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5 posts from March 2017


The Pacific

Ok well we enjoy San José, but it was time to see what we want it to see: N A T U R E!

So we start our journey, we put our stuff in the bus and we had our first stop in the highlands of Costa Rica: the Talamancas mountains..our first ecosystem!DSCN8393
-Here at 3200 m in elevation.Alan explaining what makes Costa Rica so diverse in ecosystems!what a view!


-Johel teaching about the Fiery throated hummingbird and how this bird disappeared from some mountains like Monteverde caused by climate change  DSCN8411

We found this puppy in the restaurant.....Megan is in love!


We keep our journey, we take off our sweaters and  3 hours later we were in the pacific coast: humid and hot!


San Jose part II...chansing ticos

In our second day we had Humans in the tropics class.

Gisella(our instructor) introduced to us the relationship between humanity and nature, and how we do impact ecosystems.

Trusting in our social skills,Gisella sent us to San Jose downtown to answer an important question: How is our footprint as american students compared with ticos in out age? how many planet Earth do we need to survive?...

Oh man, this time was a little harder than the fruit mission.. DSCN8377


-"Hey!!! Can I have 10 minutes of your time?" Kath and Grace chasing a costarican guy in La Sabana Park...he was really nice and gave them the interview after all!!

We also made friends and costaricans were nice and friendly with us, even for a picture!


-Deborah and her new tica friend in the Plaza de la Cultura, right in the heart of San José!



-Abby, Jeff, Patrick, Deb and Melissa with the National theater of Costa Rica in the back.


At the end of the day we learn that we are making an huge impact in our planet, but we can definitely change our habits to improve our lifestyle and be more eco-friendly, after all  we only have one planet...right?

....are you ready to see how's the Pacific slope of Costa Rica? because we are!


San José....oh San José!

After long hours of flights, some snowstorms and crazy costarican traffic we got to sleep for some hours..our first night in Costa Rica!

The next morning the sixteen of us got to know each other and our staff, Alan(our director and instructor) gave us a orientation talk about Costa Rica...Do you know that costaricans call themselves as "ticos"?, that more than half of costarican population are europeans descendants? that almost 99% of their energy comes from renewable sources? Do you know that EVERYBODY in Costa Rica loves soccer?

So since we didn't knew that much of our host country Alan said:"If you want to know Costa Rica, you need to know San José!"...

so our TA Moncho gave us an special assignment:"Go to the central market and find the weirdest fruit that you can find" be honest, it wasn't that hard, Costa Rica has so many types of tropical fruits!, we only recognise like 5 of them! Thumb_IMG_2545_1024

-Colleen from University of Pittsburgh and Megan from University of Wisconsin-Madison amaze by the variety of fruits that they found.



-"Can I have your number?" Cristina from Oregon State University trying to get the number of the fruit vendor, just in case she missed some information!


We came back to our hotel and we learn about flowers and fruits, then the time of try them finally happen...that was not mention on the assignment Moncho! Thumb_IMG_2556_1024

-Melissa killing a sunflower to learn about types of inflorescence


-"Guys, I think I hate CAS!", Deborah from Purdue University explaining the flavour of the exotic Cas, a sour fruit related to Guava.

Other people was not that adventurous...come on guys! Seriously bananas? 


-Cali, Kath, Kay and Patrick made a safe choice: the sweet bananas of Costa Rica..yummie! day we have our first day of Human in the Tropics class.

More of San José coming!


And so the adventure begin!

Welcome to our journey!!!

We are 16 students from all over the United States that decide to skip the winter and join the program Tropical Ecology and Conservation.

Well besides the beach, sloths, pumas, waterfalls, monkeys; we came to understand how tropical ecosystems works(did a mention beach?)...And here we are!


(This is people is not weird,not..not at all..well a little bit!)

-Here we are:

At the top of the picture, left to right:

Patrick from Puget Sound(also call by the staff as Patricio)

Emma D also from Puget Sound(promise she's happy in Costa Rica!)

Cristina from Oregon State University(not sure if she's doing yoga poses at the picture or is just that she love the tree!)

Megan from University of Wisconsin Madison(we are pretty sure she's trying to communicate with some howler monkeys..nice try Megan!)

-At the bottom of the picture, left to right...

Kay from Pomona College(looking a little bit confused by her crazy classmates)

Melissa from University of Minnesota(We wonder what's she looking?)

Andrea from University of Wisconsin Madison

Deborah from Purdue University(Andrea and Deb didn't agree how to pose for the pic)

....Behind Andrea and Deb

Grace from University of Minnesota( we told her that we would have pizza lunch, she got super excited!)

Emma O from Colorado Boulder giving her biggest smile!

Emily from Ramapo College of New Jersey(ok Em...we love you but that's rude)

Colleen from University of Pittsburgh

Abigale from Augsburg College( she's so happy with her study books, right Abby?)

Jeffrey from University of Wisconsin Madison(no caption needed)

Cali from Bucknell University doing the classic bunny ears to Jeff.

Kathryn from Eckerd College(joining Em in the tongue out display)


We got to Costa Rica straight to the city...How's San Jose?Are Costa Rican's fruits as good as we imagine? How easy is to convince a costa rican to give us their time for an interview in the middle of a busy city?

Figure it out in our next post! 

Hiking,studying, nap..hiking,studying, snorkeling,nap....and repeat!!!

How's studying abroad with CIEE?

Rebecca's video(former student of Fall 2016) describe in 15 minutes her experience with the program Tropical Ecology and Conservation.

A semester full of wilderness, snorkeling, waterfalls, studying, hiking and of!

-Thank you Rebecca for such a good video!