True Nature Travels Blog

Love in details…

And I start typing this letter while Costa Rica plays vs Canada.

All the family is together in our home, we are eating pejibayes and enjoying the moment. Soccer is part of the most important things for the Costa Rican people, you will discover this very soon.
Inspiration comes even when we pay attention to the game, to my three years old who is kicking a ball in my porch, to the rain that sometimes makes the tv signal become so poor… When there is not a good way to watch the game, we start talking, we imagine how interesting it could be to be there, doing our best in the soccer field…
Almost all the Costa Ricans are getting togetCosta-Rica-World-Cup-Gambling-Oddsher tonight… Almost all the Costa Rican are asking God to protect the goalkeeper… I am join them!!!
 Life is like a soccer game. We need to work together, we need to protect our team, we need to do our best… There are many people around, many people that are just watching, many people that are expecting to do the job in a better way, however they are just expecting to do it…They are not in the soccer field!
I feel passion for the colors of my flag. I am this kind of person who feels emotion when listening the national anthem, I am this kind of person who is proud about her country, about her planet, about the universe…
Tonight I am wearing my t’shirt…
Small details are the best! I just imagine how amazing it could be if I could have the courage to wear the t’shirt not only for the soccer game, but for life, for a better world. I’d like to have a team, my team, your team, our team…
It is clear we can make our best, we can make a difference if we all forget a7hjZj9K718ADrXbj8VKmr1LeHKnBwjtmci_lMaW75LQbout the limits, about the borders. If we play for a reason. If we play with love.
Seriously, life may not be like a game sometimes, however we can try to enjoy, we can try to play and have fun.
Having too many reasons to be happy, it is a waste of time to be sad…to be angry… to be indifferent.
A new volunteer team is coming soon, We are ready to start playing, enjoying, living the moment, experiencing love in the small details…
I love my family, I love to share with them, I am sure we all will love to share what we are, how we live, with you…
This is the second time and I am not sure if Costa Rica will win the game, however I am happy, I won… I spent the night in a happy way, I am still celebrating to have too many amazing people around and more people amazing people coming, like you.
See you soon, team!
Pura Vida!
-Lindsay Padilla

 Lindsay Padilla has been a dedicated True Nature Village Leader the past 8 years. She is committed to serving her community and supporting True Nature’s groups that visit her village. She is also a wonderful mother of two.

True Nature Travels Blog

IMG_20140325_164817 (1)We’ve had an incredible year of service in Costa Rica through our True Nature Costa Rica Service and Adventure Programs in partnership with national leadership organization, The National Society of Leadership and Success. We just wrapped up our 4th outstanding group of students last week representing “The Society” from chapters across the country, participating in global service missions in Costa Rica over Spring and Summer school breaks.

The Society/TNE programs bridge the two organizations’ shared mission to bridge the international community through service. With True Nature Education’s focus on mindful travel through service work on both the land and local communities throughout Costa Rica, Society members can expand on their dedication to the greater good of communities and become true leaders abroad.

1972248_10152204627005812_6132098145353937964_nFrom our March trip, Kathryn Hima of Stratford, Connecticut:

“I believe coming on this trip took me out of my comfort zone, no actually, it expanded my comfort zone. I feel I am a changed person now and that I am able to to see and experience the beauty of planet Earth. I will take the memories or Costa Rica with me as I keep on with my journey of life.”

Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.46.57 AMFollowing the June program, Candice Wroblewski of Michigan shared that she had:

“A truly amazing, eye-opening experience. You get a taste of Costa Rica that cannot be duplicated. You get to see how the Costa Rican people live as well as the rainforest and nature. I will remember this trip and these people forever. The guides were incredible and you can tell that they genuinely want you to enjoy yourself. The trip and the friendships made are priceless. ¡I love Costa Rica! ¡Pura Vida!”

Our second incredible summer program, which took place in July, can be summed up in Tim Wilson’s description:

“It is amazing to see people from all over the country come together for one week and have so many new experiences and help so many people of foreign country. Unforgettable.”

Our final trip of the year wrapped up with our December program with another great group of students dedicating their Winter Break to service. Kendra Hopkins of Greensboro, NC, told us that:

“While on this trip I have found myself doing things I have never done before and accomplishing a lot. I have meet some of the most incredible individuals the States have to offer. I am beyond grateful for this experience!”


