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KNR students make Costa Rican cultural immersion trip

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Eleven kinesiology and recreation students and faculty leaders traveled to Costa Rica for a nine-day cultural immersion visit in early May.

Students spent the first portion of the trip interacting with the Universidad Veritas in San Jose taking Spanish, taking a city tour, sitting in on elective classes, and partaking in a tropical dance class. Accenting their time in the capital were “homestays” with Costa Rican families, many of whom spoke no English.

The group also traveled to Monteverde Cloud Forest, where they saw the flora and fauna of Costa Rica during a night hike. Especially memorable were their encounters with a tarantula and several vipers dozing in the trees. From an adventure standpoint, the canopy tour and white water rafting trip were highlights for the group. The canopy tour in Monteverde included several cable lines that were nearly one mile long. The rafting trip not only included exciting Class II and III white water, but provided opportunities to see kingfishers, herons, and macaws along the shores of the Rio Sevegre. The group also saw howler monkeys, three-toed sloths, turtles, and lizards at Manuel Antonio National Park located along the Pacific Coast.

Experiencing the Costa Rican culture also meant sampling culinary delights including black beans and rice combined with meat, fresh ice cream made from the dairies of Monteverde, and different kinds of fruit such as guanavana, mango, and papaya to name a few.

Perhaps most memorable of the Costa Rican culture were the friendly and happy people the Redbirds met during the stay. From the homestay families and the professors at Universidad Veritas, to their driver William and tour guide Filander, students gained an appreciation of this small Central American nation that will be remembered for a lifetime.

Many thanks to the College of Applied Science and Technology and the Study Abroad office for their assistance in the planning of this wonderful cultural experience.