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The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint

The Student News Site of The Morgan School

The Morgan PawPrint


Costa Rica Trip 2024

Zip Lines, Waterfalls, Hanging Bridges
Students in Los Chiles
Costa Rica Chaperones

34 students spent the week in Costa Rica for their April spring break. World Language Department Head and Spanish

Teacher Señora Laura Luther is the person behind the entire trip. This trip and the Italy trip, happening the same

week, were the first international trips since the cancellation of two international trips, Greece and Costa Rica, in 2020 due to Covid-19. For details, see junior Rachel Spaziano’s article, Morgan’s International Trips 2024: Costa Rica, Italy.

Señora Luther was ecstatic once she realized the Costa Rica trip was finally going to happen this year.

The chaperones for the 2024 Costa Rica trip were Señora Luther, Assistant Principal Christopher Luther, Superintendent Maryann O’Donnell, World Language teachers Señor Jordan Bean and Señora Karla Rivadeneira and Math Teacher Jessica Lynch. 

EF Tours

The Costa Rica trip was through EF Tours, which has over 55 years of experience with educational travel for schools. According to the EF website, they “design tours to help educators teach, and so students can learn more—about tolerance, other perspectives, and themselves.” 

At one of our last Costa Rica meetings prior to the trip, we each received a EF Tours backpack, pamphlet, and bracelet. We had the choice of using the backpack as a carry-on, or just as a keepsake. Inside the pamphlet, was a card we tied onto our backpacks, with information, in case of emergencies. Finally, we each were given a bracelet, with the EF Tours’ emergency phone number, which we had to wear for the entirety of our trip, in case of someone getting lost.

Everyone was also given a Tour and Access number to put into the EF Traveler’s app to keep track of the daily agenda for the trip.

The Trips Agenda Breakdown

Travel Day – Sunday, April 7th

On Sunday, the students and chaperones gathered between 4-4:15 AM in the Morgan Hub. Chaperones split students into  assigned chaperone groups to check the bags. Each chaperone had around 5–6 students each, solely for attendance purposes on the trip. We then took a bus to JFK Airport, and went through security. We had a direct fligh

Guillermo & Ivan

t through JetBlue to el Aeropuerto Internacional Daniel Oduber Quirós (LIR) airport in Liberia, Costa Rica. We left JFK around 10:15 am EST and landed in LIR at around 3:10 pm CST. After getting through TSA and Customs, we finally got to meet our EF tour guide and bus driver for the trip. Our tour guide’s name was Guillermo and our bus driver’s name was Ivan. After introducing ourselves, we took a bus to our first hotel. Every time we were on the bus, Guillermo would speak to us through the microphone, giving plans for our days and fun facts along the way. Señor Bean said that “My favorite memory was the bus ride and talking to Guillermo. I learned a ton from him, talking about the culture and geopolitics of Costa Rica, and abetting to know the students better” 

While on our way to the first hotel, la Buena Vista del Rincón, Guillermo described Costa Rica as “one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth by size.”


Zip lining, Mud baths, & Hot Springs – Monday, April 8th

Giant Bunnies

We started off the morning by taking a sustainability tour of the farm around the resort. Angelie Jaramillo-Navas said “My favorite thing was seeing the giant bunnies at the farm.” We were then taught how to milk a cow, and those who wanted to were able to test out their new skills and milk a cow. 

Katie Nguyen zip-lining

After that, we took a hike up to the top of the resort, and zip lined through the Costa Rican canopy. We took 7 zip lines, back and forth, and saw beautiful views of the wildlife and nature. The zip lines were a huge favorite for the students. Junior Ivelin Orellana said “the zip lines had to be my favorite part of the trip, the views were honestly indescribable and even though I found it scary at first I ended up really enjoying it.” Junior Nina Fishman said she “wasn’t expecting it to be so breathtaking, and it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen or done before.”

After finishing the zip lining, we took a cooking and soap-making class. For the food, we learned how to cook empanadas, and were able to try them after. For

Ainsley Corgan, Lili Luciani, & Gabi Navarra rinsing off the mud baths

the soap-making class, we learned how to make soap from scratch, and were able to create our own soaps, with different textures and scents. 

