TICONDEROGA - Ticonderoga High School students completed a week-long educational tour of Costa Rica during the April 2010 break.
The students included Hayley Best, Carey Bevins, Carrie Bishop, Chelsea O'Connor, Chris Burns, Delaney Bush, Kalene Gauger, Corey King, Alex La France, Nate Lenhart, Adam Losher, Brian Losher, Brittney Lynch, Kyrstie McGuire, Dan Morrison, Meg Moser, Katie Palandrani, Courtney Shaner and Sean Smith.
The adults chaperones included Lynne Lenhart and Maria Bagneschi along with parent Pam Moser.
The excursion was organized as an educational tour of the many tropical rainforest preserves and towns in the surrounding mountains and beaches of Costa Rica. Sampling aspects of Costa Rican culture was also a priority for the students.
The Costa Rican guide for the tour, Jimmy Alvarado, is a biologist with many years of tour experience and the same guide used on a past tour in 2008. The students toured the Organization of Tropical Studies, a primary growth rainforest in the mountains of Sarapiqui. Rafting and a canopy jungle zip-line adventure were included in the Sarapiqui portion of the tour.
The second portion of the tour involved a journey to the eastern Caribbean coast of the country, through the coffee and Chiquita banana plantations. Students took an excursion through the Cahuita National park and visited Puerto Lim n. Snorkeling along the coral reef near the shore of the National park included a break for fresh pineapple and a visit with the Capuchin monkeys who wanted to share the pineapple with the students.
Upon returning, seniors Alex La France, Hayley Best and Brian Losher commented on the most memorable aspects of the journey. All said that snorkeling was a spectacular experience and a species of the Green Tree frog was a favorite.
Best preferred the "Jesus Christ" lizard, a lizard that walks on water. Chris Burns enjoyed the monkeys and Katie Palandrani enjoyed whitewater rafting. Carrie Bishop was impressed by the green tree iguana and eating the tropical fruit. Courtney Shaner and Kyrstie McGuire chose the butterfly farm and horseback riding on the beach as favorite memories, while Adam Losher preferred the Poas brown squirrel and snorkeling at the reef. Nate Lenhart, Carey Bevins, Delaney Bush and Meg Moser all picked snorkeling and rafting as outstanding memories. Corey King, Kalene Gauger and Brittney Lynch couldn't begin to choose just one favorite memory from the trip.
Chaperone Maria Bagneschi was impressed by the amount of learning that was taking place far from the tradition classroom setting. Her favorite activities were snorkeling along the Caribbean coral reef and white water rafting in the Sarapiqui river.
All of the Ticonderoga students commented on the great knowledge and caring that was shown by the guide Jimmy Alvarado. The final day of the tour, students presented the guide Jimmy and bus driver Viane with a Sentinel shirt and jacket, designating them as honorary Ticonderoga Sentinels.