Special Programs and Retreats
Ecology & Culture Program
We at La Anita are very happy to be the coordinators and hosts of the Ecology and Culture Program (ECP)! This 8 day Program is about sharing our ideas and experience with young and intelligent students who want to explore, learn and live experiences that will bring them new knowledge.
Ana & Pablo (La Anita Rainforest Ranch owners) graduated in 1994 from EARTH University—one of the most prestigious Agricultural Universities in Latin America. Their education emphasized sustainable development, ethical entrepreneurship and environmental and social commitment.
Due to their background experience, and beliefs, La Anita Rainforest Ranch is committed to sustainability. That's why growing practices are implemented to keep a balance in the environment. The community plays a very important role in every step. We feel it's our responsibility to work in harmony not just with the ecosystem of the area, but also "hand in hand" with our rural neighbors in the community.
For the past 5 years, at La Anita we have been successfully leading programs targeted to middle and upper Schools and Colleges from the USA. So far we have had the opportunity to host many students as well as adults from around the world who also learn about the same topics as the kids.
This program will expose the participant to new information, culture and people that will make a long-lasting impact in their lives. We help students become more environmentally responsible and culturally respectful by giving them the experience of staying in a rural village, practicing Spanish and hands-on learning about the importance of the rainforest.
ECP will consist in the following:
- The student group will consist of 10 to 16 students and one or two teachers (depending on the size of the group). The teachers will be responsible for doing all the necessary coordination prior to the groups departure to Costa Rica; getting passports, giving all info sent by La Anita to the participants, organizing departure schedules.
- La Anita will make all trip arrangements and will provide coordination of the group once the group is on the ground in Costa Rica. Transportation, lodging, food, airfares (if required), cross cultural experiences are all provided by La Anita coordinators. The accompanying teachers will be responsible for coordinating and leading the actual travel of the group of students to and from Costa Rica.
- All trips will be leaving from local airport early in the morning of day of departure and arriving at La Anita early evening of the same day. Once on site students will receive an orientation on the layout of the site, lodging assignments, meal schedules, safety procedures, site staff and villagers associated with the groups work.
- On day No. 1 students will initiate the Program with La Anita Rainforest tour, followed by a community tour. At the end of the day students will have a clear idea of the country, the area and the community.
- During the following days students and teachers will be taking fun and adventurous activities that will help them to understand the culture, learn about the importance of been ecologically responsible and improve the Spanish language. Some of the activities included are: canopy zip line, visit the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and National Park, Caribbean Cooking class with a lady member of the community, horseback ride, and dinner at homes of families in the community, community project, etc.
- The last two nights of the program the group will have the opportunity to travel to our neighbor country of Nicaragua. During this trip students will experience the rich culture of this country and the beauty of their land and people.
Places to visit and activities to do at Nicaragua: San Juan del Sur (Pacific beach), Masaya Market, Granada (a beautiful Colonial City), City tour on horse carriage, boat tour to one of the islands of Lake Nicaragua.
- The School can also choose to stay in Costa Rica the entire 8 days of the program. If that is the case, the last two days of the program will be at Playa Grande Beach (one of the nicest beaches of Pacific of Costa Rica) well known for hosting thousands of Leatherback sea turtles.
- Parents are very welcome to participate in the Program if the School allows that to happen.
Cost of the Program:
The program cost will vary depending on the number of activities and workshops the group decide to take. Average cost: $1,199 per participant.
Groups of 10 participants: Program cost will be free for 1 teacher.
Groups of 16 participants: Program cost will be free for 2 teachers.
The Costa Rica Science Research Experience (CRORE) is a program developed, organized and lead by Seeds of Change (SOC) a USA non profit organization. This program provides a life changing event for high school science oriented students. Each student participates in actual rainforest science research in the tropical rainforests and cloud forests of northern Costa Rica at La Anita Rainforest Ranch. CRSRE is affiliated with the leaf cutter ant research being undertaken by Dr. Cameron Currie at the University of Wisconsin and tropical field research being conducted by Dr. Adrian Pinto of the University of Costa Rica. Dr. Currie is a world famous tropical researcher known for his discoveries of leaf cutter ant symbiotic relationships and Dr. Pinto is a former student of Dr. Currie who is now in the Biochemistry Dept. at the University of Costa Rica. The students partaking in CRSRP will benefit from Dr. Curries knowledge, they will work in the rainforest under the direction of scientists from the University of Costa Rica working under Dr. Pinto's direction and they will learn the disciplines necessary to conduct successful research in this remote environment.
