Spending a week in Costa Rica is no ordinary high school trip, but it might just become one. Eighteen Stonington High School students, four teachers, two parents and one grandmother recently returned from Costa Rica where they picked up slang like ‘pura vida,’ went zip lining and horseback riding and explored the country’s cities and towns.
The trip, run by the Spanish Department, cost students about $2,000 each and tied into the Spanish curriculum. The students raised some of the funds for the trip through fundraisers.
“I went for the new experiences, the new culture that is different from Stonington,” Senior Amy Dugger said, adding she loved the zip lining.
The trip through EF Educational Tours lasted nine days and was open to any student in the high school. Those that went ranged from freshmen to seniors, included one French student and several students that had never been on a plane before let alone out of the country.
“I’d never been that far south before or someplace that spoke a different language but I adapted to the langue pretty fast,” Senior Connor Schremph said.
While in Costa Rica, the group saw volcanoes, ate a lot of rice and beans and learned about local wildlife and plants like the poor man’s umbrellas.
“There was so many things to see, the wildlife and the Pacific Ocean,” Sophomore Nicole Canova said. “I’d never been out of the country before, but I definitely want to go back.”
While students missed some school many of them made it up by doing assignments before or after and also making presentations on the trip to their classes.
“I’m a senior and I wanted to go somewhere before college and before I have a job and responsibilities that make traveling harder,” Matthew DeCarlo said.
Teacher Nori Lembree is hoping the trip is the inaugural event for a new club at the high school – the Stonington Globe Trotters. The goal is to plan trips three to four years out so students coming in as freshmen know where the trip is and can plan ahead. Right now they are in the initial planning for a 2014 summer trip to Spain and France.
“We had an amazing time and the kids learned so much,” Lembree said.