We then took a steep and bumpy tractor ride down the mountain and were able to take part in a mud bath and swim in the Hot Springs beneath a volcano. After being able to spread mud all over us, from boiling mud baths, we got to swim through 5 different pools, with varying temperatures starting from above 100 degrees. We all got to go off on our own, and spend time with each other and relax. Senior Chloe Jackson explained that “Just getting to be with my friends in a beautiful place” was her favorite part.


Snorkeling & Coral Reefs – Tuesday, April 9th

For our breakfast on this day, we were able to eat outside and enjoy nature. Senora Rivadenera explained “Although we

Riley Kueve, Maddy Sacta, Noelle Maine, Leah Scoppa, & Kaylyn DaRos eating breakfast

participated in so many amazing activities on this trip, my favorite part was actually eating breakfast at an eco-lodge that we stayed in. It was refreshing to sit outside, listen to the sound of nature, and have fresh fruits to start off the morning.  It reminded me a lot of being at my grandparents house in Ecuador, as that is where I like to spend a lot of time outside just listening to the sounds of nature.” In junior Katie Nugyen’s article, Food in Costa Rica, students review and give their opinions on what the food was like, for more details on the food aspect.

Hanging Bridges in CR

In the morning, we all had the option to either take a hike across the hanging bridges, or to relax and chill by the pool before our next activity. Mrs. Lynch described the bridges as “something really different and cool. Although it was really terrifying, it was really fun and interesting.”

After lunch, we were able to walk about the shopping center shopping at tourist stores and getting ice cream or fro-yo. Parts of our trip, such as walking around local towns and shopping around, were implemented to help show us the culture, in a real life setting. Being able to exchange conversations with locals, and live the Costa Rican life. Senior Kaylyn DaRos said,“I think

View of the beach, where we went snorkeling (Gabi Navarra)

my favorite thing about Costa Rica was making new connections and bonds.”

After shopping, we went snorkeling. We arrived at a beach, and took a boat ride to the coral reef. We then went snorkeling, with a few tour guides swimming with us. We were able to swim with the fishes, and look at the beautiful life underwater. Senior Leah Scoppa’s favorite activity was snorkeling, “it was really fun to see all the fish and the water.”

Volcanos, Hiking, & Local Shops – Wednesday, April 10th

Volcán Arenal (Gabi Navarra)

We then traveled to the Arenal region and visited Rincón de la Vieja National Park, where we saw a clear view of the volcano. Our tour guide, Guillermo, even mentioned how we went to see the volcano at the perfect time, since the sky was clear from the clouds. 

After stopping to see the volcano, we hiked through the national park through two different ecosystems. Mr. Luther said “The best thing in my opinion was when we were in the jungle to the desert because it was awesome. It’s so rare that you walk through two different ecosystems.” On this hike, we started through the jungle, and halfway through, we walked over a bridge to make it to the dessert portion of the hike.

After another bus ride, we made it to the second hotel, Hotel Destinos Arenal. We dropped off our stuff, and were able to walk through the local town, shop and eat some ice cream. 

Boat Tour, Waterfalls, & Night Hike – Thursday, April 11th

Sara Stack, Chloe Jackson, & Angelie Navas on boat tour
Molly Vitola and Ainsley Corgan in front of La Fortuna Waterfall

We traveled to Los Chiles and enjoyed a boat tour of Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. We got to see many different animals, specifically lots of monkeys. Our boat tour guide was able to capture amazing pictures using a microscope. Junior Gavin Baptista explained that his favorite part of Costa Rica was “being able to see all the different animals, especially ones I’ve never seen before.” 

The next thing we did was visit La Fortuna Waterfall. After walking down 550 stairs, we were able to get great views of the waterfall, and swim around it. Senior Molly Vitola said,“My favorite thing was probably going to the waterfall because it’s something I’ve never done, and it was so surreal.”

Poison Glass Frog (Gabi Navarra)

Went on a Night Hike to see all the nocturnal animals in their natural habitats. Junior Connor Volhardt explained that “I’d have to say the best thing we did in Costa Rica was the night walk because it was a surprise that wasn’t part of the itinerary, and Mrs. O’Donnell was kind enough to go out of her way to make it possible

Sloth in CR

for us to experience that.” Mrs. O’Donnell went out of her way, to spend her own money on the night walk for us. It wasn’t in our original itinerary, but she thought it would be a great experience, and everyone loved it. Senior Noelle Main said it was her favorite because “We got to see different kinds of animals that you couldn’t pick out during the day. It was also a little creepy hearing all the noises, and all the piano dart frogs.”


