This story originally appeared in the fall 2013 Harker Quarterly.
Middle school students embarked on an exciting language immersion trip to Costa Rica in late July. The journey started with ziplining through Costa Rica’s lush rainforest. Later, the students headed to the ACCE language school, where they sat in with the local students and impressed the instructors with their level of Spanish usage.
Among the more eye-opening parts of the trip was the visit to La Carpio, an area outside the Costa Rican capital city of San Jose that houses approximately 34,000 people, mostly poor immigrants from Nicaragua. There, the students helped the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation by painting buildings and helping to promote a health fair to the local population.
Other highlights included a visit to Manuel Antonio National Park, participating in a talent show at a local K-12 private school and a fun scavenger hunt in the city of Grecia, where students were required to speak to the citizens in Spanish to complete their tasks.