Arizona High School Students Find Inspiration in Service
A team of 34 Arizona Fountain Hills High School students and chaperones united with Colegio students on Global Volunteers’ high school group volunteering program in Costa Rica. Working together, they carried out maintenance on the forest trails on campus – an outdoor classroom at this ecotourism-focused school, shared the “pura vida” culture in Monteverde, learning about commonalities in their teen lives. The students cleared the forest floor to maintain the walkways and create new pathways, shoveled and bagged gravel, and delivered it to the places where we the trails needed it. The group was surprised by how much they were able to contribute to the labor projects, and how much they learned about different work styles and expectations. Ticos (Costa Ricans), they said, balance exertion and rest – and don’t fall victim to unrealistic time pressures.
Read an expanded post by the students in Costa Rica.
Kiley, Fountain Hills High School senior, elaborated:
“This experience gave me a better sense of empathy and a solidified understanding that the way things work can be very different and still be 100% right… it becomes much harder to dehumanize a culture when you immerse yourself and see the people as people who are similar to those you know.”
A highlight was some dancing in the school gym. The high school students mixed, enjoyed salsa music, and practiced Latin dance steps with each other. They also were intrigued by the ecological diversity of the Monteverde region – observing (and sometimes capturing!) critters of all sorts – some exotic, some common – frogs, birds, insects, beetles, porcupines, snakes, two-toed sloths, and a kinkajou (an arboreal nocturnal mammal).
These images from Fountain Hills’ High School group volunteering in Costa Rica captures the students’ service, learning, and free-time experiences. Costa Rica was the school’s second group volunteering program with Global Volunteers. Read more about Fountain Hills’ high school volunteer abroad program in St. Lucia.
Interested in learning more?
The next step is to chat online with one of our Volunteer Coordinators about opportunities for a high school group volunteering in Costa Rica (or in one of our other 16 volunteer program locations). We’re ready to assist you with project descriptions, travel questions, registration guidance, and other program details. Let the adventure in service begin!