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February 09, 2007

Costa Rica

The Trip Begins
This past summer I joined the International Student Volunteers on a volunteer/exploration trip for a month in Costa Rica.

Me and three friends went to Costa Rica with 80 other student volunteers from universities throughout the United States. After a very long trip, about nine hours, we all arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica. Once we gathered our luggage, we climbed into a travel bus and headed for Heredia. Heredia was our base city; when we arrived in Costa Rica we stayed there, when we re-grouped after two weeks we stayed there, and when we were getting ready to leave we stayed there.

After cleaning ourselves up, we headed out to gather mosquito nets and work boots. Once we had everything we needed for our volunteer project, we headed to dinner. Ironically we ended up eating at a little Chinese place right next to our hotel; so much for introducing ourselves to the Costa Rican culture.

The next morning we headed out to our project. Me and 11 other students loaded into a van and headed toward the Provence of Puntarenas. We were assigned to a Macaw farm for the first two volunteer weeks of our trip. For two weeks we were to work each day at the farm in order to aid towards the survival of the Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica. The Macaw farm was located in the very small village of Aranjuez. It was about an hour off the Pacific coast. The town had a population of less than 500 people. It consisted of a Church, two markets, a school, and a soccer field. After a bumpy ride down long dirt roads we finally arrived at the farm and the small yellow house that would be our home for the next two weeks.

The Scarlet Macaws, las lapas in spanish, are endangered in Costa Rica. The farm we were about to spend two weeks at was home to many of the Macaws left in Costa Rica. The Macaws could fly free, but they always came back to the farm; where the food is.

Posted by kmquinn at February 9, 2007 10:23 PM