My general impressions of Costa Rica

Some facts and impressions about Costa Rica right from the hand of our dear intern, Karen.

Karen MielkeMy general impressions of Costa Rica

A trip to Mercado Central

The Central Market of San José is a feast for the senses, filled with fresh fruits, veggies, flowers, medicinal plants, clothes, souvenirs, seafood, pets, handicrafts, you name it! Before devling into these bustling aisles during a recent class excursion, Prof Mireya gave a spiel about the capital’s commerical heart: “The Mercado Central is located between Avenidas 0 and 1 and Calles … Read More

Emily CuretonA trip to Mercado Central

Piñata, café y ping pong

Nuestro querido estudiante Eli es el nuevo campeón de ping pong de la academia. El mismo día de su cumpleaños ganó el torneo y recibió una piñata por parte de sus compañeros, que después reventó con mucho esfuerzo. Esta misma semana visitamos el centro de San José y el Mercado Central. Comimos en una auténtica “soda” tipica y descubrimos que a todos nos gusta el cas. La última actividad a la que … Read More

Elider ElizondoPiñata, café y ping pong

El Sabor: Taste a la Tica

“El Sabor, el Sabor!” – This friendly shout fills Academia Tica’s patio every school day at noon, when hungry students flock towards the sound of Caribbean music and the wide smile of Don George. He emerges from a van and opens the side door to reveal baskets and coolers brimming with treats, which hungry students have been yearning for throughout the morning’s intensive Spanish classes. And … Read More

Susanna KowalzikEl Sabor: Taste a la Tica

Horsing around

The hand-painted sign showing two bridled horses does not point towards a fancy place. Turning down this stone driveway off the main road through Las Nubes will not deliver you to a state-of-the-art equine training facility. Nor are these lush pastures described in any Lonely Planet guidebooks. Yet, the animals grazing these hills speak volumes about the culture of Costa Rica’s Central Valley, where horses … Read More

Emily CuretonHorsing around

Catching lunch in Coronado

Up the hill from Academia Tica Coronado a cozy little place by the side of the road serves up about the freshest trout imaginable, Tico style. At this family-run “trucheria,” (trucha means trout), you can catch your own lunch from a backyard pond. Luckily professionals take over from there. Have a seat in the rustic dining room as the fish is seasoned and … Read More

Emily CuretonCatching lunch in Coronado

Un día en la vida: Volunteering at Carara National Park

In the tangle of cacophonous green that is Carara National Park, two types of forest meet, a mix of plants, animals and insects found nowhere else in the world. This convergence of Costa Rica’s dry Northern Pacific region and its much wetter Southern Zone is host to half the known animal species in a country famed for prodigious biological diversity. … Read More

Emily CuretonUn día en la vida: Volunteering at Carara National Park

August roundup of events

Events this month include traditional festivals, great movies, interesting fairs, diverse music and dance performances from all over the world. Movies Cine Magaly: This month a series celebrating female perspectives, “Cine con Lentes de Mujer,” will screen every Saturday at 1 pm in the Club Magaly, including “Caramelo” and “El Piano”. University Cinema: After the semester is over the series of free movies at the University continues … Read More

Susanna KowalzikAugust roundup of events

A bittersweet tour of chocolate

As I tentatively sip a watery concoction of cacao, almonds and chili, the possibility that this bitter-spicy beverage is even a form of chocolate seems remote, let alone that under my crinkled nose froths the ancient precursor to all chocolate as we know and love it. But history is a lot like taste — surprising, born of the bitter stuff and prone to unlikely combinations. … Read More

Emily CuretonA bittersweet tour of chocolate

Changing face in Escazú

When we pull up to his Escazú home, Gerardo Montoya hits play. Parade sounds fill this sleepy neighborhood in the hills overlooking Costa Rica’s capital city. Crashing cymbals and snare drums punch off time as we walk down the driveway towards a garage workshop where our host awaits, dancing among the monsters he’s created, many of them large enough to swallow a man whole. He cuts the music and announces: “Meet … Read More

Emily CuretonChanging face in Escazú