Students and staff will spend the next week in Costa Rica for their annual international field-experience. All sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students will arrive in San José this week for the Pura Vida 2012 trip. While each grade level has a separate theme, focus, and goal, the three consistent components that connect the Pura Vida experience to all participants are learning, service, and adventure.
“That’s what the trip has always been about…ever since the original trip back in 2007 when I was teaching Spanish at Asheville Middle School,” explains Director Will Yeiser.
Sixth graders will be able to apply their recently acquired Spanish vocabulary by presenting a multi-media presentation about themselves in Spanish to a Costa Rican audience at the host school.
After studying Costa Rican poet Isaías D’Oleo Ochoa for the past week in Language Arts class, seventh graders will get to share their original poetry in both Spanish and English with the poet that inspired them! Isaías will host a poetry workshop with both FBRA and Costa Rican students when he comes to Nueva Esperanza for the day.
The eighth grade experience is heavily centered on service learning, as well as application of their three years of Spanish language study. Eighth graders will be travelling to a remote part of the Sarapiquí region to work with current Peace Corps members. Salamanders will be tutoring local elementary school students in Spanish, as well as helping construct and maintain local trails. Students will stay with local host families and will have to rely upon their Spanish skills to communicate and interact with the local community.
“I am extremely excited about leading this trip with the eighth graders, “ says Will Yeiser. “We have a unique opportunity this year to go ‘narrow and deep’ on the service component with the Peace Corps. I can’t think of a better experience for this pioneering group as they prepare to transition into high school, college, and the increasingly interconnected global economy.”
The eighth grade group will also experience and learn about local culture during a series of workshops hosted by the local village. Harvesting, preparing, cooking, and presenting local vegetable dishes along with how to play the marimba (a traditional Costa Rican instrument) are just a few of the experiences lined up for the eighth grade salamanders in the community of Otoya.