True Nature Travels Blog

It’s not everyday that you can play with monkeys, build a school, eat three delicious meals straight from the farmland you are staying on, take a swim and practice a little yoga. But, on a True Nature Education Service and Adventure Program, this is just one day during an action-packed week of activities. 
What is the Service and Adventure Program? 
“While on this trip I have found a piece of serenity. I have found a part of myself that I has long been missing, and feel so thankful to have made some lasting friendships!  I will never forget this trip and feel so blessed to have gotten to come.”
– Melissa Kraak, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Our Service and Adventure Programs are an exciting new way to experience the authentic rich culture of the incredible country while also doing work to support its people and communities through preservation of the land and the environment.  In a time where our world is becoming more and more of a global family, what better way to be part of the bridge of support we are creating?
We’ve got an amazing group of student leaders representing nationwide chapters of The National Society of Leadership and Success in Costa Rica this week spreading the global service mission. The National Society of Leadership and Success is a national service and leadership organization throughout over 400 college campuses around the country. Here is just one day from their itinerary this week:

7:30am: Breakfast

8:30am: Transport to BBI Monkey Sanctuary for Service Work

12:00pm: Lunch

1:00-2:00pm: Swimming

2:00pm: Service Work

4:00pm: Labyrinth Walk

5:30pm: Return to Karahe for Dinner  (Announcements for Next Day)

7:00pm: Evening Circle/Letting Go Exercise with Special Nature Items to hold on to



Our Service and Adventure Program can be customized for just about any type of group you have from a church group to a corporate business retreat.  We love working with our good friends at The National Society of Leadership and Success. 
“This has been the most amazing experience in my life. I feel so blessed and privileged to be a part of this trip and provide my services to help others! I have never felt more useful and purpose driven, than on this trip. I hope to take a lot of what I have learned back home with me and become more involved in other service opportunities around the world, as well as in my own country. I just want to thank everyone involved who has made this trip possible and for providing us with two wonderful people to lead us around and grow with us!”
– Jenny Modesitt, Monroe, North Carolina

As they close out 2014 with their last program with True Nature, we are excited as we look to 2015 for four more Service and Adventure experiences planned with them. They are also open to any other student from a university looking to get something more out of their school breaks.

What are you waiting for? Check out some more pics from our recent trip and call us today to start planning a life changing experience for a group of your friends!


Pura Vida!

True Nature Travels Blog

IMG_5480December is upon is, which means we’re ready to kick off another Costa Rica Service and Adventure Program with members of The National Society of Leadership and Success (aka The Society) from chapters nationwide! Our next amazing group of student leaders touched down on Costa Rica this past Saturday, December 13th, and we could not be more excited.

Society members will have the opportunity to take their dedication to leadership and service on an international mission to communities in need in Costa Rica. The Society and True Nature Education share similar missions and values in their dedication to the “good of the community” through community service.

Students representing The Society will take part in a special travel opportunity that focuses on service that is directly immersed with the local communities in Costa Rica. Service projects will involve land restoration, community centers such as schools and libraries, working with native animals, and more.

New opportunities will continue in exciting adventures in activities such as surfing lessons, parasailing, horseback riding, rainforest zip-lining, sea kayaking, exploring waterfalls and volcanoes, and more.

This group represents schools from across the United States, including:

  • Georgia Southern University
  • Old Dominion University
  • Widener University
  • UCCS
  • University of North Carolina-Greensboro
  • North Shore Community College
  • Sam Houston State University
  • Kent State University
  • UMass Boston
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Tampa
  • MCC
  • Alamance Community College
  • University at Buffalo
  • Ohio State University
  • South Piedmont Community College
  • St. John’s University
  • Auburn University at Montgomery

Follow along with updates From-the-Road as we share glimpses into the experience throughout the week. You can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for photos and updates.


True Nature Travels Blog

On the True Nature Costa Rica Service and Adventure Program this week, we are thrilled to have The New School Montessori returning for another round of adventure with us. Ten students are exploring all that Costa Rica has to offer, and they are blogging from-the-road to keep us posted on their journey. 
Here is the first blog they have shared with us from their Costa Rica Blog
This afternoon, we did a reforestation project where we planted saplings in the woods. We walked a trail to where we were planting, where we each received one tree to plant: It was really cool. We dug a hole for our tree and placed the sapling securely inside. Once our tree was safely in the ground, we name them.

On the farm, they raise pigs, and in the surrounding trees, there were wild, three-toed sloths and toucans. Jack was kind enough to lend everybody a peek in his binoculars.

After we came back hot and sweaty, we took a nice relaxing dip in the pool. Although it wasn´t much of a dip, it was more like two hours. While we were swimming it started to pour hard, but we made it fun…

After our long lovely swim, we took a shower and had a delicous dinner. For dinner we ate rice, chicken, salad, and fresh juice.

Ooh, we almost forgot the termites. During the farm tour we came across a termite nest. Our guide, Steven, stuck his finger inside and pulled some out. He told us to try them. YUM!

Hasta Mañana!!!

