2018 Costa Rica Trip


By: Christian Santilli, Student Writer

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The students of Father Bressani are being presented with an exciting, once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to beautiful Costa Rica.  In March, 2018, Mr. Gorys and Mrs. Puopolo will be leading a student excursion to the tropical Central American country, with an itinerary including some of the most breathtaking locations the country has to offer.

The trip, planned in conjunction with EF Customized Tours will be an eleven-day tropical adventure, at a cost of $3200 (insurance costs are extra).  In this article, I will highlight some of the incredible locations and activities planned for students during their Costa Rica tour.  

The first stop for students after a five and a half hour flight is San José, the capital and largest city of Costa Rica. Students mainly use San Jose as a springboard to their adventure but get a chance to drive through the cultural downtown, the cultural centre of the country.

The next morning the group will head out through banana plantations while travelling to the beautiful Tortuguero National Park on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast.  The tour includes a guide through the historic Tortuguero village- home to just 700 inhabitants, and only accessible by boat.

Students will enjoy their third day exploring the lush natural scenery of Tortuguero National Park and the Tortuguero Canals which are home to exotic species such as howler monkeys, macaws, toucans, and caimans.  

The adventure continues the next day as Bressani students will board a bus to travel to the mountainous Arenal region, home to the mile-high Arenal Volcano, an active volcano soaring high above the tropical hills.  In this outstanding setting, the group will partake in a student favourite visit to a local sustainable farm where they are guaranteed to learn, laugh and be fed with all organically grown food.  

On the outskirts of La Fortuna, the main town in the Arenal region, students will complete their international community service opportunities with a visit to a Costa Rican school and an Childcare House (their version of a small orphanage). During this time students will deliver packages of supplies and donations they collected throughout the first half of the school year. They will be given time to learn about the Costa Rica school system and their rich culture.

“Students have often cited the community service aspect as their favourite part of the trip,” said Mr. Gorys. “The bonds that they create in the few hours with some of the students is actually amazing to see. We never leave a school without some form of tears falling from faces, not wanting to let go of new found friendships. The competitive soccer games with those kids are pretty intense too…some of those kids are small but they are fierce and refuse to lose!”

 After this the Bressani group will head to the Arenal Hanging Bridges, where they will be fully immersed into the remote rainforest of Arenal.  To finish the day, students can relax at one of the region’s many natural volcanic hot springs. “Words can’t describe the looks on students faces when they walk into the hot spring resort. The place is stunning and amazing and so relaxing. It is definitely a highlight,” said Mrs. Puopolo, the other teacher supervisor.  

And this is all just the first five days!  The next days include activities such as horseback riding with the Pacific coast in sight, swimming alongside waterfalls,  exploring numerous tropical jungles and coastlines, relaxing on the gorgeous Pacific coast beaches, and experiencing Costa Rican traditions, food, music, and entertainment at a special dinner on the last night back in San José.  

This Costa Rica excursion is unlike anything else that Father Bressani has to offer, as it allows students to fully immerse themselves in a foreign culture, and experience exotic scenery unavailable to them in Woodbridge.  It teaches students about our environment and highlights the great importance on “green technologies” that are going to dominate the future economy.  Students drive past and learn about the Costa Rica Silicon Valley where major worldwide computer technology companies have opened businesses and expanded operations to Central America.

Do not miss your chance to experience all the natural wonders of a tropical environment in one of the world’s most environmentally-friendly nations.

Mr. Gorys, the trip organizer, has traveled to Costa Rica several times, and he explains, “For a great life experience, there is no trip better than Costa Rica.  It has a little bit of everything, and something for everyone.  Students can gain independence, and learn some useful travelling skills, all while enjoying great weather, and an awesome environment!”

Remember that everyone is welcome to come explore Costa Rica with Father Bressani, so tell your friends and talk to Mr. Gorys for more details!  There is a parent meeting regarding the trip on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.  


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