forest better. We are also going to maintain the forest so that other people will not chop down the trees. Aside from that we will not do anything to the wildlife, and leave them in their habitats. Ecotourism helps Costa Rica both environmentally and economically. It helps economically by Costa Rican people will not have to spend as much money to fix the rain forest if it were damaged. Ecotourism is beneficial to save money and preserve the wildlife. The only money they would have to spend is on things that need to be done in the forest such as having plants from different places.

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  13. 1963-1965: Eruption of Costa Rica's Irazú volcano.

    On March 13, 1963, the Irazú volcano erupted with a combination of ash and debris. Starting off as a series of explosions releasing ash and varying sizes of debris, it eventually settled to alternating between periods of explosive eruptions and quiet steam emissions. These emissions lasted until 1965, causing large amounts of ash and other sediments to be sent flying into the air. The eruption also caused an eruption column that was 8km high and lasted for 4 minutes. The ash eruptions would occasionally produce lightning and columns rising hundreds of meters high, but only one rose to an 8km height. At one point, the magma from the volcano rose to about 100 meters from its peak, which would have been catastrophic to the area if it left the peak. Ash was deposited westward, traveling all the way past San Jose, traveling in total about 24km. This ash fall severely damaged dairy, vegetable, and coffee farms. The ash also caused many problems for the daily lives of those that lived in the affected cities, causing large amounts of destruction and loss of life. The collection of the ash also caused much runoff from the ash-covered slopes of mountains and other areas, which caused floods, mudflows, and landslides. These mudflows destroyed over 400 homes and factories and also caused the death of 20 people. This eruption was a dramatic part of Costa Rica's history and shows the dangers of the volcanoes that lie there.

    Recently there have been eruptions of the Turrialba Volcano. The eruptions occurred December 29, 2016. The volcano erupted three times, each within a 12 hour period. The second of these eruptions created an ash column that was 300 meters tall. These eruptions have caused ash plumes of around 500 meters, which were pushed due to strong winds to nearby towns and cities. These volcanoes are a serious issue and are constantly monitored by Costa Rican authorities to ensure the locals’ safety.

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  14. Team Player
    A team player is someone who shows full commitment and dedication to the task at hand and does anything they can to both better the experience for everyone and help others pull through. Good team players are always ready to adapt to situations and new environments at any given time, and demonstrate good communication when getting the word out to others about changes. Some good attributes to have as a team leader are honesty, endurance, commitment, and trustworthiness. It is always important for a team player to be honest with their team. They keep no secrets and fill everyone in on what is going on. Endurance is also a good attribute to have because a team player has to set a good example for their team which means if they are working, the team player cannot set a bad example and just give up. They need to be able to endure things to pull through and get the job done. Some service work we may be doing in Costa Rica could be paving roads and sidewalks. Each team member is going to be required to work to their fullest ability and not give up when things get hard. Digging up the roads and laying pavement will be difficult and challenging, but being a team player and not giving up will help others through it. One thing that might prevent the group from achieving these goals is if people decide to give up or not work as hard as they can because it will make it even harder on those who are actually doing their most and acting like team players. Another example of service work we may engage in would be painting fences or benches. As long as the team has good communication and endurance, this should be a simple task that will show we are not only team players, but team leaders as well.

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    1. You know a lot about what it takes to be a good team player. In Costa Rica we will all be working as a team so knowing this will be beneficial to everyone!!

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    2. My youngest, all grown up. You make us so proud Mike.

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  15. "Working as a Team"
    A team player is someone who puts in good effort, while working in a group. Team players work as hard as they can while also staying on task. We are all going to have to take these attributes to Costa Rica with us. During our service work, it’s important that each person works as a team player. For example, if we’re building a road so the residents can own their home, there’s certain expectations everyone should be following. Each person should try their hardest to do an equal amount of work, get along, and make sure you get the job done while working as a group. This might mean that one person will lay the concrete, while another person flattens it out.

    Splitting up tasks will be more helpful so that everyone is working on something. If one person isn’t doing anything, it’s going to stop the group from achieving our goal. We need everyone to be working together, each as a team player.

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  16. Ecotourism in Costa Rica

    Ecotourism helps provide awareness to exotic, often threatened, natural environments, through conservation efforts. It is currently the fastest growing sector of tourism industry. The idea of ecotourism is to preserve a nation’s natural resources while profiting from them. Costa Rica is known as the most bio-diverse region of the world. Costa Rica is divided into 20 natural parks, 8 biological reserves, and many other protected areas that draw large numbers of ecotourism lovers. Eco tourists that travel to Costa Rica partake in activities including bird watching, canopy tours, horseback riding, hiking the mountainous paths, and many more.

    Since the introduction of ecotourism in 1964, Costa Rican tourism profits have been on the rise. Until 2004, the deforestation rates in the country were also on a rise. From 2004 on, the rate of deforestation has decreased more and more each year. Costa Rica has been working very hard to stop illegal logging and clearing of forests to be used for agricultural land. This shows that ecotourism has provided the country aid in conserving forested areas that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do. Activities like bird watching and hiking utilize rain forest area providing a reason for these lands not to be taken over by agriculture. The lowering of deforestation rates is one of many ways that ecotourism profits have helped the conservation of the natural Costa Rican environment.

    The City Charter High School Costa Rica team will be participating in a few activities to help preserve the natural environment. One thing we will do is plant indigenous plants in the rain forest to contribute to re-foresting. A few other things we will embark on are hiking through the rainforest in Quebrada Arroyo, going on a canopy tour in Manuel Antonio National Park, and going on a Tortuga Island cruise.

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    1. It is great thing that ecotourism is around!!! Keep up the good work!!!

