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VTBIRD  May 2006

VTBIRD May 2006

Subject:

Vermont Institute of Natural Science's 2006 Teen Conservation Camp

From:

Jeanne Fossani <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 9 May 2006 19:10:51 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (110 lines)

          Hello!!!!  Please help us to spread the word about this year's Vermont Institute of Natural Science's Teen Conservation Camp!  
   
  This trip is not to be missed. We want to extend this invitation so others can enjoy this year's amazing itinerary!! 
   
  I'm attaching the itinerary so you can forward it to friends, family members, classmates - basically anyone from 13-19 years of age you think might be interested. 
   
  If you have any questions feel free to call me at 802-863-0434!!!!!!!!!
   
  Thanks for helping us to get the word out! 
  Jeanne Fossani
  Trip Leader
   
  
  Vermont Institute of Natural Science
   
  Costa Rica Teen Conservation Camp
    
  August 6 – August 20, 2006
   
  Daily Schedule
   
  Every day, there will be an optional early morning bird-watching walk. In the evening, we will have the chance to speak Spanish with our hosts, other guests and each other! Please note that daily itinerary is subject to modification!
   
  Every day, there will be an optional early morning bird-watching walk. In the evening, we will have the chance to speak Spanish with our hosts, other guests and each other! Please note that daily itinerary is subject to modification!

August 6 - Burlington - San Jose, Costa Rica. Overnight Atenas
Depart from Burlington on Continental Airlines. Arrive San Jose, Costa Rica in the evening and spend the night not far from the airport in Atenas. 

August 7, 8, 9  - EARTH University, Guacimo de Limon 
The first area we explore is that of the Caribbean lowlands. Here, we stay at EARTH University, a leader in the formation of tropical agronomists with an environmental consciousness. We will have the chance to meet with students from 30 different nationalities at this island of cultural and biological diversity. Also, we’ll get down in the dirt as we interact with local farming communities in their daily activities.

August 7 
After an early morning breakfast, we travel from Atenas to the campus of EARTH University. En route, we stop off at the world-famous Rain Forest Aerial Tram, a modified ski lift that offers extraordinary opportunities to see a primary forest and its natural splendor at first hand. The open-air gondolas carry passengers and guide through different layers of the rainforest, from the floor to the treetops. The canopy is home to an enormous amount of flora and fauna.  We arrive at EARTH in time for lunch, after which we will check into our lodging in the comfortable on-campus hotel and receive an orientation to this fascinating campus. In the afternoon we’ll have free time to do any number of activities  e-mailing, writing postcards, using the game room or the pool, or just relaxing. After dinner we’ll watch a video about EARTH and get to bed early for the next day’s activities. 

August 8  
After a typical breakfast, we head out to EARTH's private forest reserve, the Escalera de Mono  or Monkey’s Ladder. With a little luck we’ll have the chance to see some amazing wildlife here. After lunch we’ll have fun with Spanglish during a visit to the English class, where you will have a real-life interaction with students from many different countries. Later on we will enjoy a tour of the Organic Teaching Farm with a visit to the botanical gardens, the orchid garden and the banana packing plant. In the evening we’ll be able to practice our Latin dance steps with the students and staff at this remarkable institution.

August 9/am 
After an early breakfast we will join students and EARTH faculty in their weekly community outreach projects with a local farming community  La Argentina. Here you will have a chance to get down in the dirt in hands-on projects involving agriculture, ecotourism and any mix of projects identified by the locals as necessary and important. After a typical lunch we say goodbye to our new friends and head to our next destination - San Gerardo de Dota.   

August 9/pm, 10, 11/am - San Gerardo de Dota 
For the next two days we will explore a totally different ecosystem in a small community - San Gerardo de Dota - in the Talamanca Mountains. This is truly one of the most beautiful areas of Costa Rica.  The woods serve as a sanctuary for a large number of mammals and innumerable species of insects, amphibians, amazing plants and colorful birds. A paradise for birdwatchers this area offers the best possibility to view one of the country's most beautiful birds the Resplendent Quetzal.  
 
August 9/pm -
We’ll arrive just in time for dinner, check in to our rooms, and then go for an unforgettable night-hike.

August 10  
Right after breakfast (which includes local wild berry jam!) we’ll receive an orientation to this amazing site and then head out to observe the strikingly beautiful Resplendent Quetzal. After lunch there will be horse-back riding through the forest reserve. In the evening there will be time for writing in our journals and practicing Spanish with the locals. 

August 11/am 
In the morning we will not miss the opportunity to go birding in this very birdy spot. After breakfast we’ll do some reforestation work planting trees native to the region. Then we have lunch and get underway for our next stop.  After lunch we head to Playa del Rey on the South Pacific Coast. 

