Trojan Travelers Return from Tour of Costa Rica and Panama
The trip included snorkeling, zip lining, kayaking, white water rafting, and hiking nature trails with volcano and waterfall views. Throughout the trip, partnered with EF Educational Tours, the travelers learned about the flora, fauna, and ecosystems of the destinations.
Highlights of the tour included excursions learning about the process of making chocolate from tree to table, a tractor tour of a pineapple plantation, and a night tour observing nocturnal wildlife, such as crocodiles and snakes!
“I am so happy our son got to go on this trip and experience the cultures of Costa Rica and Panama. He loved it!” says Angela Hawkins, parent. Her son, Will, pictured below, adds “My favorite part of the trip was eating pineapple on the pineapple tour.”
Following the adventure-packed Costa Rica portion of the trip, the travelers boarded a plane to Panama City, where they continued their learning experiences by visiting the Panama Canal, Bio-Museum, Monkey Island and Gatún Lake, and Casco Viejo, the older part of the city.
“The highlight for me was seeing the Panama Canal with my own eyes,” says Spanish teacher and group leader Karen Hicks. “Now, when I teach about Spanish-speaking countries and cultures, I can bring my own first-hand experience into the classroom.”
Planning the trip began over a year ago, with families eager to provide this travel experience after the Covid travel shutdowns. The initial response to the trip was so great that the parent meeting needed to split into two presentations in order to accommodate all interested participants.
Following the meeting, fundraising began and continued nonstop, with the community backing the students every step of the way. Gumba’s in Blairsden partnered with the group to help out with finances, as did the Main Street Girls against MS, and several other private donors. Additionally, local businesses and groups offered fundraising opportunities for the travelers to earn money and help pay their way, raising community awareness of the huge endeavor. The group would especially like to thank Danielle Frid, Calpine Elks, Quincy Elks, and the Plumas-Sierra County Fair for their support.
As the travelers explored the countries, experienced the food and took in the landscape by bus, boat, and airplane, they grew closer to one another and bonded in friendship and camaraderie. “I feel like the trip really deepened our bonds with each other and helped us learn more about other cultures and how different things can be in different places,” says junior Elli Leff.