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  17. The Independence of Costa Rica
    By Jesse DesMuke

    In 1502 Christopher Columbus the famous explorer for 'discovering' the Americas, visited a part of Central America, and named it Costa Rica or the "Rich Coast." From 1540 to 1821 Costa was part of the vice-royalty of New Spain. Almost all of Central America at that time was under Spain rule. However On September 15, 1821 after Spain’s defeat in the Mexican War of Independence, authorities in Guatemala declared the independence of all Central America ending 281 years of Spanish reign. Soon after, a civil war broke out in Costa Rica over the future of the country, with two factions forming. The two factions were the Imperialists who were in favor of joining the Mexican Empire, and the Republicans who sought full independence. The war was won by the Republicans, and as a result, in 1823, the city of Cartago lost its status as the capital, and San Jose became the new capital of Costa Rica.

    Costa Rica participated in creating the United Province of Central America which compiled Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Los Altos, and Mosquito Coast. Costa Rica stayed with the federation for only five years because in 1838 the Federation pretty much ceased to properly function; Nicaragua separated from the federation, followed by Honduras and Costa Rica. Due to the far distances and poor communication between the capital Guatemala City and Costa Rica, the population in Costa Rica had little allegiance to the federal government in Guatemala. Costa Rica officially claimed full independence in 1838. To this day, Costa Ricans celebrate September 15 as their independence day.

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    1. Excellent piece of history. Thanks Jesse for teaching me about it.

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  18. Easter in Costa Rica is usually celebrated from April 9th through the 15th, the week before Easter. There are many religious traditions practiced during this holiday. Easter in Costa Rica is also called “Holy Week”. During this time of the year it’s all about the worshiping the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Seventy five percent of the country is catholic so during this Holy Week most Costa Ricans have the whole week off. People make special dishes and plan beach vocations days before that special Holy Week. Good Friday and Easter Sunday are the most important days out of the whole week because there are parades and celebrations. Some participants in the parades play the roles of Jesus, Mary, and Roman Soldiers. The people who do not participate in these festive events go away for the week. It is the busiest time of the year for travel and resort areas. All businesses and banks are closed that Thursday and Friday. There is also very limited public transportation. During Easter Week, alcoholic beverages are not sold on Thursday and Friday, most Costa Ricans stock up before the liquor gets locked up. City High one time went to Costa Rica during this Easter Week, which was a challenge because the roads and beaches were very crowded.

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  19. Apprehensions
    By William Haden

    Even though this is an amazing trip, there a few things that I'm worried about happening while I’m in Costa Rica. One thing that will throw my concentration off will be my fear of spiders. The reason I’m going to have a problem with spiders is because I have arachnophobia and this will make me distracted if I see something like a Daddy Longlegs spider while I’m doing my service work in Costa Rica . I will try to focus on the task at hand while looking to my teammates for help if I lose my concentration during working just because one banana spider was found. Another fear I have to face while in Costa Rica is not being able to communicate with the Ticos (Costa Ricans) while in their community. I feel that I won’t be able to learn to have a conversation with the people when they do nice things for me so I’m going to have to improve on my Spanish. Both of these fears I have for the trip will not stop me from enjoying my time in Costa Rica since I’m just going to have to look for my teammates for help and also study my Spanish more so that I can at the very least have a basic conversation with the Ticos in their homes. I admit I will still have these fears while in Costa Rica I expect to have a great time there. The time that I am spending around with the people and the amazing environment they have will be a great distraction for me along with helping me conquer my fears if I encounter them.

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    1. I also have a fear of not being able to talk to the Ticos. I want to be able to communicate properly with them. Even if it is hard, I'm sure they will appreciate use trying.

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  20. Ecotourism

    Ecotourism is defined as “environmentally responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” People who are involved in ecotourism want to raise awareness about an environment and culture, minimize human impact on the environment, and help conserve cultural diversity. Costa Rica is known as a top ecotourism destination in the Western hemisphere because of its sandy beaches and biodiverse rainforests. Ecotourism is one of the major activities of the tourism industry in Costa Rica. It is responsible for employment to many people and has contributed to a reduction of poverty. Ecotourism brings in about 1 million visitor annually and $1 billion a year. Because Costa Rica is very biodiverse, Costa Rica’s conservation was expanded to protect 70 areas and national parks covering 26% of the nation.

    Our trips to Quebrada Arroyo and Manuel Antonio National park are considered ecotourism. Manuel Antonio National Park is home to over two hundred species of plants and animals and has been viewed as a model for ecotourism and sustainable development. Seeing the vast amount of plants and animals and taking a hike through the rainforest are some of the activities we will be doing. While in the rainforest we will be doing a bit of conservation work by planting indigenous plants. We will also be traveling to Poás Volcano National Park, which is one of the county’s main tourist attractions.

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  21. A team player is someone who works well in a group. A team player is a person who can help another person achieve their goals faster. Due to the fact we will be working together often, teamwork is even more of a priority. We will be spending a lot of time together so we will get comfortable with each other and know what strengths and weaknesses each other have. Knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses will help us work better together. We will be working as a team in La Carpio, and rainforest named Quebrada Arroyo.

    In La Carpio we might be paving a street so that residents can apply for a title for their home. In the rainforest Quebrada Arroyo might plant indigenous plants, and maintain walking trails by raking. To accomplish these goals we will need to work effectively and be able to complete the tasks assigned to us. Working as a team, team members can challenge their apprehensions head on.

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    1. Hey Hector! I can't wait to be a team player and work together to help the community of La Carpio! Since we'll be spending so much time together, hopefully we all can be comfortable around one another.

