Another summer… another adventure down south (WAY south). This time to Costa Rica!
… the ease of traveling (Costa Rica is only a five hour flight. Brazil was ten, but with only a slight time change traveling South… no jet lag!).
… affordability (compared to European jaunts).
There was one more BIG reason why we chose Costa Rica this year, and that is because a friend of ours hosts a Spanish Immersion camp at a magical place called La Paz Community School.
Our kiddos attend a Spanish Immersion school in Los Angeles, and it has been my goal to get them to a Spanish speaking country during the summer…
Rebecca, who runs Family Go Global (and just so happens to be one of Avery’s former pre-school teachers), made it an easy decision… and we are OVER THE MOON happy that we went!
We decided to attend one week of camp, and then venture off on our own for four days… but it will be tough not to attend the entire two weeks if we head back next year.
The kids absolutely loved it, and I was blown away by the beautiful campus, instruction, teachers and activities.
This was after our orientation at the school…
… when Costa Rica treated us to our first stunning sunset!
While the kiddos brushed up on their spanish, made friends with chickens, swam and collaborated on environmental studies from 9am to 3pm each day…
… mom and dad had time to play 🙂 .
We’d pick them up from their bus stop… and surprise them with an adventure (no, he did not drive). You would think all of the beaches would be packed… but we had this ocean (Playa Brasilito) all to our jet-skiing selves!
We stayed in Tamarindo, which is admittedly a bit touristy, but we loved the fantastic food options, it’s a great surf spot, and it was central to other areas we wanted to visit (10 – 40 minutes to countless other beaches, towns and activities).
On Wednesday of camp week, the entire crew of teachers, students and parents visited Rancho Avellanas, an artisanal goat cheese farm, where the kiddos were able to milk goats, learn about sustainable farming, and eat goat cheese and yogurt (which even some finicky kids found delicious btw!).
Run by Carlos and Hilda, the farm sits off of a dirt road that leads to Playa Avellanas (my favorite surf spot), and is dedicated to raising goats and other cute critters, and to providing for them and the land in a completely sustainable way.
Just look at Becky with the good hair…
More beach time followed… where the kids surfed, paddle boarded, or rode horses, and we all left happy, exhausted, and (the adults) maybe a little intoxicated by some damn good margaritas!
Thursday we grabbed the kids and took a boat down the river (the river mouth enters the ocean at Playa Grande and Playa Tamarindo… Playa Grande is AWESOME for collecting shells FYI).
If you are lucky, you can spot exotic birds, monkeys and crocodiles!
I have a video of the crocodile on my Instagram stories highlight Costa Rica… if you want to check it out!
Friday the parents returned to the campus to watch presentations of the kiddos’ work from the week.
It was so much fun to see how much their confidence in speaking Spanish improved… and to meet their new friends and bilingual partners they had been paired up with during the week.
I can honestly say that one week felt too soon to say goodbye. The second week of camp included hikes in a volcano, zip-lining, cultural celebrations and more.
As stated earlier… if we are to experience this camp again… we will stay the whole time, and maybe switch up the town we stay in each week just to have some new experiences.
… but I can’t complain… because we made our way north through the Guanacaste province up to Bagaces, and a magical little place in the dry forest called Rio Perdido, which I will highlight in Part 2!
Pura Vida!View Next in Series: Deesign Does Costa Rica Part 2: Rio Perdido