Sidney Central
School District
Students visit Costa Rica
A group of Sidney Central School students recently traveled to Costa Rica, spending their spring break with an educational trip.

Those going on the trip were: Cameron Chabot, Michaela Cotten, Dexter Daroja, David Gannon, Nathan Gorshack, Levi Green, Alyssa Hawkins, Lilly Hinkley, Matthew Hoskins, Casey Lynne Mazzarella, Justin McMillan, Anthony Morris, Collin Searles, and Tara Smith.
The Sidney students were chaperoned by Spanish teacher Mary Rajner-Morris. Sidney also teamed up with Bainbridge-Guilford and chaperone Karen Mertz.
During the trip, students had many opportunities to experience cultural activities. Those included:
  • Learning how coffee goes from a fragrant plant to what is brewed each morning. This part of the trip, held in the capital city of San Jose, included tasting different types of coffee. 
  • Swimming in the river at the base of La Fortuna waterfalls, as well as kayaking on Lake Arenal at the base of the Arenal Volcano
  • Learning the history of chocolate, how it goes from bean to bar, as well as sampling different mixtures.
  • A bus ride through the heart of Costa Rica gave the group breathtaking views of mountains, valleys, and cloud forests.
  • A guided night walk through the cloud forests giving the group the chance to see snakes, scorpions, and sloths in their natural habitat.
  • Heading toward the Pacific Ocean, where they had the chance to see more of the landscape. This included a stop at the Rainforest Adventure Park, where they took an aerial tram above the canopies. They also explored a nature trail and visited a butterfly sanctuary. 
  • Taking a jungle safari boat cruise to see crocodiles and birds along the Tarcoles River. 
  • Visiting Manual Antonio National Park.
  • White-water rafting, as well as shopping at a local supermarket using currency from Costa Rica. 
  • Visiting local supermarkets to see fresh vegetables and fruits and compare to what we have here.
  • Swimming in the natural heated volcano springs.
  • Meeting with natives at a school, and played soccer. 
  • lanting trees to help preserve the rain forest.
  • Learning how to dance the salsa, merengue, swing with native youth.
  • Practicing culinary skills by making hot salsa.
  • On the final night, they attended a folklore evening, with authentic Costa Rican music, costumes and dance. The evening featured a lot of audience participation.
Rajner-Morris said the students and chaperones learned a lot from their professional tour director Jose, and bus driver Carlos.
They also traveled with a group from Idaho. 
“I love when students immerse themselves in the language and culture by using the Spanish language, which they have been working on in school,” Rajner-Morris said. 
The next trip to Costa Rica for Sidney students will be in 2020. Information about that trip and a parent meeting will be happening soon. Parents can also e-mail Rajner-Morris at mrm@sidneycsd.org.  
For a gallery of photos from this year's trip, please see below. 
Sidney Central School District
95 West Main Street  |  Sidney, NY 13838  |   Phone: 607.563.2135  |   Fax: 607.563.2386
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