Trip of a lifetime

Empowering students through summer travel experiences

David Villa

It’s hard to believe that I spent a month away from home; a person can change when he/she is
in an unfamiliar location. Fortunately, I'm happy to say that I came back having learned to think
and behave differently (in the good sense). At the same time I've made sure not to alter all of my
personal traits that make up who I am as a person. But we're getting off topic, the minute we
landed in Costa Rica my mind was racing, still trying to process where we were. Over the next
two weeks, Los Lagos hotel was our home. It's location resides next to an active volcano which
is always comforting but nonetheless the hotels hot springs helped soothe the tension after a
day of working on our community projects. My project involved removing and replacing old paint
off the walls of a local day care; also, we'd drive over to a high school we're my companions and
I would learn how to cook a couple of Costa Rican treats. Each day I found myself growing
closer with the children and the teachers, it was hard work don't get me wrong and to be able to
finish the mural on time was just pure luck. In the end, the mural came out amazing; I was
responsible for the drawings itself with the silly animal cartoons which could put a smile on
someone's face. As for the beautiful coat of paint that brought this mural to life, well that would
be my companions who were diligent as I to completing this masterpiece. When we'd be helping
out in the kitchen, I couldn't help but have memories of when I'd be helping out my mom to cook.
The recipes were not at all difficult to learn and were a pleasure to eat at the end of the lessons.
Those two weeks were simply incredible, I was so disappointed to be moving to another hotel
far from the daycare and the high school. I had become such good friends with the youngsters,
they were so helpful and nice by wanting to help us scrape, draw and paint. All the more, we
played for a bit and got to know each other more. One child in particular, named Noelia told me

that she dreams of becoming a doctor, I in turn told her to never give up and to keep going
when times are tough. As for the lunch ladies, it was hard to say goodbye to them too. Each
lesson we talked and laughed about our days. In other words, they were all like mothers to me
teaching me to prepare tasty treats! After the first two weeks of community service were over,
the remaining weeks were full of outdoor activities! I got to experience kayaking, river rafting,
safari float, paddle boarding, zip lining, hiking, and surfing. Because of Trip of a Lifetime and
Rein Teen Tour, I was able to try all these new things, learn from all my actions and got to
discover my true self. The days we went hiking got to open my eyes and appreciate the
beautiful outdoor rainforest; I don't think that you'll get anything like that back in New York.
Kayaking, paddle boating and surfing were my top 3 favorite activities that I never thought I'd
ever learn in a million years but I did with some setbacks (however practice makes perfect). As
for zip lining, before actually doing it I was terrified of the the thought of be suspended up a high
altitude; though, upon going through with it I'm glad to say that it was such an exciting feeling full
of rush! Overall, this trip had taught me that if you have the time, it should be spent doing the
things you've never got to try with people that you care about. I really did love every minute of
the day in Costa Rica, especially when I had new friends to pass the time with. I still keep in
touch with the members of my trip, best people I've ever met in my life. The memories that I
made in Costa Rica will forever be a part of me and so will its effects on the way I live in the
present day.

  • testimonialImg

    "I may be multiracial and I may be living in the ghetto but what I am going to do with my life is going to be historical."



    "I may be multiracial and I may be living in the ghetto but what I am going to do with my life is going to be historical."


    Alphonso

  • testimonialImg
    “This trip made me realize that there’s more to the world than the South Bronx.”
    “This trip made me realize that there’s more to the world than the South Bronx.”

    Selina

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    "I am really and forever will be thankful to Trip of a Lifetime for giving me such an exceptional experience this summer that will be forever remembered."

    "I am really and forever will be thankful to Trip of a Lifetime for giving me such an exceptional experience this summer that will be forever remembered."

    Jennifer

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