In June 2012 I had the opportunity to travel as a Media Guide from Campfire Creative with Walking Tree Travel to spend a month in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Fifteen high school students from Florida, New York, Arizona, Colorado and California gathered in Denver and flew into San Jose, Costa Rica to participate in a month-long culture and language immersion program. We spent a week at the beginning of the trip surfing, hiking, befriending monkeys, doing yoga in the jungle and eating fresh fruit and fish. We then spent two weeks in the small town of Pueblo Nuevo where each student (and us guides as well) all stayed with a local non-English-speaking family where our service project was to build a cement playground for the local school. After one week of hard work the kids got an overnight break to head to La Fortuna and visit the Arenal Volcano, returning to Pueblo Nuevo and finishing the playground over the following week. Bidding goodbye to our host families was emotional for all of us, but we got to spend the last few days white water rafting the Pacuare River with an overnight stay at the eco-chic Pacuare Lodge and returning back to San Jose for our last night together.
As a Media Guide, using photography and video, my job was to document each student participating in the service project, interacting with each other and their host family, surf lessons, rope swinging and everything – basically, catching on camera all the fun they had experiencing what Costa Rica has to offer! In addition to a final video summarizing the trip, I also updated family and friends back home with photo and video blog posts every few days throughout the month. Feel free to check out all 3309 of the photos from Costa Rica here at SmugMug or just take a look at some of the highlights on our blog: