This past weekend, marked my third weekend in Heredia, Costa Rica!
My first week consisted of learning how to get to my campus, unpacking my luggage, ensuring that I was on track in my classes and creating bonds with my host family. I was a bit nervous leaving the states as this was the very first time on a plane and my first time being away from home on my own but it went by much more smoother than I expected.
My second weekend, me and a couple of Sol Mates decided to go on a hiking adventure and we decided on the Tres Cruces trail near the small pueblos of Alajuelita and Ezcazu on that early Saturday morning. This is where the picture below comes from, I am extremely proud of myself for pushing myself through this hike because it was my first time hiking! Although we were a bit tired, we were excited about this second weekend because it happened to land during the beginning of the celebration of one of Costa Rica’s most culturally important holidays – Costa Rica’s Independence Day (September 15th). We got to experience a lantern parade and see “faroles” in all different shapes and sizes created by school-aged children as well as experience how these children honor their country through a variety of traditional dances and songs. In addition, we visited the central market of downtown Heredia and got to taste a wide variety of fruits and our first “fresco” – a term assigned to any mixed fruit drink.
My third weekend, we had an excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park where we saw two three-toed sloths, “monos capuchinos” capuchin monkeys, halloween crabs and many other creatures of the rainforest. We also visited the beach portion of the national park, the waves were a bit more turbulent than normal because it had rained overnight and the rain continued to fall the majority of the day. The cloudy weather did not stop us from enjoying the sand beneath our toes, the sun on our skin and the waves around us as we are in the beginning of the rainy season in Costa Rica.
Getting to experience a bit more of the Costa Rican way of life first hand over the last two weeks with the help of Sol has given me inspiration to explore other parts of Costa Rica with my Sol Mates on my free weekends!