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  22. My Apprehensions

    In Costa Rica, I am going to participate in many cultural and learning experiences, and while I am excited for the trip, I also have some worries. My main worry is the language barrier. The reason this worries me is because I am worried that I won’t know enough Spanish to communicate with others and effectively understand everything that I need to do while in Costa Rica. Very little English is spoken in Costa Rica, so it will be very difficult to break past the language barrier. This can be prevented is by learning more Spanish. This can be done through websites like Duolingo, practicing my Spanish with family members who know the language, and through any opportunities that come up in the future.

    Another apprehension that I have is personal fears. I have a slight fear for both heights and insects. These may become problematic for when we go to Costa Rica due to the rainforest having many tall places and lots of insects that live in the rainforests. There is no better way to solve these fears than to experience things that relate to them like trying explore nature more so I can gain respect for these insects and to try to and solve my issue of heights by simply not looking down. I am still very excited that I get to go on these trips, and I hope that my apprehensions don’t get in the way of the trip and the overall experience.

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  23. Laura Chinchilla First Women President

    Laura Chinchilla was born on March 28th 1959. She was the oldest of four children so she had a lot of responsibilities in her home. She attended The University of Costa Rica for her bachelor’s degree and Georgetown University for her master’s degree. Before her term as the first female president of Costa Rica she did extensive work in many organizations and agencies. She conducted assessments for U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), planned and maintained projects on judicial reform for the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP), and advised the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on police reforms. She has traveled the world giving lectures and writing many books, monographs, and articles on issues of public safety, police reform, and the administration of justice.

    From 2002-2006 she served a term in Costa Rica’s Legislative Assemble and represented the province of San Jose which is where we will be. In 2006 she was elected Vice President and the Minister of Justice. Finally in 2010 she became the first female Costa Rican President. As president she was praised for handling a major dispute with Nicaragua and also emphasizing the importance of ecotourism. But she also got some backlash for being unable to impose tax reform and there were speculations about government corruption while she was in office. She ended her term in 2010 with more accomplishments than setbacks. Other than her political and economic influence on Costa Rica I decided to write about Laura Chinchilla because she socially influenced Costa Rica greatly by being a woman. After we learned about gender roles in Costa Rica, her being a women in power changed many paradigms, making a huge impact on their culture.

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    1. Wow She seems like a great and influential women!!!!

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  24. Trip Apprehensions-
    Some of the apprehensions that I have about the upcoming service expedition is encountering new insects, and the culture shock. Encountering a big insect is a apprehension for me because I dislike them. I imagine there will be a lot of insects especially in the rain forest. I plan on avoiding the insects as much as possible when I can. I don’t want to let this apprehension stop me from trying new things so I am willing to face this and get the most out of my trip.

    Culture shock is the second apprehension I am concerned about. Everything there will be new to me and I’m a little nervous about how I will handle it. I’ve been trying to work on my Spanish because I think it will be very useful to know while I’m there and also because I’m sure the Ticos will appreciate that I know some of their native language. The daily routines, the food, and the other cultural experiences will take some time to get used to but I believe I’ll handle it well and soon adjust to it. I will overcome these apprehensions by practicing my Spanish, and trying to include Costa Ricans foods into my diet now. Acknowledging my apprehensions will help me get the most out of the trip.

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    1. I am sure that the Ticos will appreciate you speaking some Spanish to them. Overcoming those apprehension is important which hopefully you will.

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  25. Poás Volcano
    By Jesse DesMuke

    The active Poás Volcano is located in Costa Rica, and is 8,885 ft high. Since 1828, this volcano has erupted 39 times. The last major eruption was in 1910 when nearly a million tons of ash was ejected along with an immense column of smoke and steam. There have been recent cases of eruptions such as in 2009 when Poás Volcano erupted because it was near the epicenter of an earthquake that killed at least 40 people. On February 25, 2014 a webcam from the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) captured the moment of a dark cloud exploding 1,000 feet in the air from a huge crater of Poás Volcano.

    The volcano has two crater lakes near the summit. The Northern lake is named Lacuna Cilientele, which translates to Hot Lagoon. The lake is one of the world’s most acidic lakes, and because of that it supports no aquatic life. The bottom of the lake is covered in a layer of sulfur. Acid gases can create acid rain and acid fog that causes damages to the surrounding ecosystems and can irritate eyes and lungs. The Southern lake is named Lake Botos, and it fills an inactive crater which is believed to have erupted in 7500 BC. This lake is cold and clear.

    Despite its eruptions, Poás Volcano is one of the major attractions in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica. The Journey to Poás Volcano from San José is roughly two hours.

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  26. What is a team player?

    If you Google “team player,” it is defined as a person who plays or works well as a member of a team or group.” A team player actively listens and participates with the group, supports and respects others, and is willing to compromise. With them, there can’t be any “I” in “team.” Teams have different people bringing different strengths and weaknesses. Team members have to compromise to accomplish the tasks to the best of their ability.

    Past service work has included paving roads in La Carpio which creates a safer surface for children to play on, and a more hygienic area for the people living there. A paved road also provides an opportunity for the citizens to apply for a title to their property. Another service work will occur in Quebrada Arroyo Rainforest. In the rainforest, previous groups have repainted observation desks, fixed eroded trails, and raked them as well. They have also put in hand rails for people who are using the trails, and planted indigenous plants in the rainforest to reproduce on their own creating beautiful scenery over time.

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  27. Costa Rica's Six-Week Civil War

    On February 8th, 1948, the Costa Rican general election for president was held. Otilio Ulate of the Social Democratic Party defeated Rafael Calderon Guardia of the National Republican Party. It was the first time in decades that a Social Democratic president would enter office. The results were heavily contested by the National Republicans and the sitting president, Teodora Picado. They claimed that the results were falsified and that they wanted a recount. Additionally, conspirators also burned half of the ballots. As a result, Picado determined that the results were invalid and refused to step down from office. The results were later annulled by Congress on March 1, 1948.

