Last week, through the high school study abroad program AFS, a group of students from New York City visited our station on the Osa Peninsula with the support of Chess in the Schools, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to improving academic performance and building self-esteem among inner-city public school children.
“My favorite part was climbing the mango trees,” said one of the students. “I got to understand what nature is for the first time.”
This marked the first time most of these students have been engaged in overnight outdoor experience, let alone a real jungle adventure, and what an experience it was. They got dirty, saw incredible wildlife including prehistoric-sized insects, and had a great Fourth of July cook out! The students had a great time, as did we. In addition to “never having done that much work in our life,” the students had a blast watching sunsets from the new education facilites at the Greg Gund Conservation Center, and planting trees in our reforestation plots. “Just a suggestion” said one student, “don’t change anything.”
Needless to say, the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and they all want to come back and volunteer again. Thanks to AFS and Chess in the Schools for a wonderful week!
Check out more pictures from Chess in the Schools’ visit to the Osa.