Category Archives: Uncategorized

A peaceful and relaxing day at Mama Llena

With power and Internet out until about 8:30 pm, we’ve all had unplugged day. Many spent their time swimming, finishing journals and personal reflections, relaxing, playing cards, etc. I (Steve) haven’t been unable to get more student work up on the website. … Continue reading

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Mama Llena

We arrived at Mama Llena just in time for dinner on Sunday after traveling for almost 10 hours. But before we got our well deserved dinner, we had to unload our suitcase and roll them up to our house. We are all … Continue reading

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Notes from Cotito

Hey it’s Lizzie, Sam and Schuyler! While we are now at Mama Llena for the course wrap-up, we wanted to share a bit more about our time at Cotito. We arrived on March 1st and soaked up the beauty of … Continue reading

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There is a new tab – Student Work

See the new tab – Student Work. Note this is a sample and that not all student projects are digitally friendly. We are still updating it. 

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Copa Airlines flight information for March 8 return home

I just checked the Copa Airlines website and the flight information/schedule remains the same as posted at the beginning of the course.  Steve Copa Airlines      • March 8 depart Panama City 

12:34 a
m, arrive Boston 

 

6:15 p

m     … Continue reading

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We’re at Mama Llena now

After a long bus ride yesterday, we arrived at about 7 pm last night. They had dinner waiting for us. Some went swimming after dinner and many watched “The School of Rock” before going to bed .It’s 8:30 in the … Continue reading

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New Photos from Cotito

  It was nice to be off the grid at Cotito, but we couldn’t post anything from our stay there from that location. Now, back in Guadalupe, we can post photos.  See photos of both groups stay at Cotito in 2017 … Continue reading

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Adios Cerro Punta

Hi everyone, Sophie here. This is our last night here at Cerro Punta. Today group Pegasus spent the morning walking around Guadalupe. In groups of two or three we explored the town and asked the people we passed on the … Continue reading

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Buenas from Max, Marisa, y Malik

    Yesterday, we went to visit the AMIPILA (Amigos de la Parque de la Amistad), an agricultural initiative where we met Ana Sanchez, who told us about her work in promoting sustainable organic farming. Ana’s job consists of educating the … Continue reading

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Cotito to Cerro Punta

      Hi! Mu’izza and Sophie here, writing from Cerro Punta/Guadelupe. We just arrived yesterday for our second homestay. For the past four days, we our at Cotito. This year is the first time this trip has ever been … Continue reading

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Update from Gracie and Charlotte

¡Hola todos! It’s Gracie and Charlotte, back by popular demand. We’re coming up on our final night in Guadalupe/Volcán. This homestay experience is definitely different from Pedasí, but it’s been just as fun and welcoming. Our host family consists of … Continue reading

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Update from Sam in Guadalupe group

(Internet slow…photos coming soon.) ¡Hola, Sam está aquí! Ahora estamos viviendo en Guadalupe con familias locales y estamos asistiendo a una escuela con una profesora que se llama “Luz”. Guadalupe tiene muchos granjeros y vendedores y también la topografía es … Continue reading

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Update from Cotito group

Ben shared the following about what they have been up to in Cotito: “Today we are in the midst of our independent projects. We got here the first day and explored the hot springs which were beautiful! Yesterday we got … Continue reading

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Settling in

A brief entry…more soon… This morning all of us came down from the cabañas up in the cloud forest and divided up into the groups for the second half of the course.  Everyone is now settling in to their newest … Continue reading

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Marvelous Montane

Hi there, All due apologies for the lack of updates! Our last few days have been filled with mountain treks, vegetable-rich meals, and reconnections between Gryphon and Phoenix groups. The Los Quetzales cabins are stationed at approximately 7,000 feet above … Continue reading

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In the cloud forest

Hello! It’s Sarah Stockdale writing a quick blog post to update those at home on the goings on in Panama. The whole group has arrived safely at Los Quetzales, Cerro Punto, where we’re all enjoying cooling off in the cooler … Continue reading