    The annulment started a civil war between the followers of Otilio Ulate and the followers of Guardia Calderon. The war had been the result of eight years of electoral fraud, corruption, and nepotism. Colonel Jose "Pepe" Figueres Ferrer, a coffee farmer, led Ulate’s followers in a group known as The Caribbean Legion. His plan for a revolution had been in the works for some time prior to the 1948 election, making him a perfect candidate to take the helm of the Social Democratic side. Calderon’s forces consisted of government troops and communists. The Nicaraguan president, Anastasio Somoza, and the Honduran president, Tiburcio Carias Andino, had even helped the Costa Rican government efforts by sending monetary and resource aid.

    The civil war lasted a total of 6 weeks before ending on April 28, 1948, after Figueres took over San Jose and removed the government. Picado had surrendered and democracy was reaffirmed in Costa Rica’s politics. On May 8, 1948, Figueres put a military junta in place for 18 months in addition to new social reforms. The six-week civil war was the bloodiest events in Costa Rican history since two thousand people lost their lives because of it.

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  28. A team player is someone who works well in a group, someone who won’t give up when the task gets hard and always motivated. A team player helps the group come together as one, listens to problems and works them out, supports and respects all team members. An example of a team player is a captain of a sports team that’s leads the team but this doesn’t mean only a captain can be a team player. Anybody can be a team player as long as they got hope and heart. The service work we are doing in Costa Rica is unknown at this time but I know in past City High service expeditions they have helped pave roads, build houses, fix water lines, and paint houses.

    For service work team members will be given roles which can vary. If the objective is painting a house then some people can paint, sand and get the paint ready. Each member will work, which will be shared equally. The individual strengths and weaknesses of each member will determine how work is assigned. We will learn how to use new tools and tasks. A successful team is when everybody works together and completes the task.

    Messing around and not acting like a team can hold back a team from reaching their goals. If a member is upset or angry the team should talk it out to solve the problem. Having fun while working is great but we have to make sure we complete all tasks efficiently. Each member is a team player and we will enjoy ourselves in Costa Rica.

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  29. Timeline of Costa Rica (Costa Rica Gaining its independence)

    1838 - Costa Rica becomes fully independent: Costa Rica at one time was a colony of Spain; they have not always been an independent country. After Spain was defeated by Costa Rica in the Costa Rican Civil War, it was granted independence on the 15th of September in the year 1821. Their independence was won 645 years after the European discovery of the Americas. Soon after Costa Rica became independent, a large dispute occurred over whether Costa Rica should be a confederation country or become allies with Mexico. Costa Rica decided to remain independent and in December of 1821 Costa Rica celebrated their first democratic election. Costa Rica now celebrates its independence on December 15th. They do so by having patriotic parades, officially hoisting the country’s flag and enjoying singing, dancing and other preforming arts throughout the country.

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  30. Costa Rica Timeline- Introduction of banana cultivation and United Fruit Company in Costa Rica

    Minor Cooper Keith was an American businessman who started the United Fruit Company in 1899. He was born in New York City on January 19th, 1848, was educated in private schools, and ran his own cattle ranch. When his uncle invited him to go to Costa Rica to build a railroad in 1871, he excitedly accepted and went to Costa Rica. While they built this railroad, many struggles arose including hard working conditions and hunger. To combat the hunger and try to make some extra money, he planted banana trees along the railroad. Thousands of workers died trying to complete the railroad and the funding for it didn’t always come through. He used some of his own personal money to complete the railroad, and once it was complete not enough people were riding the train to cover the operating costs. Because of this, Keith was in a great need of money, so he went back to the banana trees he had planted while building the railroad and decided to transport them to port so he could export and sell them to make his money back.

    Once Keith realized that his banana business was doing well, he decided to start expanding. He owned three banana export companies by 1883. By 1890, the profits he was making from the banana companies were outweighing his profits from the train. After doing a lot of business with companies in the United States and overseas, he officially created the United Fruit Company on March 30th, 1899. As his company continued to grow, he started expanding across Central America to countries like Guatemala and Mexico. As his banana business grew, he also started expanding his railroads across Central America as well. By doing this, he helped to expand his businesses all throughout Central America. When he died on June 14th, 1929, he was known as one of the most influential citizens of the United States in Central America.

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  31. In every country you would expect to find both similarities and differences in their family culture. Although Costa Ricans have similar family values as Americans, but there are still some differences. For example in Costa Rica families are very close to each other. Most commonly you will see those grandparents, parents, and their children all live in one house together. The children that live in the house with their parents and grandparents often live there until they are married and can afford to move out. Since families live together, it is expected that all family members help out. For example the older siblings will care after younger siblings or do chores to help their grandparents.

    Another commonality in Costa Rica is marriage which is one of if not the most common way to start a family for people in Costa Rica. People state that in Costa Rica families were usually started at a families are not being started later in life. Now that more women in Costa Rica are getting higher education, many of them are delaying. Family life in Costa Rica is defiantly a valid part of their culture.

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  32. Ecotourism in Costa Rica

    Ecotourism in Costa Rica is a key activity for many. In the early 1990’s, Costa Rica became a model for ecotourism. In Costa Rica and many other developing nations, ecotourism is a way to bring in money from travelers.

