Hello, guys! Welcome back to my blog.
This spring break was my last spring break and I spent it in a special way. I had the opportunity to study abroad in San Jose, Costa Rica! This trip was organized by the politics and government department at Illinois State University in collaboration with Veritas University. For a week my classmates and I had the opportunity to study Fair Trade, Sustainability and Organic Farming in Costa Rica. It was a great experience for me and i’m glad I got the chance to finally study abroad!
While in Costa Rica I stayed with a host family. This was a great experience for me and I took it as an opportunity to learn. I took Spanish classes in high school all four years, however I was never a great speaker. I used this trip as an opportunity to expand my knowledge. My first day in Costa Rica I told my host mom (mi momma tica) that I only wanted her to communicate with me in Spanish. Let me tell you….that helped me out tremendously! I learned so much and I now feel more confident in my Spanish speaking abilities. Staying with host family is definitely something I would recommend if you were to study abroad. It helps you build relationships and create a bond with people that are different than you. This by far was the best part of the trip for me.
Costa Rica is BEAUTIFUL. If you are going to visit I would recommend exploring some of the coffee, sugarcane and pineapple farms in Costa Rica. They are actually very interesting! A lot of the places also give free samples and have cheap souvenirs to bring home. (That’s my cup of tea!) Also, during our trip we had the chance to see a beautiful area in the rain forrest. At the end of our hike there was a balcony with a breath taking view that I will never forget. This trip truly helped me realize that God made everything on this earth with intention. The pictures I was able to take were amazing!
Now, the food here was some of the best I have had in my life. Every meal I ate was delicious. It was also very healthy, which I enjoyed! There are American food options in Costa Rica, however I wanted the true authentic experience, so I stuck to Costa Rican food. I even had my momma tica give me some recipes to take home! I will definitely be using them and sharing with family and friends. (Comment below if you would like for me to share those recipes)
As I stated this was a trip focused on Fair Trade. Coming into this trip I did not know much about Fair Trade at all. I am glad that this trip allowed for my class and I to study Fair Trade with those who are directly involved in it. We had the opportunity to ask questions of employees and farmers that worked with Co-Ops, plantations and independent organic farms throughout Costa Rica. We also were able to spend a couple days in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. There we were able to learn about Pineapple production as well as Banana production in Costa Rica. I will be writing a full story on all that I learned for my internship with Illinois State University. Once that is written I will be able to show more to you guys, so stay tuned! I will post it on here once it is finished.
This trip made me realize how important it is to expand your mind. I spoke with a lot of people on this trip that know more than one language. This inspired me to want to study Spanish regularly. I want to become bilingual because it is an important skill to have. I felt bad sometimes because I did not know how to say certain things in Spanish and sometimes my communication with people was limited because of that. I want to fix that, so now I am going to use my new found inspiration to make a change in my life! This trip also showed me that it is important to travel. Of course, traveling is fun, but you can also learn along the way. This is an experience I will forever be thankful for! I will be back to Costa Rica, that’s for sure.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my trip. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below!
-Talk to you later sweeties!