True Nature Travels Blog

47srJjX5DnUXMc9b4kLxaGKmU5MoPu-cKBG7lPXcaj8Being open to discovery can come at any age.   Realizing the true meaning of travel, learning about new cultures, traditions and ways of life are at the core of what we offer our students who participate in our True Nature Adventure and Service experiences. This poem is an excerpt from a recent trip with Milford Middle School and the journals of one of the students.




Iy_ZSG5c4cEUhiNAbp04Vva0J_b7MBrROEj-61DWtNUWhat Costa Rica Means to Me

Peace.  One with Nature.  Tranquility.

Costa Rica is Family.

Natural Beauty.

Beauty, new adventures and experiences.

Costa Rica means being one with nature.


6X8_IIIuTpqwENNiJFaKPEzgl3dghVp1QZjhht29f4UNew beginnings.  A pure new outlook on life.

Costa Rica means beautiful sunshine and time away from a hectic life.

A spiritual journey to help me see what I didn’t see before.

The world is not as pretty as I once thought.  It could be better.

Costa Rica is great people, great food, great places, and great opportunities

Js6C6kIlYb0y5Jl17fALkgvwKq-rA4oseOTKVSgppIMTo help.  It means a lot to the world, and animals, and people that live here.


Costa Rica is people with amazing personalities.

Wild and good.


Costa Rica is remote.

Beauty and Peace.

aWVGNfhZcpdtr-fvmYC8b9B7FJArQAJPtQ9wDnb4nhgAre you looking to create an amazing experience for your students?  Learn more about how to plan a Student Retreat for Service and Adventure in Costa Rica for your school or classroom.




True Nature Travels Blog

“It was amazing to see these kids with no technology. Like this is what they do for fun. They don’t watch tv or play video games mainly because they don’t have those things. Yet they still have fun.”

wmjOsCvBQFPf-Z6iJqeKhdolgCFPVU4AKcQNIa_xcxUSome of our favorite Costa Rica Service and Adventure Retreats are the student focused trips.  To be able to witness middle and high school students traveling out of the country (most for the very first time), seeing the ocean, plants and animals, trying new foods and introducing them to a new culture is one of the most rewarding parts of our job here at True Nature.  One of our recent trips was with Milford Middle School.  The amazing teachers who accompanied the kids had them journal their experiences day by day.  This series we are calling, Mindful Monday with Milford, pulls out some of the great quotes and thoughts from their journals, reminding us all to remember to see things anew, laugh a lot, be grateful and much more.  

“Everyone got to know each other on that bus ride. Also on the bus, everyone was amazed by like everything outside and all the cool trees. It made America look dull. Like the trees here are perf. I love how everything is outdoorsy.”

Am7rz_CvsNZfB-6HaWxNunSklnGSl6aMwdNm0jv1ovA“After dinner was circle time and we said one thing that we were grateful for. Lea played her guitar and Lydia, Jaida, Me, and Kat all sang with her. It was very good. Then we went back to our cabin sat outside, talked, laughed, made stupid jokes.”

“On Saturday, we got up around 5:30. This may seem extremely early, but in costa Rica, the sun rise is like 5am so like sleeping in here is like 6:30. After breakfast we walk up to this old cabin and start cleaning it up. We will use the things we find to make toys for the monkeys. This was a hard job and it was very hot outside. Someone spotted a snake and Paydro picked it up and thankfully it wasn’t poisonous because it bit him on the finger.”


“The parasailing was like one of the best things I’ve ever done like awesome.”

“Then we went to go eat and we saw a sloth like on the ceiling sleeping, it was the cutest thing. After lunch we went on a tour in the jungle and saw sloths, monkeys, and frogs. They were cute and very cool. Then we went to a beach and saw a lot of crabs on the rocks. Then we took a short cut back to the original beach. On the way we saw monkeys, like so close to us. About three feet away from our feet. One of the monkeys had a baby on her back it was so adorable.”

“We talked, laughed, and talked some more. Then we went to bed.”

“When we arrived we got on the boat and left the dock with one other group of about 5 people. It was so fun, we saw pods of dolphins. There were pretty fish swimming around. I tried to touch one but they were too quick for me. The boat we were on had a water slide and you could jump off the edge into the water. We left the snorkeling area and headed back to the dock. It was a peaceful ride back, the breeze was very nice, and the food was good.”