    While in Costa Rica, we will be spending time in the rainforest. We’ll be staying at an eco-hotel. This means that the hotel will be environmental friendly and have limited impact on the environment. These hotels help protect indigenous animal and plant life. For example, these hotels have no smoking zones, use grey-water recycling systems which use recycled water that it has collected. After collecting that water, it slowly puts it back into the environment. Some other things that qualify them as ecofriendly is they serve locally grown food and use ecofriendly vehicles. These initiatives help keep the environment clean and attract ecofriendly tourists.

    Ecotourism is helping Costa Rica in many ways. Not only is it protecting the environment but it’s helping Costa Rica economically. In 2012, Costa Rica made about $2.4 million from ecotourism. It is bringing in more money than bananas, pineapples, and coffee sales do in a year. Ecotourism has helped spur economic growth by 4.7% annually. To maintain this economic growth, twenty-five percent of the land is under protective status.

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  33. Apprehensions for Costa Rica

    An apprehension I have about going to Costa Rica is how quickly my meals are going to be changing. I am nervous about the foods there because I am a very picky person who eats pretty straight forward meals. In Costa Rica they eat primarily rice, beans, and chicken. A strategy I am going to use to overcome this apprehension is to try and get ahold of some hot sauce while I’m down there and just drown my food in it so I can eat it easier. Also I am going to just try to accept a different type of lifestyle when it comes to eating to help me understand Costa Rican life.

    Another apprehension I have about this trip to Costa Rica is not being able to speak fluent Spanish. It worries me because I do not want to do or say something that is either offensive or negative in a way toward the Costa Ricans. This also worries me because I feel like this is going to take away from my experience and learning since I cannot communicate well with the locals. A way I will try to avoid this apprehension is by using sites such as Duolingo to help me learn more Spanish before arriving. Another apprehension I have is when the trip is over. I feel like I am really going to like it down in Costa Rica. With that being said, when we have to leave I don’t really know if I will be happy to be coming home or be sad that I am leaving. I will try to overcome this by taking advantage of everything I can while I am in Costa Rica so I have no regrets upon returning home. In the end I think this trip is going to be full of surprises and be one of the greatest learning opportunities to ever be presented to me so I will try my best to make the most of it!

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    1. Don't worry about your Spanish!! It will be appreciated that you tried!!!! Keep up the good work!!!!!!!

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  34. Ecotourism

    Many people visit Costa Rica to participate in ecotourism. Ecotourism is tourism divided towards threatened natural environments especially to support conversation efforts. Manual Antonio National Park and Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve are examples of Ecotourism in Costa Rica because they are sustainable developments. Both of these parks have a variety of animals and plants. Manual Antonio Park has 109 species and 184 birds with 12 isles where dolphins and whales can be observed when they are migrating. Ecotourism can help Costa Rica environmentally because it is seen as a way to preserve natural areas. In 1970 the Costa Rica National Park was founded thus it protects seventy areas of prime ecological diversity. Today many tourists still pay a visit to the places. Ecotourism is also very beneficial to the economy. Tourists are paying to get in and stay at resorts to enjoy hikes and days at the beach.

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  35. Manuel Antonio National Park

    While looking at the trip itinerary, the destination that we will be attending is a national park on the central pacific coast named Manuel Antonio Park. The park turns out to be the smallest national park in all of Costa Rica while still having a vast array of tropical plants and animals like the three-toed sloths and endangered white-faced capuchin monkeys. While being created in 1972 it’s has managed to become one of biodiverse national parks on earth. The park is only about 170 km away from San Jose which is only 3 hours away from the city. The parks route from San Jose is on a road that is right in the mountains surrounding the amazing rainforest. Many who are worried about the sun in rainforest but the tree top canopy naturally covers up the sun in most areas .So the naturally beautiful park is one part of the trip I can’t wait to visit while in Costa Rica.

    The national park has sanded beaches surrounded by scattered rocks. The coral reefs are right below the clear water. The clear water also allows you to see the vast variety of fish in the sea. There is well-marked system of trails for people to explore the rainforest and see the animals along the way. This national park is one of the places we will be visiting on our trip to Costa Rica so I’m looking forward to experiencing this natural treasure.

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  36. “Apprehensions”

    Apprehensions are fears or anxiety that you have because you feel that something bad is going to happen in certain types of situations. In Costa Rica, I am going to face a few apprehensions along the way. One is going to be the food that they have there. I’m a very picky person, and I don’t eat a lot of different foods. This worries me because this is a completely different culture of food that I will have to eat, that I have also never tried before, so I’m afraid I won’t like it. I know that other people feel that way too, so we can overcome it as a team. To overcome this fear, I plan to try new things even if I’m worried about it. I won’t be able to get other food, so I’ll have to eat what’s provided to me. Either way, I am going to try everything, because I will be hungry so I’ll have to eat. I may even find that I like it!

    Another apprehension that I am going to have on this trip is the flights we have to take there and back. I’ve never been on an airplane before, so there are a lot of things that worry me about getting on one. My main fear is that something bad is going to happen to the plane. I always see news about plane crashes or other things happening to them, which makes me very scared. Security is much more stringent now and there are safe plan rides almost every hour, which will help me be less nervous. To overcome this fear, I am going to look on the positive side of things. Worrying to much is going to take away from the experience that I am going to have, which I don’t want to happen. I want to enjoy every moment that I’m on this trip, and I’ll do so by staying positive and worrying less.