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And Now We’re One

Look in Photos 2017 tab for added photo albums.  We have a lot more updates  and photos, but we’re very busy in transition. We have a long travel day today. Both groups are doing well and now we’re one. In … Continue reading

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Achotines – project writeup & presentation

Hey everyone, it’s Andrius and Sara writing to you after a very full work day. Each group had to complete their papers and presentations before our afternoon activities. Andrius’s group woke up at 7:00 to get an early start, and … Continue reading

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Link added to student Panama course instagram

See it on the righthand sidebar

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Achotines– Projects and More

2/18/17 Hello Old Chaps, It’s Hope, Sylvia, Liam, and Sara here describing another intrepid adventure from Achotines Panama. We write to you after a long hard day working on our research projects in the beating sun. Yesterday morning we all … Continue reading

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Ben Blaustein now has an album

See Ben’s, Max’s and Sarah’s photos under student photo albums tab.

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There are new photos

Click on 2017 photos for new Achotines photos and and student photo albums for Sarah Stockdale photos. More photos will be added tonight, and hopefully we’ll have a student blog entry as well. 

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Touring the Tuna Laboratory at Achotines

2/16/17 Hi, Liam and Sylvia here with an update about our tour of the tuna laboratory at Achotines! Today we visited the yellow-fin tuna culture labs at the Achotines Field Station. Achotines is surrounded by various fish communities, and therefore … Continue reading

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Phoenix – Pedasi –> Achotines

  Hello everyone! It’s Ben, Hope and Sarah Stockdale from group Phoenix, here to update you on our adventures in Panama! Monday morning we kicked off the day at Buena Vida Language School,  where we learned about traditional Panamanian dance … Continue reading

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Project finish & writeup

This will be a brief post. All is well. Students focused on project write-up and wrap up of the forest structure project. This is a continuing comparative project as we will sampling in the same way the other forests we … Continue reading

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Studies: Frogs, Spiders(2), Soils, Forest Structure (& Tree Climbing too)

Hey, Rory and Lizzie are writing to ya’ll today. In the morning we split into two groups of five; one group studying soil and the other made a biodiversity index of different plants in the rain forest. The soil group … Continue reading

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Greetings from Sara, Andrius, and Liam of Group Phoenix! Saturday was a packed day! After we finished our dance class, we went to the Maribé school to help paint the new playground. This was a project spearheaded by the Waved … Continue reading

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Soropta Canal trip and start of projects

Greetings from ITEC! And hello from Austin and Schuyler! Today the group set off early in the morning to visit the old Panama Canal built by the Snyder Brothers who owned and operated the United Fruit Company. After a 10 … Continue reading

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The latest from Pedasí

Hi Everyone! Hope you’re enjoying the snow! It’s Charlotte and Gracie (of group phoenix) writing to you from outside the Buena Vida Language School in Pedasí. We just finished a delicious lunch that was well needed after a vigorous couple … Continue reading

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Pedasí homestays

Our time in Pedasí is off to a great start. Today is day two of language classes. When we arrived in at the Buena Vida language school we were greeting by Dania, who runs the language school, and the homestay … Continue reading

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Rainforest and reef – Gryphon

2/10/17 Sam and Malik here, and we are reporting on Group Gryphon’s first two days at ITEC (Institute for Tropical Ecology, and Conservation). Following an early morning flight on Wednesday that gave us beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, our group … Continue reading

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Gryphon, ITEC & Phoenix, Pedasí both settling in

The Phoenix group settled into their homestays in Pedasí today at about 3 pm. They’ll meet tomorrow morning at 8 am at the Azuero Project to do work with them, and they will have language classes after lunch.  Group Gryphon … Continue reading

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We’ve arrived safely in Bocas del Toro

