This iguana photo was taken on the very first day of the trip on our first rainforest hike. The iguana was resting in the tree, mostly because it was too cold and to stay away from predators. Since it is cold blooded it needs to stay warm. That is why it was in the high, rainforest tree.
Words by Shannen Johnston, photo by Julie Israelson
This is a picture of a few of the students’ feet in the beautiful Costa Rican sand at the Puntarenas Beach. The sand was very black and the water was a beautiful blue. We stopped here on one of our final days to catch up on some journaling, write some goals, have our closing ceremony and play in the ocean. We made some great memories that will last a lifetime. This was the only time we went to the ocean, so it was a really special, amazing experience.
Words by Brigid Murray, photograph by Khloe Carpenter.
This photo was taken on our way to the first place we stayed, which was the Sarapiqui Lodge. It was a long and tiring drive to the lodge and took over three hours to get there. It was very high in elevation and was very bumpy on the road. We took a pause to stretch our legs, and hopefully clear our minds from the bus, at this beautiful waterfall.
Words by Emma Stewart, photo by Sammi York.
This photo was taken on our bus down from the cloud forest in Monteverde. When we came out from some shrubbery, we came into sight of this epic view of the mountains in Costa Rica. Everyone scrambled to get their cameras to take the picture, but I already had mine out.
Words and photo by Indigo Werner-Salsbury.
This is a photo of a hummingbird perched on a branch in Costa Rica. It has just finished drinking from the nearby hummingbird feeder and flew quickly onto the branch. Notice the beautiful close-up shimmer of its feathers in the sun. The photo is taken by me, Silas Thornton.
This beautiful photo was taken on the property of a Costa Rican citizen’s house by Julie Israelson during the adventure to her cooking class (in which she learned how to make arepas) on November 16, 2016. It overlooks the beautiful cloud forests of Monteverde, one of the most breathtaking mountainside views the world has to offer. The gap in the trees is partially shielded by plants, providing a glance into both worlds - the world where the details astound us and the world we admire from afar.
Words by Roxi Wessel.
This photo was taken in OTS Nature Preserve in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica. This picture shows how beautiful and wonderful Costa Rica is. The OTS Nature Preserve was one of the places we went on a nature hike. We were surrounded by beautiful plants, animals, and insects.
Words by Leah Borrego, photo by Julie Israelson.
I took this picture at sunset in Monteverde. - Isabella Ledesma
This photo was taken in the courtyard of the Tirimbina Lodge in Sarapiqui. My roommates and I had just woken up and were on our way to the outdoor restrooms when we saw a photographer taking a picture of an iguana in a nearby tree. We all crowded around to take pictures with him, when I noticed another little friend clinging onto a nearby tree stump. If it weren’t for the photographer, I never would have gotten this picture.
Words and photo by Sammi York.
This photo was taken on our last day in Costa Rica. Jenny, our expedition leader, took us to a beach in Puntarenas, near San Jose. Since it was the last day, everyone was sad. Going to the beach was a surprise. It was really hot; the sand was like burning lava. The setting was beautiful to say goodbye to Costa Rica.
Words by Guillermo Gaucin, photo by Isabella Ledesma.
This photo is taken in Curi Cancha National Park, Santa Elena, Costa Rica. We went on a hike to see hummingbirds. We walked through these trees to get to the hummingbird pavilion. There were seven hummingbird species in the pavilion. When this photo was being taken we were all enjoying the beautiful landscape and the amazing-colored hummingbirds. The park was very beautiful and this picture represents the beauty perfectly.
Words by McKenzie Hiebsch, photograph taken by Julie Israelson.
This picture was taken on a nature hike in Sarapiqui, where we learned a lot about the nature that differed from our hometown. We also learned how the climate affects what kind and animals and plants live there. This was one of my favorite birds I saw on this trip.
Words and photo by Wren Murzyn.
This picture was taken when we first arrived in Costa Rica. My friends and I were shuffling onto the bus and deciding seats. There was a slight drizzle as portrayed by the raindrop on the window. It was the first crop of green my group and I saw as we left the busy city of San Jose.
Word and photo by Khloe Carpenter.
This photograph shows the majestic and picturesque serenity of Costa Rica. The sky’s clouds roll on throughout the day, while the soft wind blows and moves the grass and leaves on the mountains. The photo is a beautiful contrast between the rock and the sky; they clash in a way that is most amazing. This is a place that people must see in real life, and not just through a lens, because when you see it with your own eyes, it will definitely make you gasp.
Words by Anthony Stilwell, photo by Lucille Glassman.
This photo was taken during our coffee plantation tour at Bella Tica Coffee in the hills of Monteverde, Costa Rica. This farm not only produced coffee beans, but citrus plants and all natural bananas were also being produced. What really stood out about this picture was that it represented how, in Costa Rica, a lot of time is spent outside. I feel like this picture also shows Costa Rica lifestyle because most residents grow their own food. Finally, I feel like this picture shows how beautiful Costa Rica really is because where I live, there is barely any large outdoor gardens or natural areas like there was everywhere in Costa Rica.
Words by Bela Voglund, photo by Sammi York.
This amazing picture shows a leaf cutter ant carrying a leaf back to the rest of its colony. As you can see it takes a lot of work for this little ant to carry such a big leaf. The leaf cutter ants use the leaf to make food. They wait for the leaf to grow fungus so they can eat the fungus.
Words by Ethan Mills, photo by Silas Thornton.
This was our service learning project at a school in Sarapiqui. We were teaching them a repeat- after-me song. We taught them the movements and the words; they were quickly able to figure out the song. We also tried to learn their names and talk to them in their native language. We helped spread the word about no bullying by painting in a mural and painting barrels with that message.
Words by Priest Muniz, photo by Julie Israelson.
This picture shows delicate, tiny plants growing on the mossy sidewalk in a Sarapiqui jungle. As we walked through it we also saw many other amazing plants and animals, but these plants were my favorite. I like them because they are so small that you barely notice, but when you do it opens your eyes to everything around you.
Words and photo by Lucille Glassman.
This photo was taken on a morning hike. We had to cross this bridge, which was a little scary because we were right over a big river. On this hike, we saw birds, monkeys, and turtles. It was amazing.
Words by Adriana Altamirano, photo by Lucille Glassman.
I picked this picture because it has a nice view and it brings me memories of when the whole entire group went kayaking and rafting. This was the Puerto Viejo River in Costa Rica.
Words by Alexis Sanchez, photo by Julie Israelson
This photo is of a typical Costa Rican house located in the hills of San Luis, Monteverde, Costa Rica. This picture beautifully captures the gorgeous, lush hills and is a snapshot into the life of a Costa Rican family. This family hosted us for a cooking class, and also runs a small coffee farm on their serene property overlooking the green hills leading out to the Nicoya Peninsula.