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  37. Katie Roberto
    Blog Post #2

    One of our destinations in Costa Rica is to the community of La Carpio which is in San Jose. The majority of people living in La Carpio are Nicaraguan refugees. The community is located in between two rivers and is 296 square kilometers. La Carpio’s population is about 36,000 people and the community itself began in the 1990s. When La Carpio was first established a lot of Nicaraguan refugees and poor families quickly filled up the space, and continue to live here because this is what they can afford.
    Overpopulation is a problem La Carpio faces and it is harmful to the families who have to move into hazardous zones there. The living conditions in La Carpio are poor. The houses in La Carpio are shacks with dirt floors. The community has a lot of problems with poverty and violence, and over half of the population lives under the poverty line. La Carpio doesn’t have much formal employment, meaning that people are either unemployed or they leave La Carpio for work.
    The land that La Carpio was built on is owned by the government making the residents more or less squatters with the fear that their homes could be demolished at any time. One of the other problems with La Carpio is that there is a landfill that receives waste daily. The people of Costa Rica see these refugees as outsiders. There is not much help offered to the residents of La Carpio because of stereotypes. The stereotypes about La Carpio being a place full of crime is what keeps them from getting the help they need.

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  38. Family Values in Costa Rica

    Compared to family life in North America, Costa Rican families are much closer knit. Costa Ricans tend to spend much more time with their extended families. Often times, they live with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Religion, most usually Catholicism, often causes them to spend much more time with their family, especially on weekends. It is not abnormal for a young person to live at home for a long time, sometimes even into their 30s and 40s. It is seen negatively if the child moves away from home until marriage or other necessary reasons like going to university or having poor family relationships. Although marriage remains the most traditional family type, single mothers that have never been married and divorce rates have been on a recent rise.

    The main desire of the average Cosa Rican is to find a good job and have a family. Men and women in families often have equal duties and rights but many women still are not treated as equals. There is still an undertone of “machismo” or male superiority in much of Latin America. This has started to change as females have made progress in gaining higher job titles and wages. For example, from 2010 to 2014, Laura Chinchilla served as Costa Rica’s first female president. Women are mostly still expected to be the homemaker and take care of the children. Overall, family is very valued in Costa Rica. Family supports each other through good times and bad. It is in general, a close knit society.

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  40. Costa Rica Packing List

    On February 20th we had a parent meeting to cover all the final things needed for our Costa Rica trip. During the meeting we talked about the dress code and what to pack for Costa Rica. The packing list included basic things like shirts, hiking boots and extra socks, but it also talked about what not to bring. One thing that we should not bring is anything that can be broken or lost. This can include expensive jewelry or clothes. Another thing not to bring is food. This very important because while in the rainforest. We don’t want any bugs getting into our things especially large one.

    We also learned what the most essential things to bring are. It is very important to bring two water bottles in order to stay hydrated and well enough to work hard. We also need to bring extra pairs of socks in case they get wet or sweaty. Since each day is going to be different in Costa Rica it is beneficial for all of us to plan what we are going to wear beforehand. Each outfit can be put in a Ziploc bag with an extra pair of socks and underwear. Not only will this save space but it is planning what we are going to wear and saving time. With all of these things in mind, packing for Costa Rica will not be stressful, and we can focus on the excitement that the trip will bring.

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  41. Packing Clothes for Costa Rica

    At the parent meeting, the teachers went over a thorough packing list of what to bring and what not to bring. We need to be able to pack enough clothes to wear while in Costa Rica, as well as bring other necessities and keep our luggage under 50lbs. We need to pack a lot of shirts – 5 for working, 2 or 3 for sleeping, 12 while we are there, and a hoodie. The pants seem to be a more difficult task, especially for the ladies. We need 2 or 3 pairs of loose fitting pants for working. It has been suggested that khaki’s and cargo type pants work well. Yoga pants are okay for ladies, as long as their behind is covered, but we cannot work in jeans. We may bring 3-4 pairs of jeans for when we aren’t working. We’ll be playing a game of soccer against some of the Costa Ricans, so sports shorts will be necessary for the game, and, of course, 2-3 pairs of shorts to sleep in. Shoes to bring include hiking boots, flats or nice sneakers, flip flops/water shoes, and 12 pairs of socks (maybe even more).

    Personally, I don’t plan on shopping for clothes for Costa Rica until the week before the trip. It has been said that when we go to the Rainforest, we can leave whatever clothes we don’t want and they will accept them as a donation. I love that idea. I plan on going to Wal-Mart and buying a bunch of t-shirts and yoga pants, and then leaving them behind. It is super cheap to buy them as they are only a couple dollars. I’ll have the satisfactory of knowing that someone got my t-shirt who needed it.

    It has also been suggested that when packing to roll your clothes rather than fold them. By rolling your clothes, it’ll create more room so you can fit more items. Another student suggested looking up a video on YouTube that shows how to fold one entire outfit together. I usually leave packing up to my mom, because I’m not very organized when it comes to trying to fit a certain amount of items into a certain amount of space.

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  42. Costa Rica is an environment most of us if not all haven’t been to before. In our last Costa Rica meeting we talked about items needed. The biggest clothing item for the trip we need is boots. They will protect our feet from any injury and help give ankle support. A smart thing to do is wear your boots on the plane to reduce the weight of our bags.

    On our arrival, we will tour the city then back to the hotel. I will stay in my clothes I wore and keep them on for the whole day without changing. Day two, we are going to Poas Volcano and the Cuban Embassy. One outfit would suit this day as well. Day three and four starts our service work and work clothes will be needed for both days.

    On the fifth day, we will be traveling to the rain forest to Quebrada Arroyo. One pair of clothes will be suitable. Day six and seven will be service work and one pair of work clothes will be needed and then one pair after to change into. On the eighth day we will be visiting Manuel Antonio National Park and need one set of clothes. The ninth day we are taking a cruise to Tortuga Island and one set of clothes will do but also a bathing suit. Day 10 is the final day we will be heading back home and I can wear clothes I wore to Costa Rica.

