Of course, we know the Costa Rican people are known for their warmth, generosity and welcoming spirit. And we’re never surprised to hear our travelers sing the praises of our passionate Costa Rican guides, dedicated conservation project staff and communities and families they visit. However, when a college professor recounted this amazing story of hospitality from a recent trip to Costa Rica, it so touched our hearts, we had to share it.
In May, EcoTeach hosted a group of college students from the Midwest. The students didn’t know one another at the beginning of the trip but all had the common desire to experience Costa Rica…and experience it they did!
The group walked the beaches of Estacion Las Tortugas, a sea turtle conservation project on the Caribbean Coast, looking for nesting leatherback turtles, they hiked into the Talamanca Mountains to meet the Bri Bri indigenous community, visited a local school, learned the importance of organic coffee farming and built clean-burning stoves for migrant families. They learned about the country, the environment and each other. So far for the students, it had been a perfectly delightful, full-immersion, EcoTeach trip. But they didn’t expect what was going to happen at the end of the trip.
Two of the students celebrated birthdays during the trip and Eloy, their EcoTeach guide, and Don Carlos, the group’s private bus driver, devised the perfect “real-world experience” – a huge, family birthday party. Don Carlos surprised everyone when he invited the whole group to his personal home to celebrate the birthdays with his extended family. There were tears, big smiles and long-lasting memories created. Thank you to Eloy and Don Carlos for your warmth and generosity!