MHS students will be learning in the tropics of Costa Rica

By Lindsay Devereux | A&E Editor

During the summer of 2013, a group of students will be headed off into the jungles of Costa Rica to experience some authentic Spanish culture and language.

MHS Spanish teachers Floyd Montiel and Mark Lorincz are the main overseers of the trip, which will be primarily made up of students currently taking a Spanish elective.

Montiel chose Costa Rica because of its natural beauty.  As well as being physically attractive, Costa Rica was much less expensive than Montiel’s other option, Spain.

“It’s a beautiful country,” Montiel said. “It’s simply more affordable than Spain.”

The trip is part of the Education First educational tours (EF) program, which organizes school trips abroad.

“The EF arranges the whole trip,” Montiel said. “We just have to pay them.”

This will be the second time MHS has taken a trip to Costa Rica but Montiel has taken students on trips abroad before, including a the trip to Spain.

“This is my eighth trip so far,” Montiel said. “I would like to continue doing such trips but we’ll see how it goes.”

There are seven students currently signed up, and Montiel predicts roughly 12-15 students will attend. Among those is sophomore Brianna Patnode, who is looking forward to the trip.

“I’ve never been out of the country before,” Patnode said. “It will be a new experience.”

Many students were initially attracted to Costa Rica because of the activities they heard they would get to participate in.

“I heard about the zip-line tour and was immediately interested,” Patnode said. “Plus, supposedly there will be monkeys right outside our windows.”

The zip-line tour and white water rafting are among the most anticipated activities for the trip. Other activities include horseback riding and various tourist attractions.

“There is a folklore night that I’m excited about,” Patnode said. “They have Costa Rican style food and all kinds of activities. It’s supposed to make you really see the culture of the country.”

Montiel believes the trip will help with the development of the students’ language skills.

“I really think that they will be able to relate to the language better,” Montiel said. Patnode agrees.

“After taking Spanish III next year, I should be able to hold a basic conversation over there,” Patnode said. “I am going to try to talk in Spanish on the trip.”

In order to be eligible, students must maintain an acceptable GPA and have decent attendance. Being enrolled in a Spanish elective is not required because Montiel believes the trip has other academic benefits.

“Science is a big part of Costa Rica,” Montiel said. “They’re really eco-friendly.”

It costs each student $2,500 dollars for 11 days, and fundraisers will be used to help pay for the trip.

Montiel hopes more people will sign up as they learn more about the trip.

“People can still sign up,” Montiel said. “It’s going to be a great experience.”