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From LBCC to Costa Rica – Costa Rica Part 4

Photos by Sarah Rose Larson.

Mornings are for adventure.

While in Costa Rica at the Monte Verde Institute, the Study Abroad team from LBCC had the opportunity to learn more about the economy, values, culture, and landscape of Costa Rica. Organized by the Institute and led by Paola Rojas the team took advantage of the warm sunny mornings to explore. At the same time, the rainy afternoons were spent in Spanish and Costa Rican Literature classes. 

Nature Guide, Elier Zuniga leads a hike through the Cloud Forest in Monte Verde on June 29, 2023. Zuniga shares about the diverse and delicate ecosystem present in the Costa Rican forests.   

Zuniga uses a telescope with a phone adapter to zoom in on hauler and cappuccino monkeys.

Costa Rica is said to have more monkey’s than humans. Walking through the Cloud Forest this felt true.

The team was able to visit the Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery and witness hundreds of hummingbirds feed around them. 

The LBCC team had an opportunity to spend a morning with seniors from APAPNEM. This gave the team a chance to work on their Spanish language and learn more about what it was like to grow up in Costa Rica during the time that these community members were children. Many of the seniors shared stories of working as soon as they were able as children. Several worked on coffee farms and in other agriculture growing up.  

A few of the seniors spent time with the LBCC team on June 30, 2023 at the Monte Verde Institute.

On Saturday, July 1, the team spent the day at Costa de Pájaros-Monteverde in the Gulf of Nicoya off the Pacific side. This is the first real equatorial heat and humidity the team experienced as the Cloud Forest of Monte Verde remained relatively mild. 

Andrew Hedges sketches the scenery of Costa de Pájaros as the team takes a boat to a beach. While visiting Costa de Pájaros the team was able to swim in the warm water of the gulf and learn about the sustainable fishing industry.

A pink spoonbill on the Costa de Pájaros.

Gilberth Lobo welcomes the team to his Coffee Farm on July 3. Lobo shares about San Luis history including the indigenous presence at Finca La Bella.

Josh Robles picks tangerines for the team to snack on as they tour the farm. On the tour, Lobo took the team through the diverse agriculture of Finca La Bella where not only coffee is grown but also tangerines, sugar cane, bananas, mango, and other herbs and vegetables. 

Lobo leads Robles and Noah Aynes in pressing sugar cane.

The team was given the opportunity to drink freshly squeezed sugar cane juice from the cane they had gathered along the tour.

The team was given the opportunity to drink freshly squeezed sugar cane juice from the cane they had gathered along the tour.

At the end of the tour, Lobo explained how the coffee beans are gathered as they were when the farm first started, in baskets worn around the waist. In Spanish, Loboo recalled how in the early days the coffee beans were taken off the mountain by horse and oxen to be sold. Afterward, the team was invited to drink fresh coffee and enjoy homemade banana bread from coffee and bananas harvested at Finca La Bella. 

A full trip.

The schedule made great use of the LBCC team’s time in Costa Rica and also left them sleeping well at their host homes each night. The time in Costa Rica was not long, but the volume of experiences they were able to partake in left them full and gave them an excellent opportunity to see some of the real Costa Rica off the beaten path. 

Make sure to check out Sarah Rose’s blog!

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