Cartago, Costa Rica: A hidden gem

Ridden with volcanoes, lush rain forests, high mountains and beautiful beaches, Costa Rica is a hub for tourists — and in my case studying abroad!

I am counting down the days (nine to be exact) to when I will be sitting on the beach, drinking a lemonade with the sun on my face. I will be living in the 3rd largest city in Costa Rica called Cartago. Cartago has a population of around 160,000 and sits at the base of the famous Irazu Volcano. I am excited to explore this city and all it has to offer. During my 5 months abroad I plan to travel around and experience the beautiful country as a whole and I can’t wait to share all of my unique experiences.

Continue reading “Cartago, Costa Rica: A hidden gem”

Redefining My Comfort Zone

I have always had the desire for adventure and for traveling. I grew up in Illinois and after moving to San Diego, I fell so in love with my new home that I did not think I could leave it for a full semester. As I was finishing my second year, though, I realized that experiencing a new culture, long term, was something I needed to do.

I also felt that while I only needed one class to complete my Spanish minor, I was not fluent. So I began searching through Central and South American countries. Since I did not plan to go abroad as a freshman, I actually did not have as many options to choose from. Luckily I did find a program at Universidad Veritas, San Jose, Costa Rica. The semester runs from March to the end of June.

Since I rented my house in San Diego for fall semester, I packed up my bags and left early January to move to San Jose.

Continue reading “Redefining My Comfort Zone”

On Pura Vida and New Friendships in Costa Rica

Hola! Greetings from Cafe Milagro in beautiful Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Cafe Milagro is a Coffee shop founded by a few college students in the 1990s. Located along the main road that connects the towns of Quepos and Manuel Antonio is where you can find this sweet spot full of tropical plants, a good meal and all the locally grown coffee you can drink (if you are anything like me then that’s a lot).

Continue reading “On Pura Vida and New Friendships in Costa Rica”

The Osa

To be honest, before actually coming down here, Costa Rica had always been pretty far down on my list of countries to visit. It is a sort of Diet Latin America – a commercialized, well-trodden travel destination where the only Spanish you need is “pura vida” and you can still drink the tap water.

But then the Osa happened.

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Working My Way Through Costa Rica

A month into living in Costa Rica is as good a time as any to explain why I’m here and to give my initial impressions.

I am doing an 8-month internship for Global Leadership Adventures (GLA). GLA is a B Corporation based in San Diego and that sends high school students from around the world on service learning trips in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. B Corps are like the meeting point between a non-profit and a tradition corporation, they use business as a tool to solve social and environmental issues. Continue reading “Working My Way Through Costa Rica”

Make It Count

I woke up at 4:30 am from an uncomfortable nap, only to find out I still had two and a half hours left before the plane would land in El Salvador where I was supposed to catch my connecting flight.

But then I peeked over to see the blue and pink gradient of the sky amongst the dark clouds, and as the light of the rising sun slowly filled the cabin, I was tranquil. Continue reading “Make It Count”

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