    Planning on how to pack clothes and what to bring is important. Rolling my shirts will help give more space in my bag. I plan to use work pants more than once and reuse any clean clothes. I will be packing extra underwear and socks so my feet stay dry. I will not pack unnecessary items for the trip.

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  43. Two Mental and Physical Discomforts

    One physical discomfort I might have during the trip will be the plane rides to and from Costa Rica. I haven’t been on a plane since I was little, so I don’t remember much about them. I do know that the trip will be about five hours combined flying to Costa Rica and about nine hours combined on the flights back. This is probably going to be a discomfort for me during the trip because I’ll be sitting for so long without moving around much. I know it won’t be a huge issue because I’m used to going on long road trips and I’ll either sleep or listen to music so it’ll go fast. Another physical discomfort I could experience during the trip is our sleeping conditions. I don’t know much about it yet so I can’t say for sure, but it is a possible discomfort I may have. I’m a very big guy so sometimes it can be hard to sleep in certain beds, especially if they’re smaller. Hopefully this shouldn’t be a problem for me and I’ll be able to sleep just as well as I do at home.

    One mental discomfort I might have during the trip is connecting and becoming close with my peers I don’t know so well, at least at first. Although we see each other in school, I don’t think that my peers and I will really get a good sense of each other until we go through this experience together. I don’t think it’ll be a problem, but it might be a little uncomfortable at first as we get to know each other. Once we do that, I know that the trip will be a lot of fun. Another possible mental discomfort could be the language barrier between our group and the Costa Ricans. We might have some troubles trying to communicate with them that could turn into some pretty awkward situations. Hopefully this won’t be too uncomfortable and it will not cause any big problems for us.

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  44. Packing:

    At the parent meeting on February 20th, we discussed a lot about what to pack and what to bring. We will be working and spending our time in hot conditions so it is best to pack correctly. The one thing that was emphasized was that we need to break in our hiking boots in so that on the trip we don’t get blisters. It was suggested that we wear our hiking boots for the trip there so that we save room in our suitcases. For the days we will be working we will need to bring our hiking boots, extra socks, two water bottles, two to three pairs of pants for working, work gloves and at least five shirts. For days we will not be working we should bring three to four pairs of non-work pants and at least 12 shirts. The pants cannot be jeans because they can get really hot and if wet, will take a long time to dry. We also need to bring at least two garbage bags for wet or dirty clothing.

    When packing, it is important to strategically organize your suit case. Rolling all of your clothes will save space and prevent your clothes from being wrinkled. When I pack, I am going to organize my clothes by purpose. All my working clothes will be in one section for easy access and my sleeping clothes will be at the opposite side so they will not get dirty. After adding clothes to your suit case, it is best to make sure that the weight does not go over fifty pounds.

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  45. Costa Rican Police Force
    By Jesse DesMuke

    Costa Rica does not have a military, and its security is maintained by multiple police forces. The largest police force is controlled by the Ministry of Public Safety, and is called “Fuerza Publica”. The other police and investigative forces are operated by the Judicial Branch, Ministry of Transportation, and Immigration. The “Fuerza Publica” or “Public Force” is a civilian police force. Its officers wear black and blue uniforms, and occasionally bulletproof vests with the word “POLICIA” on them.

    Another police force is the OIJ (Judicial police). The OIJ are a special group operated by the Judicial Branch. Their function is primarily to investigate, and they usually work undercover during search and seizure operations, or warrant enforcement.

    Next are the Transit police, who are operated by the Ministry of Transportation. Their sole purpose is to control traffic and monitor traffic violations. These police cannot assume functions of other police forces such as searching vehicles, homes, or demand migratory documents. If they do see the need to make an arrest, they must turn them over to regular police forces. Just as transit police cannot perform regular police duties, regular police cannot perform traffic duties. If a regular officer wants to arrest you for a traffic violation, there has to be a traffic officer present to fill out the paperwork.

    Another interesting force is the private guards and rent-a-cops. These are private security companies that who operate throughout the country. You can find anything from people armed with batons, to fully armed security forces carrying shotguns and assault rifles. These members are not considered police, and cannot have “Police” written on their uniform. These guards are only allowed to operate within the area they are protecting. They cannot stop vehicles or search anyone, but in an event of a crime they can hold someone until regular police arrive.

    Costa Rica also has the DIS which is their version of the FBI, and the Coast Guard who operate around ports and islands. The U.S. military assists with Costa Rican authorities around ports and at sea sometimes at intercepting drug traffickers.

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  46. Traveling can be fun because you know that you will be traveling to a different place, but it can also be bad because it can cause physical and mental discomfort. Discomforts can interfere with having a good time on the trip. Some physical discomforts I might endure are motion sickness and adapting to the weather. I get motion sickness a lot and when I do get it, it is hard for me to be comfortable with my surroundings and I don’t eat enough. This interferes a lot with my experience because I know that we will be traveling around often in vehicles, but I will find a way to deal with this discomfort. Another discomfort that I will be facing is trying to adapt to the weather because I don’t want to be out when temperatures are too high, and in Costa Rica we are going to be in weather that is hot and humid. Being in this type of weather makes me uncomfortable, but I will have to find a way to deal with it by taking walks during warmer temperatures so I can get used to it.

    Some mental discomforts that I will also face during my travel are homesickness, and anxiety. I will face homesickness because I will not be in my usual surrounding and with the usual people I see. I will have to start getting comfortable with the people who are going on this street so that I will not feel any discomfort with new faces around. I will at some point experience anxiety because I will be on my own during the trip and not have my parents around. I will be traveling with a group that I am starting to get comfortable with so maybe this won’t be such a big issue.