Coffee, Coffee, Coffee – Friday, April 12th

Gavin Baptista and Mikey Ferraiolo testing coffee


We traveled to Café Britt in San Jose for our final activity. After eating, we took a tour of the Britt coffee plantation, and tried different flavors of coffee. We were then allowed to stop at the local shop, and purchase some coffee for us to bring home and try. Riley Kuever said “It was so nice to experience another part of the world and explore everything around us. It was such a once in a lifetime experience.” 




After traveling to our final hotel, KC Hotel, San José for our last day in Costa Rica, we spent the rest of the day relaxing by the pool and spending the day with each other. Costa Rica was such a surreal experience, and a way to give the students a chance to travel out of the country.” Senior Ari Salgar’s favorite thing about the trip was being able to “Travel out of the country with my friends.”

Kyana Lopez, Gigi Brown, Ivana Abarca, Rachel Spaziano, Ari Salgar, Henry Tessman, Ainsley Corgan, & Gabi Navarra

Travel Day – Saturday, April 13th

Connor Vollhardt & Gavin Baptista at the San Jose airport

We ate breakfast around 8, and then left for the airport. The drive from the hotel to the airport was a few hours. Once we got to the airport, after getting through Customs and TSA, we waited at the airport for about 2 hours. Our first flight was delayed for about 45 minutes. We finally got onto the first flight at around 4:45 CST. The first flight was from San José to Orlando, Florida. We landed at around 7:45 EST. After going to Security and TSA for the second time, the next flight we got onto was around 9:45 pm. We finally landed in JFK at around 12:51 am Sunday morning. After getting our bags, we started the bus ride home. We officially made it back to Morgan by 3 am. Senior Ainsley Corgan said that “I honestly don’t have a specific part of the trip that was my favorite, the whole trip was amazing and full of exciting things”

Señora Luther’s favorite part of the trip “was spending time with all of my students and showing them a culture that I love.”


Overall Favorite Memories 

“I liked the jungle walk late at night, because we got to see a lot of the creatures in their habitats’.”

Costa Rican Sunset

– Junior Rachel Spaziano 

“The views from zip lining were my favorite part” – Junior Henry Tessman

“My favorite thing was the night walk through the jungle” – Junior Lili Luciani

“My favorite thing we did was the night walk” – Senior Mia DiGiandomenico

“Either the hanging bridges the natural spring” – Senior Mason Mester

“My favorite memory was the nighttime hiking because we got to see so many cool animals” – Senior Sara Stack

Students walking on the rocks

“My favorite thing we did in Costa Rica was when we went zip lining through the mountains” – Junior Jason Mansfield

Senior Chloe Jackson

“My favorite thing we did on the trip was snorkeling“ – Davis Walker

“My favorite part was when we went zip lining” – Junior Nate Kinser

Ivana Abarca, Katie Nuygen, Kyana Lopez, & Nina Fishman

“Going on the zip line” – Junior Ivana Abarca

“The zip lining was my favorite thing we did” – Junior Mikey Ferraiolo

“Going zip lining” – Aidan Campion

“My favorite thing in Costa Rica was spending the week with friends and zip lining” – Junior Edyn Ortiz

“My favorite thing we did was zip lining because even though we were in the rainforest the whole time, it was cool to see so much of it at once” – Katie Nguyen 

“My favorite thing was going on the zip lines with my friends and being able to see the goats and feed them” – Junior Kyana Lopez-Garay

“When we went snorkeling” – Senior Madelyn Sacta

“I liked the waterfall” – Senior Gigi Brown

“I really enjoyed the zip lining through the mountains” – Junior Cora Dunham

Students in front of Costa Rican Sunset
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About the Contributor
Gabi Navarra
Gabi Navarra, Chief Editor, Photographer
Hi! My name is Gabi Navarra, I’m a junior and this is my third time working for The Morgan PawPrint. I'm on the girl's soccer team and track & field team here at Morgan.  I’m back producing for the PawPrint because I enjoy the freedom and opportunities the PawPrint has given me. I have been able to take photos for both sports and different school events, write articles, and learn how to film and edit videos. This class gives a taste of what it is like to be a journalist out in the real world for those who possibly want to work in the journalism field in the future.

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