April 1, 2016 1:32 PM
While most students spend their spring break at home with their family and friends, Spanish students at Mid-Pacific traveled with their classmates across the ocean to Costa Rica for an adventure with their teacher, Ms. Laura Blancq. The students had the chance to practice their Spanish with native Spanish speakers and experience the local culture through volunteering in the local community, taking salsa lessons, and meeting local students at schools.
The group visited the towns of Arenal, Monteverde, Coastal Puntarenas, Sarchi, and San Jose, enjoying the rich biodiversity and culture. Costa Rica is well known for its pristine beaches, volcanoes, rainforests, and is said to be one of the happiest countries in the world. It is also known for its beautiful handicrafts and colorful folk art. In 2005, UNESCO declared Costa Rica's traditional oxcarts called "carreta" an Intangible Cultural Heritage. Each oxcart, including the wheels are handpainted by an artisan in vibrant colors and has an intricate design. Originally, the oxcarts were mainly used to transport coffee beans to markets, but now they are more often used in religious celebrations (Oxherding and oxcart traditions in Costa Rica).
Kendall Murphy '17 spoke about her experience as a Spanish 4 student on the trip. "I felt that I was fairly prepared, but I realized when I got to Costa Rica that it is a lot different speaking with locals in the country than in the classroom. In the classroom, you have time to think and process what the teacher is saying, but when you are having a conversation at the market, you don't have time to stop the conversation and look up a word. I learned how to think on the fly and accept making mistakes. I am much more confident speaking Spanish now because I am not afraid of making mistakes in front of people."
Click to view more student testimonials: https://youtu.be/-a5AhZet_VQ