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WAIS students visit Costa Rica

Students from the Westminster Academy for International Studies took their name to heart as they traveled internationally to Costa Rica over spring break to get a real feel for life in another country.

Their visit had a little bit of everything:

New friends and food.

A jungle zip line over the rain forest.

Bugs, snakes and native animals.

And a greater understanding of another culture and its values.

This is the first time the school has traveled to Costa Rica since its opening. This excursion fulfills a part of the school’s mission to expose students to a world beyond Westminster. In addition to a memorable adventure, students who went on this trip also earned high school graduation credits in “Global Citizenship”.

“My students want to change the world and the best way to do this is to see the world,” said Cassie Yount, a teacher who accompanied the students on the trip along with Beverly Cloud.

11 students went on the weeklong journey, and for many it was the first time they had ever flown on an airplane. During their trip they visited the rain forest, traveled to a volcano, spent time at banana and coffee plantations and spent time with students from Earth University. These travelers also stopped by a local elementary school where they tuned into to their Spanish language skills to communicate with Costa Rican students.

“They got to personally experience a new land and culture instead of reading about it in a book,” WAIS Assistant Principal, Melissa Sandoval told the Board of Education during a briefing about the trip.

One of the students, Mario, took on a research project to examine how the phrase “¡Pura Vida!” is used in Costa Rica. Simply translated, it means “Simple Life” or “Pure Life.” In his research, Mario discovered that “¡Pura Vida!” is also a way to say “Hello”, “Goodbye” and it conveys a message that “It’s a good life and everything is going well.”

Those who did not go to Costa Rica followed the adventure via email and skype.

Next up for WAIS, Paris and a class trip to the south of France in the spring of 2020.