Athens High School

Observing local fauna and flora in Costa Rica rainforest

Culture and Language of Rural Costa Rica --Project Summary:
One of my desires is e to give my students the most informed education possible while instilling a love for and interest in the Spanish language and the various cultures that surround it. By doing this I know that students will be open to exploring more languages and cultures developing an understanding of the world around them. Hence, this summer I traveled to a rural community on the pacific side of Costa Rica called Playa Samara. Samara is a beach town that has not been impacted by tourism as of yet. Most would look at the area and imagine a beach paradise: palm trees, clear blue water, surfing, zip-lining, and horseback riding among other exciting activities to do. And yes, Samara does have these activities but it also consists of the local people. Within this rural community one can see the true life of the bucolic Costa Rican. 
My goal was to learn the language better, observe the teaching methods and strategies used in the classroom, discover how the local education system functions and make a connection within this community that I could introduce in my classroom and school setting allowing others to recognize that sometimes what we see as a paradise may not be a paradise to others but rather just daily life with its good qualities and on occasion rough times.
While here in Samara I was able to attend language classes reviewing grammar concepts, Costa Rican myths, learning about the regions of the country, and observing teaching methods and strategies that I will be able to employ in my classroom this year. I attended an artesian class where I learned how to make some of the local jewelry; I hiked in a tropical dry forest to a secluded private beach and also participated in cooking classes using traditional ingredients. In addition to this I stayed in a room above a local café where the amenities of home were not available. It was here that I began to realize that things are not always at your fingertips. 
I was inspired by the efforts being made by several of the locals and organizations within the community. I was able to sit down and speak and interact with an organization there called CREAR. CREAR works with the local school system providing an afterschool program designed to help students with their studies and to provide additional art, music and sports activities. 
Throughout this cultural journey I have been able to gather valuable information along with pictures that will be essential in this year’s learning environment.

 Photos from fellowship

Last modified: Tuesday, 25 November 2014, 1:17 PM