Gryphon group is enjoying a breakfast in town, and we’ll be going to our field station site in about an hour. Internet will be limited, but we’ll post if we can. Our cell should work but reception can be spotty 

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La Adventura Comienza

Blog Entry: February 8th, 2017 Hello from Sylvia, Liam, and Marisa! We arrived in Panama City yesterday at about 2:00. We made it to the Magnolia Inn at about 3:30, and got a lunch-dinner at a local buffet-style restaurant! The … Continue reading

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Panama leader phone numbers are posted (under ’17 Group Info)

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We’ve arrived safely and are in the Magnolia Inn

Plane flight was smooth. Everyone is getting settled into their rooms and we’ll post an update later. We’re about to go out for dinner

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See additions to ’17 Group Info tab & Sidebar “Important Links”

On the sidebar to the right, we’ve added links to most of the major sites where we’ll be staying or are hosting us in some fashion. In the ’17 Group Info tab on www.cswoffcampus.net, see the list for the Gryphon and Phoenix … Continue reading

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Flight information for 2017 Panama Course (updated 2-4-17)

The following is the flight information for travel to and from Boston and Panama. We are fortunate to have the only direct Boston to Panama flight. This saves much travel time and, very importantly, it means that we don’t have to … Continue reading

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Despedida (farewell party for end of 2015 course)

Tonight we had our despedida or farewell party. All the families attended in one fashion or another and there were many kids playing around the ground of the school. It was potluck and there was plenty of food for all. … Continue reading

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Entering final days in Pedasí

We’re now in the final few days of the course.  The final day of classes was today, and they’ll have an oral final evaluation on Monday. Today, as every day, for classes,  their was a rotation of groups among three … Continue reading

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Back from Achotines

Hello World! This is Emma, Rayna and Naty and we’re here to give you the best blog post ever! Tuesday afternoon, nine of us left Pedasí to stay at Achotines Research Facility, where tuna are studied in detail. Did you … Continue reading

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Settling in at Pedasí

Today was a fairly low-key day. Spanish classes ran from 8 am to noon. After lunch and a siesta we meet in the Gazebo in the park at 3 pm and played a game, led by Sophie & Jacob, that … Continue reading

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Ísla Iguana

As today was Sunday students spent the morning with their homestay families. We ate lunch together at the school, and then headed out to catch boats for Ísla Iguana. We had four boats for our group, and it took about … Continue reading

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Hello from Josh, Jacob, and Lena!

We are sitting at La Pandería in Pedasí snacking on some pastries. It’s a short walk from all of our houses and the Buena Vida Language School, at which we attend classes (completely in Spanish) from 8-12 during the week. … Continue reading

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Links to photos & student work

• Link to course Cerro Punta photos • Link to new set of Joe Hille course photos: Joe Hille 2 and Cerro Punta Fútbol • Link to sequence of playing cards with Laura • Link to Josh Glass video of ITEC projects: student … Continue reading

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Cerro Punta to Pedasí

Having spent the past two weeks at ITEC and the Cloud Forest in Cerro Punta, where most of our time was spent with each other as a group and removed from the outside world, living with our brand new host … Continue reading

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First meeting a member of their host family

• Photos of students first meeting a family member: Students & host family member • Link to ITEC photos you might not have seen: Projects & Soropta Canal

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On the Road to Pedasí

We’re in the bus a little north of Chitré. We can a little bit of an internet connection using a smart phone as a “hotspot.” There is plenty of things to tell about Cerro Punta (but that will have what … Continue reading

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Cerro Punta – Getting into the community

It’s been a long rich day. We have to get up early tomorrow, so I’ll just show some parts of the day in photos. Steve

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Subir, Subir, Subir

Greetings from the cabin 6 squad! We are all currently in Cerro Punta, about 7,000 feet above sea level. To get here we took a bus from Almirante, Bocas del Toro. En route, we popped a tire, and spent some … Continue reading