August 11,12, 13,14 Playa del Rey, South Pacific Coast - Wildlife Rescue & Sea Turtles
We depart after breakfast from San Gerardo, and board the bus for a scenic ride to Playa del Rey, one of the most important nesting areas for Olive Ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea). Over the next four days we will stay on the South Pacific coast at a location convenient to a sea turtle hatchery operated by the government of Costa Rica. Here we will learn about tropical coastal ecology and the biology of the sea turtle, and also see what efforts are being done to protect this endangered species. 

There will be lots of volunteer work opportunities at the sea turtle project. We will accompany hatchery staff in locating nesting sea turtles during nightly beach patrols and will assist in relocating nests to the protected hatchery area. For recreation we will have a sea kayaking or rafting trip and an excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park to enjoy its pristine beaches and easy wildlife viewing. Each day we continue our conversational Spanish classes with a focus on the flora and fauna and with the objective of using it in real cultural interactions! There will also be time for relaxing, walking on the beach, journaling and bird-watching!

August 11/pm -
We arrive mid-afternoon to our beachside lodging operated by the National Park System of Costa Rica. After lunch at Playa Rey we’ll receive a welcome and orientation to the park and to the conservation activities there. Together with the Park Rangers and volunteers, we’ll form our patrol teams for the work that lies ahead that night. Once the moon is out we’ll head to the beaches in the hopes of spotting a sea turtle laying eggs. We will collect and deposit the eggs in the hatcheries. 

August 12 - 
You’ll have the chance to sleep in today or do some early morning birding or exploring.  After breakfast we’ll be doing whatever is necessary - constructing hatching cages, beach cleanups, predator patrols, etc.  In the afternoon, there will be time for journal writing and resting up for our second night of evening patrols.  

August 13- 
This will be another day for catching an extra 40 winks or getting up for our daily early-morning bird walk. Again, we will pitch in as needed to do whatever conservation tasks are necessary. You’ll have plenty of free time in the late afternoon for strolling the beach, taking a siesta or catching up on your journal and postcards.  This is our third night to patrol and do turtle conservation work.

August 14/am -
After breakfast we’ll have a morning visit to Manuel Antonio National Park, with a picnic lunch at the park and a walk on the park trails for a chance at some wildlife viewing. Lots of souvenirs to be had here if that strikes your fancy. There’ll be a visit to Quepos for an ice cream on the way to our next destination  Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui.  

August 14/pm, 15, 16, 17/am Garza Azul, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui 
The next few days will be filled with adventure in this rustic but truly delightful environment. This area is one of the rainiest parts of the globe, but it’s the precipitation that also makes it one of the richest areas in terms of biodiversity. Garza Azul, while certainly the most primitive attraction of our planned itinerary, was for many reasons, the highlight of our 2005 tour. 

August 14/pm 
Albergue Garza Azul in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui is our next stop. We’ll arrive just in time for an incomparable dinner cooked over a wood fire. In the evening, there will be plenty of time for intercultural interaction  no one here speaks English- and a nightwalk for wildlife spotting! 

August 15 
Today is a day for an early morning bird walk for those who are interested. After breakfast, we’ll have a boat tour of the river - weather permitting. Then an extraordinary lunch; people come from far and wide to enjoy the fabulous fare here. In the afternoon we’ll have a chance to relax and catch up on journal writing. Swimming, fishing and birding are all options for the daytime hours. After dinner more conversational Spanish with these amazingly gracious hosts!!

August 16  
Another adventure packed day as we head out early for our zip-lining experience through the rain forest canopy. In the afternoon we’ll visit the hanging bridges of Sarapiqui. More intercultural interaction in the evening after our delicious dinner. 



  
 
  August 17/am  
We’ll have an early morning breakfast then bid farewell to our friends at Garza Azul. On our way out we’ll have an early morning bird walk at the entrance of world-famous La Selva, a biological research station and consortium of more than 150 institutions. Then we travel overland to Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica's most active volcano. 

August 17/pm, 18, 19/am - Arenal Volcano and the Central Valley
During our last few days in Costa Rica we'll visit two of the country's most awe-inspiring and popular attractions  Arenal Volcano and its associated hot springs. While often shrouded in clouds, Arenal offers an incredible spectacle for those lucky enough to see an eruption at night. 

August 17/pm - 
We check into the hotel located in the center of town and in late afternoon head for the hot springs, where we will have dinner and hope for a view of the volcano at night. 

August 18  
Today we will volunteer in a reforestation project within Arenal National Park. We’ll also have lots of free time to go into town to shop, use the internet, and enjoy local snacks. In the evening we’ll have another dip in the thermal pools at Ecotermales.

August 19/pm  
Return to the Central Valley via the crafts center of Sarchi and check in to our guesthouse in Atenas. On our last night in Costa Rica we’ll have dinner in a typical restaurant and turn in early to pack and make other preparations for our early morning departure. 
   
  August 20 – 
  Depart for the US.
   
   
     
   
   
   
   

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