Costa Rica trip


Doña Sandra will be hosting a Costa Rica trip for interested MV students this summer. In the summer of 2009, she took many students that were dedicated to improving their Spanish while immersing themselves in the rich, Costa Rican, “pura vida” lifestyle.

This summer, students here at MV will have a chance to go to Costa Rica. Not many students get to experience a school trip to a different country.

The trip, lasting two weeks, will be hosted by Spanish teacher, Sandra Isbell, endearingly known as Doña Sandra by her students. She has taken two prior trips to Costa Rica and one trip to Spain with her Monte Vista students.

“This trip will be the highlight of our previous two trips to Costa Rica. We will be going to the places that were my students’ favorites,” Spanish teacher Sandra Isbell said.

Who is eligible to attend? There is no specific Spanish level that students need to be in. It is all based on interest.

“They need to be good Spanish students and have good citizenship,” Doña Sandra said. “Someone who’s looking for an exciting adventure to experience new cultures, new foods, a new way of life, and immerse themselves in the Spanish language.”

Many students may be concerned about the redeeming qualities of this trip besides the fact that it will be an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. While visiting all of the wonderful natural features that Costa Rica has to offer, students will also be participating in community service.

“We will be working with the Costa Rica Humanitarian Foundation, bringing school supplies, toys, and games to children at to an elementary school located in an impoverished neighborhood nearby San Jose,” Doña Sandra said. “This neighborhood is inhabited by refugees from Nicaragua who fled their country for economic and political reasons and came to Costa Rica looking for a better life.”

“We also will be bringing soccer gear and equipment to needy teenagers and then play a fun game of soccer with them,” Doña Sandra said. “I can’t wait to see the excited expressions on the faces of the children and teenagers when we bring them books, games, and soccer equipment.”

Communication with these teenagers and children does not only happen during the trip. The students stay in touch via Facebook.

“They are looking forward to us coming again,” Doña Sandra said.

The trip is sponsored by the organization Educulture. It will help guide students through the whole trip so they will not feel pressured by the “newness” of traveling to a foreign country.

“Educulture international is a nonprofit company that helps me to plan and organize international trips with students,” Isbell said.

Currently there are 22 students signed up. Doña Sandra hopes to take between 24 and 30 students.

“Along with a maximum of 30 students, there will be 6 chaperoning adults,” Isbell said. “The ratio will be approximately 4 students to every adult plus a full time Costa Rican guide.”

There is still a chance to be a part of this trip. Doña Sandra is still accepting applications for interested students. She can be contacted at [email protected]

“Every time we take a trip to a foreign country, all the students become very close, just like a family,” Doña Sandra said. “Previous groups of students I’ve taken continue to have reunions and they have become life-long friends.”

“This trip to Costa Rica is a noteworthy addition to any college application.” Doña Sandra said. “I feel that traveling to and immersing oneself in a foreign culture and participating in community service there are the types of activities that truly round out young people.”