Spanish students head off to Costa Rica

Brian Tobelmann, Staff Writer

In order to offer an immersion vacation to the Spanish speaking students, Mr. Adam Groebner organized a spring break trip to Costa Rica, allowing students to better learn the culture and language. Mr. Groebner, along with Ms. Mary Murray and 12 Spanish students, will be leaving on Sunday, March 25 for a week of true Spanish culture and adventure.

Mr.Groebner and Ms. Murray accepted the challenged of organizing and planning this opportunity after it was proposed by Spanish teacher Mrs. Megan Hansen. Last year at the language department meeting, Mrs. Hansen asked that someone take a spring break trip to allow students to have a cultural and linguistic experience in a Spanish speaking country.

Over the seven day trip, from March 25 to April 1, the group of 12 students and two teachers will stay in two different parts of the country. “We are in the rainforest for the first half, which will be fun because we are in a lodge, and then we go to Alajuela, near San Jose, where the students will be doing a homestay,” said Mr. Groebner.

In addition to the language immersion, student travelers will also take part in the exciting activities unique to Costa Rica, creating the feel of a once-in-a-lifetime trip. “We will be doing zip-lining and a boat tour through the rainforest which should be fun. For a cultural experience, we will be learning about their cooking and chocolate making. We will also be volunteering at an orphanage one day,” said Mr. Groebner.

The participating students recognize that they are being offered rare opportunities, and they have expressed much excitement and anticipation. “I can’t wait for the activities in the rainforest, and I’m most exciting to zip-line. I’m a little nervous for the homestay part,” said senior Catherine Ruekert.

The trip is oriented to introduce the students into a Latin American country by putting them right into the heart of the language. “I think it will be a really good learning experience for me,” said junior Nick Oman.

Mr. Groebner chose Costa Rica because it fit all the standards they wanted for the trip. “We wanted to go somewhere relatively close, safe, and somewhere that spoke Spanish a lot to offer a good cultural experience,” said Mr. Groebner.

The trip was organized through “Interact,” a company that specializes in educational trips to Spanish speaking countries. “It was an ideal fit because they handled all the planning and transportation, which makes it easy for us…because we have never been there before,” said Mr. Groebner.