Day 6 + 7: Rafting, Sea Turtle Refuge, and Travel to San Jose

Hello again from San Jose! We have finished our activities in and around Dominical today, and we are back in San Jose awaiting our flights back home tomorrow afternoon.

We spent yesterday rotating through two different activities—white water rafting on the Savegre River and helping with sea turtle hatchery/habitat restoration work at Hacienda Baru, a wildlife sanctuary and research center in Dominical.

In the evening, our very talented students performed in our annual Costa Rica talent show, and this year’s was one for the history books! Student acts ranged from an a cappella performance of Justin Bieber to a standup comedy act to a tap dance to a feat of hot sauce drinking to a Polka song performance in Finnish.

Today we spent the morning exploring caves at a local beach, and then departed for San Jose to begin the last leg of our travels. Everyone is tired from a busy week, but we are still enjoying each other’s company as we play card games and sing to pass the time without technology.

Here are a couple more reflections from our students:

Rainier Dela Cruz

On Day 6, we began in the morning with turtle habitats and then went white water rafting in the afternoon. At the habitat we cleaned up the beach, collected coconuts, and dug up trenches. At what felt like 89°F, I tiredly worked in a little sandlot that was not far from the beach. My group persevered for an hour through the heat, digging up very wide and long knee deep trenches. I felt like I was in the book Holes by Louis Sachar where characters dug up holes in order to find specific riches. Imagining that I too was trying to discover treasures similar to the characters in the book, I pushed myself to continue digging.

After lunch, my group went rafting in a class 2-3 river, meaning that the water is mixed with both fast rapids and smooth waters. Approximately halfway through the ride, we all stopped at a waterfall for wonderful water massages. In addition to making our way through the river while singing “We Will Rock You”, we learned that the storm changed 75% of the houses nearby.

At night, after a successful day of service and adventure, we had a talent show, exhibiting both student and teacher talents. Nick Kuwada and I sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” while I accompanied on the ukulele. We had a really fun time performing, as everyone was invited to sing along. Ending the night on a high note, Nick and I won for Best Act. Other acts won for Best Duet Vocal Act, Best Solo Act, and Best Comedy Act.

Overall, this trip was an exhilarating experience and I am really bummed out that it is ending soon.

Alisha Kalra

My favorite part of the trip was the waterfall. It was so exhilarating jumping off the rocks into the water. I was first nervous but with the encouragement of my peers I was able to do it. ¡Pura vida!


We leave our hostel tomorrow for our return flights home, and we will try to update the blog tomorrow morning with more student perspectives and pictures. Uploading photos has been a bit challenging with our WiFi connections, but check out our Costa Rica 2018 Flickr Album and this blog for updates as we get more pictures uploaded. We are excited to share more pictures and videos of our adventures with you!


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