BOYNE CITY -- Volcanoes, jungle canopies, giant iguanas and howling monkeys were just a few of the things a group of 27 Boyne City High School students saw on a recent trip to Costa Rica.
The Spanish language students interacted with local people while visiting three different cities in the Central American country from March 27 until April 4.
"I just think that it's a great experience for the kids," she said. "They were able to use the things they've been learning in class and were able to learn about the culture of a Spanish speaking country."
While in San Jose, students took dance lessons, did a lot of shopping at open air markets and learned to haggle with vendors in Spanish to get a good price. While there, Hertel challenged them to a scavenger hunt, which pushed them to test their language skills further, she explained.
"It was so cool to see them figure out what they were trying to find and negotiate prices with store clerks," Hertel said.
While in La Fortuna, the students stopped to see giant iguanas, hiked in a national park next to an active volcano, visited a waterfall and stayed at a hotel where instead of a swimming pool, they swam in a series of hot springs.
They also visited a butterfly garden, saw sloths, learned about the indigenous culture of Costa Rica and visited a coffee plantation.
In Tortuguero, the students were led on a jungle canopy tour during which they learned about the many species of animals and plants that live there.
"The jungle was beautiful, and it was like nothing else I've experienced," said senior Sydney Bennett. "Waking up to monkeys, the smells, the warm rain and the friendly people."
"I loved all of these locations for different reasons," said sophomore Alyssa Wonski.
"But, personally I really liked San Jose. I enjoyed wandering the town and going to the markets. I also enjoyed seeing the differences between their fashion culture and ours. And the scavenger hunt and dance lessons were fun and a great bonding time on the trip."
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