Redeye flights. Running from gate to gate. Snakelike movements up the mountain.
Before arriving at the Monteverde Cloudforest campus, students from coast to coast were already embodying the Pura Vida lifestyle. With a tight flight schedule and multiple legs of travel, we arrived in Monteverde that evening greeted by rainy skies, but undeterred.
That first evening opened with a dinner that featured one of Costa Rica's classics: gallo pinto and a sweet treat. Excited but ready to rest, students were directed to their bungalows, lulled to sleep by the chatter of surrounding birds and insects.
Monday morning began marking the official start, as the group jumped into orientation. After familiarizing faces, some quick soccer breaks, and covering the logistics, we took a walk along campus to map out different trails, the library and lab room, the recreational area, and finally... the farm!
While the cows and chickens will have to wait till another day, we were able to visit a small group of pigs that kissed the hands of enthusiastic students. Although the morning was a leisurely one, the group jumped right into their first day of class in the afternoon. Rain pattered on the roof as they listed examples of anthropogenic climate change, connecting the dots by drawing some of their favorite places or animals on tiles that would later be 'destroyed' beneath the elements.
Starting by connecting the gravity of environmental matters and climate change to something close to home allowed the students an impactful first day, and eager to learn more.
Written by Alana Zick (they/them)