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Living in the cloud forest

We’re all doing fine, but we are busy. We had two hikes today, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. We split the group in two each time. Abel, an animated and very knowledgeable, guide whom we’ve worked … Continue reading

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Final day at ITEC & travel day tomorrow

While some students were apprehensive (and excited) about being in rainforest field station with no a generator for electricity (for part of the day) and no hot water, I think all really enjoyed being there. And, as we said, at the … Continue reading

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Project writeup and presentation

Today students made a strong push to finish the bulk of the data analysis and writeup. We had presentations at 4 pm. They are having a check for both science and language journals before we move on to the the next … Continue reading

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Projects & perspiration

¡Hola padres y madres! Sophie and Dean here, coming at you live from the ITEC palace. We haven’t seen any of the other blog posts yet, but assure you that this one will be the funniest. Today we continued to … Continue reading

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Biology, Beaches and Bananas

Feb. 17, 2015 Day 7 in Panama Day 5 in ITEC Today was the hottest day so far, well into the 90s with no rain (finally). In the morning we went our separate ways and worked on our projects. Some … Continue reading

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List of Projects at ITEC

Today was a major workday for getting the projects started in earnest. There are a wide variety of projects, and they take advantage of several major ecosystems nearby. While there might be some slight adjustments, below is a very quick, … Continue reading

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Sea Pearls, Poison Dart Frogs and more

Molly’s day: In the reefy morning, it was impossible to collect any data because the water was so murky. Lucky for us it cleared up in the afternoon, and all the reef project-doers were able to gather some data. There … Continue reading

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CSW Cavemen

Joey and Naomi recount the Panama expedition’s cave experience earlier today. Continue reading

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Hoy nosotros…

Hoy nosotros… Just kidding. Although this is only our second day at the ITEC research station, we have already seen so much! After some shockingly cold showers and a delicious breakfast this morning, we split up into two groups to … Continue reading

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ITEC Day 1

We were up before 4 am to catch a 6:30 air Panama flight to Bocas del Toro. It was raining somewhat when we got there. After spending a half hour in town the rain had abated somewhat and we took … Continue reading

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Casco Viejo & Panama Canal

We had a full day today. We went to visit the Miraflores Locks today and watched a couple of ships go from the Pacific Ocean, raising them 1/2 the way up to the 85 feet above sea level of Lake … Continue reading

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First night in Panama

After settling into the Magnolia Inn we went out to eat at Purdue Pizza. too too much to right now. We’re all going to sleep soon to get ready for a full day tomorrow.             … Continue reading

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Were In Panama City

We arrived safely and have settled in somewhat to the Magnolia Inn. We’re going out to eat.  It’s 86º F.  We’ll have a another post later with some photos.

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Note on 2013 blogs

The 2013 blog is up to give flavor for the course. The last things to happen in the course appear closest to the top. If you want to follow the course front he beginning, you will need to first scroll down … Continue reading

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Emberá Drua

We visited an Emberá community in Chagres National Park. In total it took about 2 hours to get there by bus and boat. The boatman displayed considerable skill in getting us up the river. The weather was great all day … Continue reading

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All Together Now

This afternoon at about 4 pm both groups arrived at the Soberania Lodge in Gamboa within 10 minutes of each other. The Pedasí group traveled from La Enea (~ 5 hour bus ride with stops). The other group had a … Continue reading

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We’re at Gamboa (at the junction of the Lake Gatún and the Rio Chagres)

We arrived safely in Gamboa. Things went smoothly in our boat ride from ITEC to Boca del Drago, then by a bus to the town of Bocas del Toro—and then we arrived at the airport. Our flight was delayed by … Continue reading

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Atenas group in Gamboa, Pedasí group bidding farewell to La Enea

We’ve just heard from Steve via telephone that their journey from ITEC to Gamboa went well, and the group is now safely tucked in at Soberanía Lodge. We’ll be joining them tomorrow to spend our last two nights in Panama … Continue reading

