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

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.