SAN JOSE, Costa Rica
Aidan Fazioli, a 14-year-old teen from Seabrook, recently completed a 15-day journey through the rainforests of Costa Rica on a Summer Expedition with Outward Bound Costa Rica.
On this unique course, Fazioli was immersed in Costa Rican culture in homestays with local families and stepped out of his comfort zone with an array of adventure activities.
Fazioli and his group began their time in Costa Rica contributing to reforestation projects in a nature reserve located near the Outward Bound Costa Rica base.
Next, the group hiked its way to the remote region of Piedras Blancas, through unspoiled rainforests, deep valleys, waterfalls and dense cloud forests. There, the group lodged with local families, practiced their Spanish and tried their hand at trapiche, a traditional method of processing raw sugar cane stalks.
“Staying at the homestay (was the most meaningful part of my course),” Fazioli said. “It showed me what people’s lives are really like here.”
The group made its way to a Rainforest Eco Lodge, where a breathtaking mountain view and a local family welcomed them. Fazioli learned about conservation and colorful Costa Rican tree frog species.
After these rich cultural experiences, the group headed to the famed Manuel Antonio National Park, where they learned about Costa Rican wildlife and enjoyed the beach. The group finished up its course with a zip line canopy tour and a day of whitewater rafting on the Pejibaye River known for its Class III and IV rapids.
“Outward Bound Costa Rica’s programs, like the one Aidan participated in, creates environments that allow for personal and leadership development through challenges, group effort and cross-cultural understanding,” said Jim Rowe, executive director of Outward Bound Costa Rica.
Founded in 1994, Outward Bound Costa Rica’s goal is to inspire a lifetime of leadership, growth and a commitment to serve through adventure-based learning. Activities include backpacking, rafting, kayaking, surfing, rappelling and scuba diving, as well as cultural experiences such as homestays with local families and community service projects focusing on people, construction, animals, marine biology and environmental issues.