Soccer Camp, Family Lunches, and Ethno-Botanist

By Dylan

Today we had a lot of fun in soccer camp, having lunch and chatting with local families, and having an ethno-botanist do a presentation. First, at the soccer camp we had our warm-ups and let a group of girls practice their cheerleading. Then, it was game-time. I was the goalie, and where the line should have been there was a large puddle, and under that puddle was a large mud pit. I’ll leave you to guess how that went. At the end of the first half I had touched the ball once, and we were up 1-0. Then in the second half they got themselves together and finished regulation 2-2 putting us in a shootout. There were 11 PKs, but everyone was focused on the goalie, putting a lot of pressure on me. At the end we won on PKs 7-3, and apparently we were the first team to come from another country to beat the Costa Rica team. Overall we had a lot of fun and made great friends!


By Kate


After we played the soccer game we road back to the eco retreat on the bus. We spent about 10 minutes. Then we walked into the neighborhood down the street to eat lunch. We split up into groups. My chaperone was Mrs. Wilmoth. My group members were Addison, Lillis, Jackson Gant, and Hudson. We went to Dona Digna’s house. We had rice, beans, and chicken for lunch with additional salad and guacamole. After we finished, we went out to see her five cows, one pig, and two bunnies. We then went to her neighbor’s house that also happened to be her family, to play soccer. At 2:30 we walked back to the Eco Retreat and had a quick turnaround. We then walked to the botanist, which was about fifteen minute walk. The botanist was really fun. We got to try a lot of plants, which were mostly really good. My favorites were the coconut, star fruit, lime, Anesthesia (which is pretty self explanatory), and the lipstick plant which when you open up and squish the seeds a red lipstick consistency. Overall I tried a lot of new things and learned so many things I otherwise wouldn’t have.

Last Day at the School and the Great Costa Rican Race

By Jackson, Benjamin, Dylan, and Gavin

Benjamin woke everyone up with a drum at 6:30 in the morning, and then Mr. Blythe did his morning ritual (this time with a mariachi band). In the morning we went to the Chilamate School and played with the kindergarteners. We whacked down a piñata with them, and they were really energetic.

We did a project where we painted a quote or saying on a metal slab. Then we hung the metal plates on a fence. Shortly after, we took a picture with the 4th graders.

Then, we played a name game with the 4th graders. We passed a football and a soccer ball around in a circle and when someone got the ball, they said their name. We also hit a piñata with the 4th graders.

We came back to the lodge and ate lunch. Then, we prepared for the adventure race. The adventure race is a challenge where you have a map, and you have to try to find your way around Costa Rica. The challenge was around our lodge. We all started the race in our teams and were on to the first station when it started to pour rain. We rushed back and waited for an hour. The delay was over, and we went back to work. We did five stations. There was dancing, rock stacking, milking a cow, an interview, and cooking. They were all amazing and delicious! We had a great time. In total Ms. Forb’s team won with the most rubber bands. Last we ended the day with our ANCHOR session. The Costa Rica race really was an adventure today.

School and Ziplining!

By Elowyn, Griffin, & Taylor


Every person staying in the Chilamate Eco Retreat woke up the beautiful noise of Mr. Blythe yelling “GOOD MORNING, COSTA RICA!” We had breakfast at the usual time, (7:30AM), and after that we immediately grabbed our bags and headed over to Chilamate Elementary School to complete the day’s work. When we arrived, we had the wonderful opportunity to play with the kindergarteners (Kiara included ). We also got to choose where we wanted to work. Some swept, some cleaned the playground, and some worked outside building a garden. When we were finished with that, we went back to the Eco Retreat to have lunch. Some of us chose to shower, and we changed into clothes to go ziplining! Then, we got in the van to go to the ziplining place, Pozo De Azul. Our experience concluded us ziplining through a series of nine ziplines over a beautiful view of rainforest. On the last zipline we got to pass over the river rapids. While ziplining, we got to see a tarantula and also a few howler monkeys.

Then we started our way home, but we didn’t know we were stopping at a surprise location. When we arrived at the surprise location we saw that it was a Heladeria, a Costa Rica ice cream shop. We all had to order our ice cream in Spanish.    The ice cream was delicious! Then when we were all on the bus headed back.

Then we went on a night hike. We saw lizards, frogs, and lots of bugs including the red eyed tree frog. After that we headed to our rooms to go to sleep. Today was an amazing day.

Dream Jungle

By Lillis, Kylie, and Alexa

Lillis: Today we woke up, then we went to breakfast. Then, we got ready and went on a nature hike. We saw kingfishers and learned that the males carry fish to the females to impress them. We also learned about the leafcutter ants and that they could carry leaves that are really big and that they drop their leaves and run to the colony when it rains. After a few rests, we had lunch. For lunch we had amazing tacos. Then, we got ready, and we went to the school and played with the kids there. Then, we took a tour of the school and right after that, it started to rain, and we had to stay there and play games for about an hour. Today was an amazing day.


Kylie: We woke up to the sound of monkeys howling in the trees along with the waves crashing in the river. We had breakfast, which were these amazing fluffy pancakes. Then we gathered in the meeting area and split up into two groups, and then we went on the nature tour. We saw many amazing creatures and heard many. We saw poison dart and blue jean frogs, which were hidden on the side of the path. Many plants also live in the forest, and we saw some like apple trees with light red and yellow apples. Later we went to the school and played with the children and got to practice our Spanish. Many people had full conversations in Spanish, and we also got to learn what our project was. The day was amazing, and even though some of us are homesick, we are still having an amazing time and we can’t wait for more fun (and pineapple).


Alexa: We woke up having a delicious breakfast including pancakes and fresh fruit and many others too. After breakfast we went to a nature hike and learned about lots of different bugs, animals, and plants. We saw a dead ant about a little more than half the size of your thumb. The tour guide also told us to be careful touching stuff because you never know what may be on it, such as the big ant. After the tour we went outside and played a lot of different games to help us bond.  After that my favorite thing happened we went to the school to play with the kids and my friends helped me to speak Spanish and that was a lot of fun and so was the whole day.

First Day in Costa Rica

Besides almost getting diverted, we had a smooth flight in. We passed many beautiful scenes on the flight including Cuba’s coast. 

We took a bus to lunch and Chilamate eco reserve. Lunch was amazing, tasty, and a great authentic Costa Rican resturaunt. We all drank and ate fresh strawberry juice, beans and rice, and chicken, fish, beef, or pork. 

My favorite part by far for the first day in Costa Rica was the bus ride. The 3 hour ride gave us scenic views of Costa Rica and a feel for each part of Costa Rica. We saw cities, waterfalls, canyons, and even a coffee farm for Starbucks. 

After our long journey to the eco reserve, we saw how beautiful the reserve is. We are in the middle of a stunning rainforest with sounds of animals coming from every direction. The family who owns the reserve has shown great hospitality towards us. We are so estatic for the days coming ahead of us. 

By Chas Arnold