CRSRP will consist of the following:
- The student group from the high school will consist of 16 students and two teachers. The teachers will be responsible for conducting six lecture series during the school year prior to the summer break. Typically these sessions will be held once per month.
- The classroom lectures delivered by the high school teachers will prepare the students for their experience in Costa Rica. Seeds of Change (SOC) will provide a guide curriculum to the teachers but the selection of subject matter will be done jointly by SOC and the high school teachers.
- SOC will work with the teachers and will arrange for between three and five classroom remote lectures during the preparation classes. These remote lectures will be delivered by, Dr. Cameron Currie at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Adrian Pinto at the University of Costa Rica and from other evolutionary microbiology researchers at the University of Wisconsin.
- SOC will provide the scientists to lead the program at our research sites in Costa Rica.
- Seeds of Change (SOC) will make all trip arrangements and will provide coordination of the group once the group is on the ground in Costa Rica. Transportation, lodging, food, airfares, cross cultural experiences are all provided by SOC. The accompanying teachers will be responsible for coordinating and leading the actual travel of the group of students to and from Costa Rica.
- All trips will be during the summer months leaving your local airport early in the morning of your day of departure and arriving at the research site on the slopes of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano deep in the Costa Rica rainforest the early evening of the same day. Once on site students will receive an orientation on the layout of the site, lodging assignments, meal schedules, safety procedures, introductions to researchers, site staff and villagers associated with the groups work. A first important briefing will introduce the students to the activities associated with La Anita Rainforest Ranch, the ecological environment of the area, the various crops cultivated on site (chocolate/macadamia/taro/passion fruit/pineapple/ papaya/hearts of palm/bananas/cardamom/vegetables/tropical flowers). Science briefings on leaf cutter any biology will commence on the first day of science work. The emphasis will be to insure that all students have an adequate level of understanding of the microbiology of the fungus garden and the ant colony. As quickly as possible the students will be broken into research teams. These teams will develop their own projects, with their own goals, with their respective protocols. Some of these projects may involve research sites deep in the forest, some will be laboratory based, some will involve a midnight journey to remote colonies, etc. These experiments will all be guided by Dr. Pinto and his grad students, but creativity and knowledge pursued will be the results of students establishing their own goals. Research is very much a collaborative effort and as such, research teams will be formed by students so that each team is working together on a different aspect of leaf cutter ant research. Upon completion of the research projects each research team will present their findings to the whole group the final night at Finca La Anita. These activities are all important to the core curriculum of this program.
- There will be various off site experiences included in the activities while the students are immersed in this research environment. These may include zip line activities on the slopes of the Miravalles Volcano, Cloud Forest hikes through Virgin forests into thermal waters on the slopes of the Rincon De La Vieja Volcano, horseback treks on the slopes of the Santa Maria volcano into remote waterfalls or to observation points on the slopes of the volcano. Or this time may be allocated to service projects to help the people of the villages in this sparsely populated area well away from modern conveniences, and direct exposure to local families so that students will clearly grasp the cultural differences embodied by these poor villagers. Each off site trip is unique and the offsite experiences will be planned between SOC and the high school teachers.
- At the conclusion of the trip the school system must agree to host a presentation by the students during an evening session in which science students and their parents in the school system will be invited. The SOC staff member and participating teachers will be responsible for coordinating this presentation. Each research team will be responsible for presenting the results of its research during this program. Seeds of Change (SOC) can be contacted at: www.seedsforeducation.org
La Anita Rainforest Ranch offers different activities for the casual or serious Eco tourist. In addition to abundant wildlife, birds and exotic flora, there are opportunities for cultural immersion through the surrounding community. Join us to practice yoga in a peaceful environment, improve your photography skills in one of the most bio diverse places on the planet, become immersed in Costa Rican culture through local ecotourism adventures, or design your own retreat at La Anita Rainforest Ranch!
Photographic Tours: Worldesigns Photos - Costa Rica Tour
We recently constructed an open-air yoga studio that can be used for yoga and Pilates.
Host your Retreat at La Anita Rainforest Ranch:
La Anita Rainforest Ranch is the perfect place to host your tour or retreat. We design custom tours and retreats for groups of 2 to 20 people. We currently design custom tours for yoga and Pilates studios, corporate retreats, school groups, and more.