Most people only dream of visiting Costa Rica, but a fifth-grade teacher at Cape Horn-Skye Elementary School is turning that into a reality for several of her students.
Chelsea Meats and five middle school students from Canyon Creek, which shares a campus with Cape Horn-Skye, are heading on an eight-day trip to Costa Rica next July through Discovery Student Adventures.
The group hosts all-inclusive, teacher-led trips to locations worldwide. Students have the opportunity to explore areas seldom open to tourists, and they interact with the local people, landscape, food and wildlife.
Meats selected Costa Rica for a destination because it tied in with the science curriculum at the two schools.
“I’m always looking for ways to enrich our science program,” she said. “On this trip, the students will get the chance to work at a sloth rehabilitation center, hike through the rainforest and learn about reforestation.”
In addition, they will receive a guided tour through the jungle from the BriBri tribe and be introduced to their customs.
However, this kind of adventure does not come cheap. Meats estimates it will cost approximately $4,000 per student.
“We’ve never done fundraising on this level before and it’s a bit overwhelming,” Meats said. “The cost is kind of scary, but it is such an amazing experience for the kids.”
On Wednesday, Meats and Karen Kellogg, one of the students going on the trip, were at the Camas Farmer’s Market directing a bird feeder making project to raise money. Business was swift on the sunny afternoon.
“I’m going to put this on our big fir tree,” said 6-year-old Aubrey Germany-Edwards.
Her mom, Molly, said she was happy to support the fund-raising efforts.
“We have friends who go all over the place and love it,” she said. “It’s a really neat opportunity for the students they won’t get often.”
Kellogg, who will be in sixth-grade this fall, said it will be a big adventure to go to Costa Rica.
“I feel really excited and am looking forward to the opportunity to working with the sloths,” she said.
In addition to the bird feeders, the group is planning a Party Lite sale and working at concession stands to raise money for the trip.
“I’m just so excited to give the kids a trip like this because I had the opportunity to go on a similar one and it had a big impact on my life,” Meats said.
Parents will not go on the trip, as the goal is to get students out of their comfort zone.
“Plus, they are usually more open to talking with people and participating,” Meats said.
Students who will be going on the Costa Rica trip include Kellogg, Lily Hong, Natalie Garner, Esther Bedjan and Mitchell Leon.
For more information about the trip or to make a donation, call Cape Horn-Skye Elementary at 954-3600.