Twenty-two DeLaSalle students explored the unique biological and cultural qualities of Costa Rica this summer during an academic trip through the Global Advantage Program. (See a photo gallery here)
For ten days, students traveled across Costa Rica, visiting San Jose, the Osa Peninsula, Dominical, and the Manuel Antonio National Park. Science teacher Mary Lenz, Spanish teacher Lucienne Nagel, and Social Studies teacher Paul Sczepanski taught the class.
In what National Geographic Magazine has described as “one of the most biologically intense places on earth,” students had the opportunity to discover an incredible diversity of flora and fauna in the dense rainforests. They studied the one-of-a-kind climate in real time, observing massive waterfalls and oceans, toucans and dolphins, and much more. Native guides led many of the group’s rugged outdoor expeditions – and according to Mr. Sczepanski, “they know the land better than anyone – it’s their home.” Students also learned about the rich cultural history of the native populations of Costa Rica by engaging with a local tribal elder. He spoke about the traditions of his people, including on differences in medical practices and cultural values.
Mr. Sczepanski said the biggest benefit the Costa Rica trip offered students was the chance to learn about a different perspective on life. “They got to understand that there are different ways to experience life, the natural world, and our relationship with nature,” said Mr. Sczepanski. “It’s important to know that other countries can do things differently than we do.”
Looking ahead to 2020, DeLaSalle students are invited to apply for a service immersion trip to Jamaica over spring break. The deadline to apply is August 30; students should check their student Islander Apps email for a link to the application.
The Global Advantage Program will also offer two academic trips in the summer of 2020 – one each to Italy and Peru. Details about these courses, including cost and applications, will be announced in the coming weeks.