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La Enea

We arrived in La Enea, a small town on the Azuero Penninsula, to a lovely welcoming including a whole bunch a excited local children, our new host moms, and the mayor of La Enea, who is one of the homestay … Continue reading

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Dangerous Waters (Ari – ITEC)

Today we worked mostly on our projects. These projects consist of hours of field research on  a science topic of our choice and a full lab report. A group of us also went snorkeling today at a reef we had … Continue reading

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Beachfront Birthday

We’re all at Yarisnori restaurant to celebrate Sarah’s birthday. Our bare feet on the sand floor, the setting sun, the gentle ocean breezes, with the ocean 75 feet away are a stark contrast to what we are hearing about the … Continue reading

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Pedasi group has arrived in La Enea

I talked with Amber and she told me that the group had spent the morning at Isla Iguana (a little piece of paradise) and that they had arrived in La Enea and that all students were in their new homestays. … Continue reading

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Pedasí Highlights

Our week in Pedasí is quickly coming to a close. We’ve been enjoying our stay in this warm, welcoming town, and have kept quite busy discovering all that Pedasí has to offer! Below are some highlights of our week so … Continue reading

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Backyard Orchestra (Patrick – Pedasí)

I’m sitting in the rocking chair out back as I write. I spend a good deal of my time here. There’s a small table for eating breakfast and dinner and a small buzzing fluorescent to read by in the evening. … Continue reading

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ITEC projects and Student Photo Albums

Julia and Andre have some albums up for some of their photos during the course. Check them out buy clicking on the links above. Student projects have begun. Lydia is working with Leaf-Cutter Ants and the defoliation of Pete’s Yucca … Continue reading

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The Halfway Point at ITEC

Over at ITEC, the Atenas group is halfway through their time at ITEC. Our time here has been marked by unseasonal daily downpours, making trips to investigate the reef difficult until today. Despite the weather, we’re enjoying our time. Yesterday … Continue reading

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Culinary Homeschool (Jasper – Pedasí)

My host family has got this extensive garden where they grow all sorts of fruits and vegetables; bananas, coconuts, papayas, potatoes, and every morning they present me with a plate of fresh fruit for breakfast. My host mother is one … Continue reading

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Welcome to our new son! (Alex – Pedasí)

The homestays thus far have been unbelievable, but the contrast of different people’s experiences with such is very notable. Since my host parents do not have children, I knew from the start that my experience would be different from the … Continue reading

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ITEC — Into the Forest and the Sea

Our journey Saturday from Cerro Punta down the Pacific slope to David, back up the Pacific slope along a lower pass (~4,000’) down to the Atlantic slope to Almirante all went smoothly. At the actual continental divide we could see … Continue reading

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Our Pedasí hosts

This gallery contains 9 photos.

What a pleasure to be welcomed into the homes of our families here in Pedasí! Here are some first impressions: Jamie: After nervously awaiting the arrival of my homestay family, they welcomed me with open arms. I’ve been able to … Continue reading

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Arrived in ITEC! (Atenas group)

The “Atenas” group has made it to ITEC! They took a bus from the Cerro Punta highlands to the port town of Almirante. From there they boarded boat taxis which took them to Isla Colón in the archipelago of Bocas … Continue reading

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Some photos from ITEC (Pedasi group)

Click the ITEC Grupo 1 for a few earlier photos from the Pedasi track.

