On Thursday, April 11, 2019, 11 Jefferson Spanish students departed for a trip to Costa Rica. Under the supervision and guidance of Sra. Mateo, the Spanish students explored Costa Rica for eight days, returning on Friday, April 19 under Explorica, their travel agency.
“[The trip] wasn’t FCPS affiliated; it was mainly to learn more Spanish and just have fun,” sophomore Tiffany Ji said.
Students went for a variety of different reasons, such as spending time with friends, learning more about the culture, or for junior Madelyn Khoury, being able to travel.
“I love traveling but rarely get to go, so of course I was immediately interested,” Khoury said. “I especially wanted to go on this trip since I’d been hoping to visit a Spanish speaking country to practice my Spanish and get an immersive experience with that.”
The trip consisted of various activities for the students to participate in.
“Every single day was super jam-packed. Some things we did were horseback riding, visiting a local high school, ziplining, kayaking, planting trees, and exploring a lot of biological areas,” Ji said.
Not only did the students engage in leisurely activities, but they were also able to take part in learning about the local culture of Costa Rica.
“My favorite part was probably visiting the local high school. It was really interesting to see how it was different from ours. It was also interesting to see the classrooms and learn the curriculum,” Ji said.
Not only did this trip allow students to relax and enjoy their spring break in a new country, it also gave them unique opportunities to expand their knowledge of the Spanish language and culture.
“All the teachers encouraged us to speak only in Spanish, and our tour guide explained things to us in Spanish,” Ji said. “I also learned a lot of slang and everyday phrases when talking to the locals, like claro que si, which means ‘of course’.”
The trip not only made memories for these 11 students, but taught them lessons they will carry on for a long time.
“I got to practice some Spanish,” Khoury said. “Through adventurous activities, I was able to bond with the group.”