EqWfM2MoG0QrYG6ijNIQJ2O7Oq4ZfiUhm_JktLu1cW4,ppQXcAl9BLvdtvHFFw4fnfnEmjPbIFeO7L4FDTj5-Ak“(Tuesday) In the morning we went on a meditation hike for about 20 minutes before breakfast. After breakfast we went on a tour and got to taste some of the plants that are used for food there. We learned about the chocolate making process. We saw the pigs sitting in the shade and the sun. ”

“When we got back, we thanked them and left for the homestead. We arrived about an hour later. It was cool to see how the people here live and actually get to experience it. They had 3 kids (Andres 6, Gabrielle 2, Angelica 11). They were so fun. We played soccer, duck duck goose (pato pato gonzo), water balloons, ninja, sardines, and guess who. The food was awesome. It was amazing to see these kids with no technology. Like this is what they do for fun. They don’t watch tv or play video games mainly because they don’t have those things. Yet they still have fun.”

we3iBLoJ273TFYZulvpk-KvaYLLXda1fwZCUPBV8y-M,NlN-qlI939AoZGlCFEILpJOCi9RyVxYubpeTLtypJX8Are you looking to create an amazing experience for your students?  Learn more about how to plan a Student Retreat for Service and Adventure in Costa Rica for your school or classroom.


True Nature Travels Blog

Village Rep Lindsay Padilla
One of our TNE Village Representatives, Lindsay Padilla

About 4 years… About 1460 days… About 35,040 hours… About an amazing person…

I still can remember the exact moment (which was four years ago) when we had the pleasure to welcome a group from the True Nature Education Costa Rica Center in our village. They painted two houses for many happy faces in our community.

People always say that time flies so fast. Maybe this is true, however, in this moment, time just decided to stop in front my eyes.

We were ready to toast with a cup of sugar cane juice in my garden, and my friend, Raylene Gerber, was there, with a beautiful student group as well as two more great women (the teacher and a mother).

But before I can continue with this testimony, I have to tell you something…

Anita, a smart 11-year-old girl, had just appeared there (two days prior), and we invited her to join us. Raylene turned to me and said with a smile, “She was the girl who has a brother (Ariel) and lives just there (pointing to Anita’s house). I remember her; we painted her house.”

Wow! Raylene has been volunteering here in my village for many times for many people, and in this moment, she remembered Anita’s face, recognizing her four years later.  I can’t imagine how many people she has seen in the last four  years, but she recognized her!!! That makes me think that when you make something with love, when your heart is open to new experiences and when your intention is to write a beautiful story in the pages of the universe, things like this happen.

TNE Village Representative Raylene Gerber on the left

Raylene Gerber, you are a blessing for the Earth! You did more than just paint her home… You put color to my week! You made me feel so happy to know how much you love everything you do. That is exactly what Pura Vida means!!!

I can spend all night writing about the beautiful experiences we have seen through the support and endless effort that Joshua Canter and his family have done in our community. I can say that True Nature Education really offers an opportunity to anyone interested in taking part on the positive change we all wish to see in the world.

After sharing this, at the end of an amazing week, I can say Buenas Noches, amigos. 

True Nature Travels Blog

Another post from The New School Montessori’s blog that highlights their travels and service learning projects in Costa Rica!

We woke up early, had pastries for breakfast and said goodbye to our friends at the Monkey Sanctuary and Blue Banyan Inn. Bye Bye Tikki!! We headed to the marina for our snorkel/dolphin expedition. We sailed around and found a new island which we have decided we want The New School to settle on as the new Costa Rica base. We are calling it The New School Iguana Island! After finding the dolphins we sailed to the bay off of Manauel Antonio National Park and snorkeled. We were surround by schools of beautiful fish.

We had some fresh fish and chicken from the ocean for lunch while Marley and Robin fed the fish with their own special food. After lunch we sailed back to the marina and headed to the National Park for a tour. On the tour we saw: howler monkeys, white-face monkeys, squirrel monkeys, sloths, iguanas, bats, hermit crabs, and more…

Freddy our guide has an amazing telescope to view the animals. Following our tour, we jumped into our bus and began our journey to Luna Nueva.

We just stopped at the crocodile bridge and saw a bunch of crocodiles that were bigger than us. That brings us to this moment, as we journey down the road to our next destination, The Luna Nueva Eco-Lodge Hotel. We will be in touch soon! -Hope and Sam Reporting from Costa Rica

True Nature Travels Blog

The New School Montessori is still in Costa Rica, and having a great time! Here’s another except from their blog:
We woke up this morning and started the day with a group meditation and some yoga. Following a great breakfast (Jim’s famous banana pancakes) we split into three groups for our morning service project. Some people did worm sorting (monkey food), some painted recycling cans, and some returned back to feed the monkeys. It feels fun and awesome to do service work. The whole time we were seranaded by the resident parrot, Kikii!

Following our service time we drove the windy, bumpy road to the beach. Yeah!!! The beach was fantastic but the parasailingwas magnificent. We had the opportunity to look at the world from a different and incredible view. While on the beach we swarmed the snow cone man, then called over the coconut dude, and we rode some waves the rest of the day. For dinner we ate at the Mono Azul (“Blue Monkey”)! Tonight we are going to have a sharing circle and rest early for a big travel day tomorrow. (Don’t be surprised if we take a day off the blog.)

-Reporting from the Field Shelby and Lucy