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This our last night. All reported that the mini homestays went very well. In the afternoon, both farm practices and issues surrounding hydroelectric projects were discussed with Ana, Luis and others. After that students had free time: some rode some … Continue reading

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Viajando a Azuero

Last night, the Pedasí group spent their first night with their homestay families! This morning the patio of Buena Vida Language School filled with lively voices of students excitedly sharing about their first moments with the families, delicious meals, basketball … Continue reading

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Los Leones, Los Tigres, y LOS PERROS, ¡Caramba! (Atenas – Jenn Baatz)

Si tiene alergia a los perros, no venga a Costa Rica. En Costa Rica hay muchos perros por todos lados. Me gustan los dos perritos en mi familia anfitriona, pero hay un otro perro y creo que él quiere matarme. … Continue reading

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Pura Vida (Atenas- Emma Rose)

While cooking pollo y verduras a friend of mine from csw turned to me and began a story with “mi mama.” Laughter of fluent Spanish speakers and even some csw students inflated the room, because while “mamá” means mom, “mama” … Continue reading

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The cloud forest and farms (Atenas)

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind with both groups intersecting, and there has been a rich, albeit brief exchange between the two groups. The Atenas group settled in for 2 days and stayed in  fantastic cabins in the forest. … Continue reading

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Pedasí group is in Pedasí

The Pedasí group left about 8:20 this morning and arrived with time to spare before entering their homestays. Last night they gave presentations of their independent initiatives and had a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. I’m sure you’ll get … Continue reading

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Farming and Feasting in Guadalupe

This gallery contains 6 photos.

  The group (Atenas track) that just arrived from Costa Rica continues to settle into the cloud forest and went on their first excursions through forest trails. Their evening ended with a lively discussion spurred by Abel, our fabulous guide … Continue reading

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Convergence in the cloud forest

Both groups are now tucked into the cabins in the cloud forest of Los Quetzales. The group from Atenas managed to wrest themselves out of bed by 5 am, and journey by bus along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica … Continue reading

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Paradise in the Cloud Forest – Jamie and Maddy

Upon arriving back at our cabins after dinner, we discovered there were some friendly visitors in our kitchen. We found a kinkajou stealing our bananas after a door was left open…we won’t be making that mistake again. We had fun … Continue reading

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Crocodiles in Carara–Julia

Feb. 17 Sunday was the day we took our trip to the National Park of Carrara. Carrara is about an hour drive away from where we are staying in Atenas and on the way we stopped to refresh with some … Continue reading

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Dear readers

Hello dear readers–apologies for the delays in entries! You might notice that we’ll be backtracking for a little while until we get caught up. Soon we’ll be off to Panama, where internet may be intermittent. Thanks for your patience! 

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Vamos a Bailar….–Meike

Every year Atenas hosts “La Fiesta Sabana Larga”– a three-day festival about fifteen minutes from the Center of Atenas. The fiesta holds dancing, food, souvenirs and most importantly bull fights and horse shows. People from all over Costa Rica come … Continue reading

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Up in the Cloud Forest

We made our way up into the forest and are safely nestled into our cabins. To our surprise, our cabins are equipped with both electricity and wifi, but we are determined to not let these distract us from being present … Continue reading

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We’ve Arrived in Cerro Punta

We left ITEC at about 8 this morning. We took two boats to the port of Almirante, and then boarded a bus for Cerro Punta. After following the coast for a while we cut over to cross over the continental … Continue reading

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Karl

We have no Internet at the Field station. We learned of Karl Fisher’s passing in the morning, and after lunch we circled up and told the students of Kar’ls death. We had a long moment of silence interrupted only by the … Continue reading

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Projects

  I will give you a very brief overview of student projects: Liam, Jasper and Alex are looking at the Golden Orb spider. Often, nearby the large females are much smaller males as well as another small species of  “clepto”-parasitic … Continue reading

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Itec

Hola Familias! We’ve been having some busy days here at Itec. The weather has been great everyday, except today where it has been raining all day. It’s a nice refreshing rain though. Everyone has been working on their science projects … Continue reading

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Festival de Colores –Awa

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Atenas…. Atenas…. Such a delightful and vibrant town…. It is hard to believe that tomorrow will mark our first week here. What a pleasant and incredible experience it has been so far. I bathe in the sweet and delicate scents … Continue reading

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