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Journals from Costa Rica Adventures Abroad 2012

2012-11-15 Nicaragua Trip and Afterwards

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Group on large hammock !

Pura Vida !

 Wow, what a stressful but fun first two weeks to start out November! The group and I went to Nicaragua for a week on the 5th!  The first day we visited the north of Costa Rica and saw some new sights and culture in the country.  The following day it was time to cross the border to Nicaragua.  This process took about an hour and a half to complete. The first thing I noticed about Nicaragua was the countryside’s green rolling hills that stretched for miles.  We also passed by the largest lake in Nicaragua, which had tall mountains surrounding it.  This lake is actually the largest non-manmade lake in the world. 

 In Nicaragua we visited several cities that were the most important to Nicaragua’s culture and history.  My favorite cities consisted of Granada, San Juan Oriente and San Juan de Sur.  All three of these cities have some sort of aspect of art to them.  Granada is an old Spanish colonial town, with traditional Spanish architecture and many different types of artisans such as sculptors and painters.  My favorite place in Granada was a hammock factory, where boys who were deaf, or had other handicaps, made the hammocks.  The money we spent here went towards the schooling and housing of these boys.  The group and I spent a lot of money buying hammocks.  I had never thought of hammocks as a type of art before I visited Granada.  In San Juan Oriente there are a lot of things made from ceramic, and in San Juan del Sur (a beach town) there were a lot of artisans who sold their home-made jewelry. 

During the fieldtrip to Nicaragua the group and I learned a lot about Nicaraguan culture, history and the great tourism that takes place there. It was a long, fun and eventful week!

When we arrived back in San Ramon, Costa Rica we had four days with a lot to do.  The entire group had several essays to write for our three classes and a test to take and other things to do to get ready for Thanksgiving break.  I have had no time since I got back from Nicaragua to just do nothing.  I leave for Panama with three other girls from our group tonight!  I still have a few more things to finish before I leave. It is so hard to be Pura Vida when one has a limited amount of time with lots to do.

The group and I have less than a month in Costa Rica left.  The thought of returning to Oregon is bittersweet, because we have established a second home here with our host families and our new friends.  We have come a long way from just feeling like tourists or visitors in our first few weeks.  We all have to make these last four weeks count, because they are already flying by!
 
Until later!
Mariah Gonzales
 

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