El Campanario from Griselda's eyes

Authored by:
Alexander Schwank

Alexander Schwank
Today we are featuring a guest post from Griselda Chavez! Griselda writes for her school yearbook and was excited to share her perspective on one of our favorite destinations so far. Enjoy! Staying at El Campanario became a highlight of the trip. Being in this station away from the city lights and busy streets was a nice change of environment. We were able to not only learn about biodiversity, but also make friendships amongst ourselves. We spent so much time together that we didn't have any other choice than to hang out and get to know each other more. Having no access to WiFi nor service prompted us to explore the outdoors and bask in the beauty that surrounded us which became very relaxing. Our new home which consisted of candlelit dinners, refreshing showers, and numerous Jesus Christ Lizards was an experience that we all treasured deeply. In the mornings, we would spend time on the balcony and play games while watching waves crash against the rocks. During the afternoons, we made it a habit to play games and relax while visiting the hammocks that held an astounding beauty of sunsets and the ocean. Some of the most memorable activities consisted of snorkeling, visiting a bat cave, and taking short hikes. As someone who is not able to swim, the first minutes were definitely terrifying; however, the view that I got was most definitely worth it. Schools of fish were visible as well as a small shark and it was a great way to cool off. It was an activity that most of us had not done in our life before and was nothing short of amazing. We were able to take the beauty into appreciation and be once again reminded as to what it is that we are protecting and why it is crucial that we continue fighting to preserve marine life. At the end, sunburns were received and fatigue washed over us but those minutes in the water made up for it. Visiting the bat cave with Nancy, the owner of the place, as our tour guide was extremely memorable. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity witnessing the bats leave their cave during the night and something I look forward to seeing again in the future. We were taught how to properly catch a bat and learn how they use echolocation. The bad reputation bats receive is misplaced for they are creatures that are extremely adorable and play an important role in ecosystems. The hikes we took tied our experience together with the critters we saw through our walks, especially the one to the waterfall. Unfortunately, not all of us were able to experience the second hike because some felt ill; however, those that went were able to appreciate the tranquility of the hike and take in the sounds of the rainforest. Although we may not have seen tapirs, we were able to spot frogs, lizards, and birds. As a whole, our 3-night stay taught us how small we are in comparison to the whole world and how there is so much to protect.

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