by Nitza Solis, Scholarship Winner for the Summer Costa Rica Program
One of Center for Cultural Interchange/Greenheart Travel’s scholarship winners shares a little bit about herself and her thoughts and anxieties about traveling to Costa Rica for the summer program in July.
I am Nitza Solis. I like to travel to many places, read books, watch movies, dance to different music, and play the piano. I am caring, persistent, adventurous, and compassionate and my passion is volunteering for different places. I am involved with Campus Ministry at my school, Fenwick High School, in which I volunteer at places like Ronald McDonald House Charities, and am also involved in yearbook, Students Against Destructive Decisions club, Hola Spanish club, and lector at my church. My favorite subjects are Biology, Spanish, and English.
I always wanted to experience the rain forest and learn more about taking care of the environment, and experience a new country where I could practice my Spanish. I want to live in a different country and experience everything Costa Rica has to offer, especially the opportunity to help others. A mentor from my HighSight scholarship organization has influenced me to travel and learn about new cultures. She has taught me to go beyond my comfort zone and explore outside so that I can appreciate other cultures and traditions.
I have traveled before and my favorite destination is Argentina because it was my first time away from home for 7 weeks. I liked the friendly people and host family that I got to meet there, and the country itself is beautiful. The food is very delicious! Also, the traditional dancing is wonderful and unique. The whole experience made me appreciate my own life and make me more independent to make decisions on my own.
I am a little nervous about traveling because it is a whole new country and experience. I have some experience with a host family, but it is a different family and culture that I must adapt to in less time than I had in Argentina. I am also nervous about meeting my new host family, but I am most excited about learning the different traditions and meeting new people. I also am excited about traveling through the rain forest and volcano site which I have never done before in my life. Furthermore, I can’t wait to volunteer with the locals (ticos) and to meet my host family.
When I return home, I will bring back what I have learned to my community. I will educate my friends and family about preserving our environment by trying to minimize our carbon foot prints. Also, I will bring back the Costa Rican culture by showing my friends and family pictures, traditions, and cooking. I will encourage my friends to come with me to volunteer sites both environmental and people oriented. The trip will make me appreciate my privileges here in America, too.
It is important to travel and meet people from different backgrounds and cultures because it makes a person more knowledgeable of different traditions of other areas. It opens a person up to new ideas and ways of living. The experience will help a person live and know a different person’s culture. Also, a person can empathize more with different situations like living conditions.