My name is Wren Murzyn and I live in Fort Collins, Colorado. Last November I went to Costa Rica for eight days. The trip was an amazing experience that allowed me to learn about other cultures, nature that was different from what we have in Fort Collins, and grow closer to the other students on the trip -- all things that I could not have done here in my hometown. We also got to do a few service projects while in Costa Rica which let us help out people who might not have as much as we do. It actually would have been nice to do more of this!
I came home from the trip feeling like I knew more about Costa Rica after having stayed there for eight days. One of the parts of the trip I remember most is learning about how the people live. We even got to go to someone’s house to eat dinner one night. I learned that rice and beans are a very important part of every meal, from breakfast to dinner. They grow almost everything else, like plantains, because the hot humid climate makes growing things easy.
Coffee is also a big part of their culture because growing it provides money for their families which allows them to put food on their table. We visited the coffee plantation and learned about the berries that make coffee. We also visited a cacao plantation where the beans that make chocolate are grown and a pineapple plantation where we got to try fresh pineapple. In addition to seeing where people work we got to learn about the natural part of the land. I got to hike in a rainforest and see different animals like a wild boar, a turtle, a toucan, and lots of hummingbirds.
Traveling together was fun and I learned that my friends were there to help anyone who needed it. They especially helped me when my luggage was lost and I had to wait three days for it. The other students all lent me things so I could survive. I will admit though that one of the best days on the trip was when my suitcase showed up! I learned to be calm and stay positive while it was missing but it was the best feeling when it finally came. Our last day together was also nice because we got to relax, swim in the ocean, and reflect on how the trip had changed us and made us tighter as a group.
Another reason that this trip was a great experience was because there were people in Fort Collins willing to help us get closer to our goal of going on our trip by donating some of their own money, contributing to scholarships and at places like our booth at New West Fest. It was very nice of them to help people who might not have had the chance to go on this trip. I believe that planning for Costa Rica and going there allowed me to conquer barriers I had. I learned about a new culture, experienced new things, and learned about my fellow students. It was a great opportunity to try new things and I would recommend the trip to anyone thinking of going.