Editor’s note: Nevis teacher Jodi Sandmeyer was one of the chaperones who accompanied a group of Nevis students on a trip to Costa Rica during the last week of November. Additional photos will be featured on parkrapidsenterprise.com.

This trip was unbelievable. I was able to travel with a great group of students and chaperones. We were able to experience the culture and see the environment in various parts of the country. We had many laughs and participated in many different activities which challenged our beliefs/understanding of our own culture, our physical fitness and our personal strength where students overcame their own fears of height or pushed themselves to keep going while biking. I was very proud of the way our students behaved and wanted to truly learn and experience all they could while on the trip.

Students also wrote about their favorite parts of the trip:

Megan Geraedts: My favorite part was seeing the children at the school and zip lining. The kids were so cute and just as excited as we were to see them! It really made me realize how lucky we are compared to them. Zip lining was a cool experience. I am scared of heights, but I wasn’t scared zip lining. I let myself go and just have fun! These are things I will treasure from the trip.

Teri Girtz: My favorite part of the entire trip was being able to experience a new culture while getting to know my classmates and advisors more. We spent a lot of time with each other and it was fun the entire time. We got to learn in a fun way that I believe was very beneficial to everyone.

Katie Kamphaus: My favorite part was zip lining because we were able to see parts of the nature that we weren't able to see during the walks. Also, we were able to see views that were extraordinary! The guides also were fun because they talked to us and did crazy things to get more involved with us.

Eddie Kramer: My favorite part of the trip was going to the waterfall and swimming in it because it is just an awesome waterfall. The water was warm and it the spray from the waterfall was cool to see.

Megan Lindow: My favorite part of the trip was the school visit. I loved getting to show the kids pictures of Minnesota and get to learn about their culture while also teaching them mine. It was also fun to get to speak some "Spanglish" (Spanish/English) with them! Getting to learn about their education system was very interesting to me. There are so many similarities and differences to our system here in America and I enjoyed comparing the two.

Cole Mastley: I really just liked to see the respect that everyone has for the religious aspect of the country. Also, I liked how our tour director, Aura, explained family life and how people treat each other like family even when they aren’t.

Jack McNamee: My favorite activity of the trip was either the biking or swimming under the waterfall. The biking was fun with the big hills; it was a challenge. The waterfall was fun to swim near; plus seeing the bats and the vegetation was cool.

Chase Munn: My favorite part of the trip was honestly meeting the amazing people along the way. Of course I loved the forests, waterfall, zip lining and everything, but the guides and the people of Costa Rica genuinely cared about preserving wildlife and their country. The people of Costa Rica put in their heart and soul to protecting the forests, wildlife and culture. It was hearing their reasons and personal interest in preserving and protecting these things that opened my eyes and made me realize it’s a lot of hard work.

Wyatt Rech: I enjoyed seeing all of the vegetation on the sides of the road and throughout the country and how well Costa Rican’s take care of the country.

Ethan Tauber: I enjoyed being able to make memories with my classmates, and learning about other cultures.

Jayden Vredenburg: One of my favorite parts of the trip was the night hike because it was a new experience for me. I got to see many animals and listen to the sounds of the forest in complete darkness.

Mathias Warrington: My favorite part of the trip was zip lining because I got to see a lot of wildlife and I got to experience those moments with some of my best friends.

Michael Wegscheid: My favorite part of the entire trip was being able to see all the different animals and plants. I got to see plants and animals I would have never been able to see in Minnesota. I saw some monkeys, spiders and snakes. I also got to see a rainforest, a cloud forest and all the different trees.

Sierra Wroolie: My favorite part of the trip was the school visit and the zip lining. It was super cool to see their school and to watch as they did a skit and dance for us. The zip lining was really fun and the guides were so nice.