In the fall of 2010, Hazel Perepeluk and Lyndsey Morris thought about giving their students the educational travel experience of a lifetime; so they started a travel club. After 18 months of intensive fundraising, the travel club raised over $40 000, a huge feat for a community of 700 people!
Nine students and four chaperones from West Lynn Heights School (WLHS) in Lynn Lake departed Winnipeg and travelled to Costa Rica on April 5 to spend nine memorable days. The goal of this trip was to expose students to another culture and to show them life beyond their small northern town. Some students had never been on an airplane or seen the ocean before. WLHS students were able to experience the diversity of the Costa Rican ecosystem, culture and landscape.
Students were eager to visit Escuela de Cerro Plano, an elementary school in Monteverde, Costa Rica since they brought school supplies, Lynn Lake pins, outdoor toys and photos of the Northern Lights.
Visiting the school was one of their many highlights as they played soccer and Frisbee with the children during their recess and were able to see the differences between their school and the Costa Rican school.
Other trip highlights included zip lining above the Monteverde cloud forest, soaking in the Arenal Volcano hot springs, visiting a family-run coconut farm, watching the monkeys and sloths on the beach in Coastal Puntarenas, kayaking, enjoying the warm weather and making new friends.
Since returning, students have had time to reflect on their experiences. Some say it was the best time they had ever had, while others said that they are determined to get a good job so that they can travel again in the future. Regardless of what memories students carry with them, their minds are a little more open, their world a little larger and they have realized that life has more to offer than they once believed.