by Owen McAleer
The Park school sent a wonderfully exuberant group of rising 9th graders down to the CIRENAS campus this summer – that school’s first trip to Costa Rica and the largest group CIRENAS has ever hosted. The group came with a focus on community service, and to that end they spent three days working with the students of Escuela Bello Horizonte. Aside from playing games and teaching English, the group collaborated with the students to make signs labeling the tree species on their campus in both Spanish and English, getting a local perspective on the biological richness that they’d been exploring and learning about at the CIRENAS campus.
On their third day in the community, the entire group of Costa Ricans and Park students participated in a learning exercise about marine litter, and together went on to do a beach cleanup and practice their own form of locally-sourced architecture by building “fairy houses,” creative structures constructed only from the items they found on the beach (our kind of beachfront development!). This group was so enthusiastic and happy to share their culture and their passions with the local students and the CIRENAS staff, we can’t wait to see what future Park groups have to offer!