True Nature Travels Blog

 Student Service Trip in Costa Rica and Overcoming Obstacles

True Nature Education had the privilege of partnering with The National Society of Leadership and Success this past month. 25 lovely students with hearts full of compassion and eagerness adventured to Costa Rica to provide service to the local communities, and in the process had a blast!  A student service trip is a fantastic opportunity to broaden horizons and participate in global community service. 
True Nature Education works with some amazing individuals in the local villages. One of these leaders is Lindsay Padilla. A Costa Rican native, her mindfulness and guidance always touches our hearts.
Check out some of her insight on shining bright through the storms and spreading this light through service!
student service travel
student service travel
“It was a rainy night and I was at home with my two little boys.
No more people there and lots of thunders dancing and singing in my backyard… I love to listen to Mother’s Nature sounds, however sometimes it seems like a different rhythm… Mother’s Nature wasn’t as peaceful as I wanted her to be specifically that night.
So I decided to sit on my favorite rocking chair, with my kids. We played a game, it consisted of imagine us to be sailing, enjoying of the blue ocean and the bright sun… Everything was fantastic until the moment when Andres, my 8 years old asked me if I was scary…
Game over! They discovered my feelings and guess what? I was really scary…
We were expecting to welcome a TNE group next day and the volunteer action already planned was to work on a sustainable farm, a new project that is going to benefit a group of people from my community.
I am not always so dramatic, but Imagine your plans, imagine your dreams surrounded by lots of rain and maybe lightening… I was scary for the moment, for my present and I was not sure about next day, about my future, about our tomorrow…
I was expecting to share my “tomorrow” with people from different places, coming from far away to make a difference and the weather was not the perfect from my perspective.
As soon as I listened my husband opening the door, I felt better, I felt my family completed. My kids went to sleep and we sat on the floor, with a candle.
All the house was dark, but  there was a little light… Poor darkness, I bet darkness was not feeling completed because of our little light…
And I suddenly thought of our actions… Sometimes we feel it is not too much what we can do, sometimes we think of the storms, we think of the scary moments, we think of the darkness around the world, but we were born to be a light, to bring light, to make the darkness a little clear. Do we have to limit our good intention because of our doubts about the future? About tomorrow? No!!!
We were talking until our candle decided not to light… And it was a good night, the light is still inside us and you know what? Next day we enjoyed of the sun. No more rain until the moment when we finished our volunteer service… Mothers are known because of their DEEP love and Mother Nature showed us what love means, even during the rain…
It feels incredible to be part of the ones that are doing something, anything.
We have been welcoming too many “lights” from TNE. People that decided to be the difference, to be grateful even for the stormy days.
The stormy days are not totally bad, during the stormy days, maybe you can find out inspiration to be the light that others are needing.
Let’s your light be!”
Shine on True Nature family!
Interested in joining a service student trip? Check out our calendar here!
student service trip

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

True Nature Travels Blog

The New School Montessori created a blog to highlight their travels to and service learning projects in Costa Rica. They are having a blast! Here are some posts from the past few days:

Day One:

We’re finally here!!! We arrived late last night and we were so happy to wake up in such a beautiful place. We woke up and had a Tipico (“Typical”) Costa Rica Breakfast, rice, beans, eggs, and fresh fruit from the trees. After breakfast we headed to the monkey sanctuary where we made breakfast for the monkeys. It was so fun seeing so many different monkeys. Ben’s favorite was the capuchin (“white face”) monkey. Then after we were done we headed back to get ready for lunch and the pool….
Pura Vida from Costa Rica!

Day Two:

Following an awesome pool party we went back to visit our monkey friends. Now that we knew the monkeys for our second visit we had an opportunity to feed them. We split up into different groups and fed the marmosets and tamarans. We fed the them worms and bananas. Bella, the marmoset, snatched a banana out of Christy’s hand (see the picture) and Marley played hide and go seek with Jesse, another marmoset.

By the time we fed the monkey’s the afternoon rains had come and gone. We headed to the Labyrinth. For a short time we walked in silence, saw the sunset, and even saw beautiful rainbow over the mountains. After a long day we ate dinner and watched the wizard of oz. (Well the boys watched Indiana Jones!) There is no place like home…but this place is pretty cool…

Stay tuned for more updates!

True Nature Travels Blog

Dear New Friends,
Receive our warm regards from the beautiful and natural village of San Rafael!

My name is Lindsay Padilla and I want to let you know that all our kids and community members are counting the days in order to meet you here and I am honored to say thanks on behalf of all your costarrican friends.

There are many people visiting our country each year, most of them want to discover the wonder of nature and that is GOOD. However there are a few visitors coming each year and making a difference… Beyond admiring our mountains, the still pure rivers, the multicolor flowers and listening the many species of birds, they really want to know our people, our traditions, our culture. That is what I call AMAZING.

True Nature Education has been helping us to improve the local communities since many time ago and I can list the different projects we have done.This time we will be making more dreams come true, thanks to you!

Thanks to your visit, the kids from the school have access to food at the school cafeteria,
they all have school supplies and toys for playing during the breaks.
They also have a small gift and a party for their middle year vacations.
You will be painting a kitchen at Chachagua soccer field, where our kids sell typical food in order to support their soccer school.
You will be painting the bleachers and the changing rooms and the dogouts too.

You will be improving our communities, you will be helping the locals, you will be sharing your culture and learning from ours.

It is so sweet when I listen our kids talking from their penpals, pronuncing the names and expecting to welcome you here.
That makes me feel very proud of what we all are doing.
Thanks for joining True Nature Education.
Thanks for choosing Costa Rica.
Bye now, Pura Vida y nos vemos pronto!