JR's Costa Rica Page

Journal Entries

     The whole idea for the Costa Rica trip started over a breakfast I ate with Brian Hemel in Myers Cafeteria in the Fall of 2000. Brian expressed an intense desire to do something special, to take a course that went somewhere, to do something that hadn't been done before, during his last semester at Brevard. 
     When I was an undergraduate and a Master's student, I did a lot of research in northern Central America. I had always heard that Costa Rica was close to paradise but my research never carried me that far south. I had always felt that I had missed a key part of the region. So, without hesitation, I suggested to Brian that we run a Spring Break trip to Costa Rica.
     By the end of our meal, the trip had expanded into a full course. It would mean that I would have to teach an overload but if the course were designed in a seminar format with specific student projects and presentations, I figured it could be done. 
     Brian turned into a dervish, whirling all over campus recruiting participants. Of course, everyone he asked said they would go but I knew from past experience that the actual number of participants would be determined by the bottom line.
     One of the first people to sign on was Jeremy Campbell. Jeremy had done an internship with the IAU tour company out of Turrialba, Costa Rica during the spring of his Junior year. With his basic knowledge and a reliable tour company, it began to look like maybe we could pull this off.
     From the beginning, we knew we would need a co-leader. None of the faculty in the sciences could free themselves from other obligations over Spring Break, so we expanded our horizons across the entire faculty. Once again, Brian came to me. He suggested that I ask Dr. Margaret Brown, a Brevard History professor. "She's really cool and gets along well with her students." he said. He was right! It didn't take too much persuading to get Margaret to sign on, although she certainly had some trepedation about taking 20 students to a place neither of us had ever visited before.
    Below, you will find links that tell most of the story of our great adventure. There are links to my daily journal entries and a link that will take you to the students' pages (Unfortunately, most of these are no longer active, but a couple of them are!). There are lots of photos and stories to tell. Your visit here won't be as good as actually going to Costa Rica, but it should give you a pretty good idea of what the experience was like for us. 

Map showing the route we took: The numbers indicate which night(s) of the trip were spent
           at each location.

     I'd like to thank Deborah Hall for all of the work in the Financial Office. The folks at Brevard Travel were extremely helpful as they made our flight arrangements. Heidi Galloway keyed my journal into electronic format for me.

JR's Journal Entries 
Links to other trip pages
3/09/01 Brevard, NC  to San José, Costa Rica                            
3/10/01 San José to Volcán Irazú to Hotel Turrialba
3/11/01 Horseback ride up Volcán Turrialba                                        
3/12/01 Río Pacuare Raft Trip
3/13/01 Sarapiquí to Volcán Poás to Fortuna
3/14/01 Volcán Arenal and Around Fortuna
3/15/01 Fortuna to Cahuita National Park                            
3/16/01 Cahuita to Puerto Viejo
3/17/01 Around Puerto Viejo
3/18/01 Puerto Viejo to San José
3/19/01 San José to Brevard


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Last updated
May 8, 2007