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Jacó, Guanacaste & Limón

Since I lasted posted, I’ve spent the past few weekends traveling far outside of San José to the “must-see” parts of the country. Our first stop was Jacó during our second free weekend, which is a known tourist hot-spot. The sustainability program students collaborated together to get an Airbnb five minutes away from the beach- we spent most of the weekend in the water, eating amazing food, watching sunrises and sunsets on the beach, and we did a bit of shopping in the central market as well! I even made a friend with one of the store clerks- since Spanish is not my first language I’ve been shyer about approaching people than I am in English, but I’ve been trying to push myself to befriend locals when I can.

The beach near our Airbnb

The following weekend I went with some students in the Health program to Guanacaste, which is known for beautiful beaches and lively nightlife. One of the girls had a family friend in the area who let us spend almost an entire day on their boat, and the water was super clear and calm (which was great because I tend to get motion sickness). I again got to witness some beautiful sunrises and sunsets, but this time directly on the water! I also had pinchos (bbq kabobs) for the second time, and I have yet to be disappointed. I get nervous about street food sometimes because I have a sensitive stomach, but they’re worth the risk. I must say, though, I’ve had no issues since being here and that was something I was very anxious about before leaving Philadelphia.

Monkeys at Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste

Finally, the entire program of students minus a few went to Limón this past weekend together. Trying to coordinate with so many people had its difficulties, but overall there were many highlights from the weekend. Limón is known for having the largest black population in the country, so as a black student traveling abroad, it was refreshing seeing so many people who looked like me and the people there are very kind (as they are all over Costa Rica). Also, we got to celebrate one of the girls’ 22nd birthday and enjoy some delicious, authentic Caribbean food.

View from Manzanilla National Park, Talamanca

While all of these weekend excursions have been a great way to see parts of Costa Rica outside of the city, my money isn’t infinite and I’m not working during this experience. So, for the remainder of February, I plan to spend my weekends in the city and with my host family to get closer to them and to have more time to thoroughly explore San José. There are some museums I’ve been wanting to check out downtown, as well as some market places and restaurants. Plus, I want to try and make more local friends and hone in on my Spanish-speaking skills.

A Message from the Office of Global Engagement:

The safety and security of Drexel students is a priority for the University. As part of the efforts to support Drexel students that are studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office of Global Engagement has conducted a rigorous review of programming and provided additional support to participating students with customized pre-departure orientations and regular check-ins during the required self-isolation period and the term.

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