These past few days at Sarapiqui have been magical. We’ve been lodging by the jungle, immersed by a spectrum of bizarrely beautiful insects, frogs, sloths, birds, and howler monkeys. Throughout the past few days, we’ve hiked through the jungle with an ethnobotanist, who taught us how to identify medicinal and sacred plants and explained their anthropological origins. We tasted a variety of native plants, fruits, and endemic delicacies to discover new tastes alongside medicinal properties. We partook in a cooking class with a local family, in which we prepared aliments for a dinner we shared with them. We went white water rafting on a beautiful yet dynamically ferocious river surrounded by flora. We participated in a dance class and learned the styles of merengue, salsa, and cha-cha. During these past two days, we visited two protected ecological reserves and took a private tour in the depths of the rainforest with scientists, where we conducted experiments and calculated equations regarding biodiversity (the number of species in a given area) and tree height. The rain was furious and the thunderstorms were like nothing we had ever experienced before. The rainy season of Central America is not something to be underestimated! Tomorrow we leave for Arenal, an active volcano that is sure to be an enchanted adventure for us. We are all so excited!!
– J. Nodiff