Adios Costa Rica!

Before heading to the airport this morning, we had the opportunity to visit a marketplace and learn about the process of making “artesanías,” or handcrafted gifts. In this shop, people used recycled wood of all different kinds and colors to make jewelry, household items, decorative pieces, and more. We picked up a few gifts and headed on our way.

After a tearful farewell from our amazing guide Nancy this morning, we have had a full day of travel making our way back to the US. We are now sitting at the airport on our final layover and reflecting on all that we learned from our magnificent experience and wanted to share some of what we learned about the language and culture of Costa Rica:  

Emma: Costa Rica is really ahead of the game when it comes to protecting their future in terms of natural conservation. They are a model for other Central and South American countries in terms of preservation. I also learned a lot of terms for the different animals we got to see.
Lisa: Costa Rica is really progressive with their health care – everyone is covered for free and has great services. While we were there, I improved a lot with my conversational skills.
Elise: I learned that CR has different (and a lot of) ways to say “you’re welcome” that are different than what we’d learned before. I loved how nice the people were and also learned that they are a very peaceful people without an army. 
Maya: I learned that CR employs a lot of people from neighboring countries, like Nicaragua and Panama. It was also interesting that humpback whales migrate to raise their babies in the Gulf of Nicoya and teach them how to hunt before returning to the colder seas. In terms of language, as I was listening to people talk, I noticed that they had different accents, but I was still able to understand them even with these differences.
Jackie: I learned that Costa Rica has a different form that we’ve never learned before called “vos” (familiar second-person, but different from tú). Also, I noticed and thought it was great that environmental conservation is a part of their every day life – everywhere you go, they have recycling and compost bins along with trash cans. 
Katie C: I noticed the difference in the Costa Rican accent: They pronounce words ending with an “n” like an “ng.” I also learned and appreciated that the people there were very encouraging with foreigners practicing language skills, and as a result, it increased my confidence in speaking.
Jena: I learned that the land of Costa Rica is newer than most of the world – it was formed only 3 million years ago. When it came to speaking there, I improved a lot on forming sentences faster and in the right tense.
Maddy: I improved in my ability to understand the native speakers’ accents. I also thought it was cool that they still use the coffee wet mill without any electricity (it runs on water).
Miss Wanner: I learned the phrase “Pura vida!” It means “Pure life,” and the people said it for everything – it is a nationwide saying that celebrates their spirit. I was blown away by how they make sure they protect their forests and by doing that, it strengthens the country’s economy and protects the environment.
Katie H: I learned how to say a lot of different animal names and learned that if you can pick out a few words and the context of what someone is saying, you can understand a lot! It was also cool to learn that when CR abolished the army, they funneled all of that money into education and health care for its citizens.
Liz: I learned about the national phrase “Pura vida” and how every meal includes rice and beans. I also didn’t realize how rural some areas are there and how simple the lifestyle is for some of the people.
Mrs. Ponte: I thought it was amazing how eco-conscious the society is: For certified companies, for every tree they cut down, they have to obtain a certificate saying they will plant three in its place! I also learned a few new recipes and how to salsa dance. But the thing that impressed me the most was the beautiful, generous, kind-hearted people of this country. I will never forget the conversations that I had with the guides, drivers, service workers, and everyone else I could find! 
Thanks to everyone who made this trip possible! We all learned so much and enjoyed ourselves more than we thought we ever could and we will never forget our time there. ¡Pura vida!


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