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  47. Education In Costa Rica:

    When it comes to education Cost Ricans value their literacy rate; they have a literacy rate of 97.8%. Costa Rica has a very well rounded education system. Compared to the United States, with female literacy rate Costa Rica has a rate of 96% compared to 99% literacy rate of females for the US. Canada’s literacy rate is 22.8% lower than Costa Rica. Costa Ricans truly believe that all people should be able to read and write; this is a basic human right and necessity.

    When it comes to schooling, Costa Rican children go to school for a total of 9 years; 6 years in primary school and 3 years in secondary school. The schooling in Costa Rica is both mandatory and free. Costa Rican students have a choice of going to college at one of the 6 universities in Costa Rica. Most schools run on a 7:30am-5:00pm schedule with a 2 hour lunch break. This is very different from American and Canadian schools; Costa Rican schools mimics a traditional Chinese school day. Reading and writing are a top priority of Costa Ricans and they take it very seriously.

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  49. Costa Rican Tech Industry

    Costa Rica has been expanding its tech industry through the encouragement of development from high-tech corporations across the globe. The country’s overall goal is to attract more tech companies to the country as a way to make Costa Rica known for more than just environmental tourism. They want to expand trade and increase economic liberalization in order to join the global market for trade. As a way to accomplish this goal, the Costa Rican government has been meeting with investors and companies to try and get them to invest more into the country. It is hoped that the corporations will help the country increase exports, improve the economic growth, amount of business opportunities, and amount of jobs and innovation. As a result of this strategic move, Costa Rica has managed to establish 12 free trade agreements with countries like the US, China, and the European Union. They’ve also been able to create over 200 manufacturing and life science firms in addition to many other firms. Two notable corporations are HP and Intel, who’ve set up shop in Costa Rica. From those companies, Costa Rica has been able to market 4,000 products to over 150 countries, making it one of the top countries to export computer software in Latin America.

    As mentioned prior, Intel is a major corporation invested in Costa Rica that had opened in 1997 but as a plant. The company includes 1,900 employees that work at the largest research center in the tech industry in Costa Rica. By 2014, Intel closed down the plant and opened up an excellent intelligence center for the design, prototyping, testing, and validation of integrated circuit/software solutions and computer hardware. It has become a seven time winner of the community service award in Costa Rica and had acquired the name, “Essential Costa Rica”, because it provides jobs, supports other industries, has made production linkages, has helped bring in foreign direct investments and the employees help with education, environment, and skill programs for the Costa Rica communities.

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  50. Immigration in Costa Rica

    Immigration is a situation all countries go through and Costa Rica experiences it as well. Immigrants are coming from places like Africa, Nicaragua, and other areas. Many people coming to Costa Rica are just passing through as they are trying to get to the United States. People from Nicaragua however, are there because they left their country which was going through harsh times during the Cold War.

    During the Cold War all of Central America was part of the conflict, however Costa Rica wasn’t. In Nicaragua, a group called the Sandinistas took over the country and gained control. The Civil War started increasing poverty levels and the distribution of income wasn’t equal. Along with these issues, the government was becoming the controlling power which caused. This caused political and social issues between Sandinista sympathizers and other groups. The issues caused protests, guerilla-warfare, and other violent acts to occur. There were many issues socially, economically, and politically for about ten years.

    Many Nicaraguans left and headed for places like Costa Rica where there wasn’t violence. Not only are they leaving for a safer place to live, but they are moving because the pay is much better, and there are more jobs. On top of these, the education and health care systems are excellent.

    As of right now, between 35,000 and 50,000 legal and illegal immigrants from Nicaragua live in Costa Rica. It’s more difficult for immigrants coming from Nicaragua to get documents to stay because most are too poor to prove they have financial stability. Officially in Costa Rica, you have to be working or have a visa to be there.

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  51. Ailments of Flying

    When flying, you will experience many physical and mental ailments, some can be prevented, which can help make flying a better experience overall. One of the physical ailments is when your ears pop, which occurs due to your ears adjusting to the atmospheric pressure of the plane. To prevent your ears from popping a good idea is to chew gum or swallow hard. This will help to prevent the near deafness you can experience when your ears pop, helping you hear things much clearer. Another ailment that will occur is jet lag. Jet lag occurs when you leave one time zone and enter another, causing your internal clock to be ahead or behind its usual cycle. While this cannot be prevented, an easy way to get rid of it is to have a good night of rest while you are in your new location. By not having jet lag you can enjoy more of your trip.

    One of the mental ailments that can occur is homesickness. This is caused from disconnect between someone’s traditional home setting and where they are at that moment. This can be prevented through interactions over the phone with loved ones while away, or by having a meal that you would usually have while at home. This allows you to enjoy your trip more instead of wishing you were home. Another mental ailment that can occur is the fear of flying, also known as aerophobia. This is a common phobia and is usually associated with fears that the plane will crash or that the plane will malfunction. This can be treated with either increased exposure to flying, or through certain medications. By treating this phobia, flying will be more tolerable and more enjoyable.

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  52. Immigration is the action of officially moving to a foreign country. In Costa Rica immigration is only 9% of the population of the 9%, 360,000 people are coming from local countries. Most of these people are being drawn in to build enterprises and tourist attractions. The other people are immigrants coming to Costa Rica. These include Europeans, Asians, and Nicaraguans. There more Europeans and Nicaraguans then there are Asians. Many of these people have moved to places like Costa Rica to get away from violence and to find employment. There are many more jobs for immigrants in Costa Rica compared to their homeland. Healthcare and education system help make a better living for the immigrants. Currently in Costa Rica there are 50,000 illegal immigrants. Many of the immigrants cannot get legal documents because they are poor and cam to be deported.

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