Shelby Roberts '20 (right) with the trip chaperones.
May 30, 2018
I was lucky enough to spend my spring break in Costa Rica, where I went on many adventures. We saw beautiful waterfalls, adorable sloths, lush rainforests and mesmerizing beaches. My favorite part of the trip was visiting two different schools where we worked with many young students.
What did you experience on the trip that was different from what you would normally experience at school or back home?
We experienced a diverse range of activities and were exposed to a completely new culture, so there were several attributes in Costa Rica that differed from activities in the United States. What stuck out to me the most was how prideful the citizens of Costa Rica were. No matter where we went, every person we came in contact with had a smile on their face and a welcoming spirit.
What surprised you about the culture? Is it different from what you imagined it would be?
Prior to this trip, I had never left the country. So, I went into Costa Rica with an open mind, ready to embrace the culture. I was pleasantly surprised by the kindness we received from the locals. We could tell that the people of Costa Rica were so grateful for the things that they had. Their way of living was in no way rushed. They truly live a “Pura Vida” lifestyle.
How was the food?
The food in Costa Rica was absolutely wonderful! We had the chance to try a variety of fruit —Cas, which is a type of guava fruit only found in Costa Rica, was my favorite. We tried many different entrees and dishes throughout the week, all of which I loved! When were at the beach, we were able to try fresh coconuts and “Copo”, which is a version of shaved ice topped with condensed milk.
Which natural wonders did you get to see?
We saw the Arenal Volcano, which was home to the Lapez waterfalls. We hiked through the rainforest and saw cute sloths and succulent plants. We also spent a day and a half at the beach, where I swam in the Pacific Ocean for the first time ever. It was absolutely breath-taking! Another really cool aspect of the beach was that it was also the location where the original Jurassic Park was filmed.
How did you and your peers adjust to the lifestyle? Could you see yourself living there for a long period of time?
In the beginning, it was a little bit intimidating to be in a country where I felt as though I could not whole-heartedly communicate with the people around me. Many of my peers and even a few of my professors felt the same way. However, a few people on our trip did speak Spanish, so that helped us communicate with the locals. Within a few days, we were able to pick up a few phrases and we were able to communicate with our drivers, the locals and the students at the schools we visited. By the end of the week, I was super excited to order my meals in Spanish. I could definitely see myself living in Costa Rica for a long period of time. After graduation, I hope to return back to Costa Rica and teach at a school there. Their need for teachers is very large, so I hope I can come back and help them one student at a time.
As an Assistant Professor of History at Florida Southern College, Dr. Richards Plavniek...
Florida Southern College continues to earn acclaim from the U.S. Department of State’s ...
For the 138th consecutive year, Florida Southern College hosted Commencement exercises ...
As Florida Southern College’s Executive Director of Student Success, Taylor Shook has t...