Faculty: Viki Defferding, Terrie Boehr
Meeting Night: Monday
The study tour to Central America will focus on Christianity & Culture of Central America. We will compare and contrast the different cultures & religious beliefs we encounter in the various regions that we visit as well as their development through a historical study. In classes, students will give presentations in class about history, culture, beliefs and other aspects important for our trip. They will also write a short paper, write reactions to some readings and learn some survival Spanish. A reflection/observation journal will be required on the trip.
We begin our study tour at the ancient Maya site of Copan, Honduras where we will learn about the early Maya culture that settled there and learn how that culture and its beliefs have influenced today’s society in this region. There are pyramids, temples and other structures, as well as tunnels to explore. Besides the ancient Maya ruins we will also visit a Maya-chorti Indian settlement in the hills above Copán Ruinas, the town that sprang up as a result of the excavations done at the Copán Archeological site. We will worship with local Believers and experience their unique cultural adaptations of the Christian Faith. Arriving in Costa Rica we will visit an even different indigenous group, the Kekoldies on the Caribbean side and we’ll visit beaches, nature preserves and parks, volcanos, hot springs, a sloth sanctuary, pineapple, banana, cacao (chocolate), medicinal herb garden and coffee plantations. There will be an abundance of outdoor activities on this trip including walking & hiking, climbing pyramids & temples, walking through dark tunnels and a night hike through the rainforest, ziplining or canyoning, horseback riding or white-water rafting, and snorkeling (weather permitting). This trip will include activities with local Honduran families and with children at the Mayatan Bilingual School, also in Honduras.
CENTRAL AMERICA TENTATIVE ITINERARY
Day 00: Midnight Flight PDX – Houston – SAP
Day 01: AR Honduras. Transport to Copan Ruinas. City walk.
Day 02: Archeological Park: temple & ballgame ruins, tunnels, museum
Day 03: Mayatan School, Interact w/ in classes & lunch at school then bird rescue park
Day 04: Day w/ Mayatan family
Day 05: Tortilla making & meal w/ local Christian family, 7pm church service
Day 06: La Pintada Indian Village, Hacienda San Lucas, los Sapos (maya birthing site)
Day 07: Lv for Costa Rica (fly SAP to SJO).
Day 08: To Puerto Viejo de Limón (Caribbean)
Day 09: Puerto Viejo de Limón, snorkeling (weather permitting) @ Cahuita Nat’l Park
Day 10: Puerto Viejo, hike to Kekoldie Indian Long House, Chocolate trails tour
Day 11: Sloth Sanctuary / to Sarapiquí
Day 12: Pineapple Tour, possible white water rafting
Day 13: to La Fortuna via Puente, Baldí Termae hot springs
Day 14: La Fortuna waterfall hike & swim, diving hole in river
Day 15: to Monteverde via boat & van, walking tour, PM Night rainforest hike
Day 16: Monteverde, Zipline incl. Tarzan swing & rappel. Creamery. Frog Pond
Day 17: Monteverde, choose your own extreme adventure*: Canyoning, white water, horseback riding, bungee or zipline at a different place than earlier.
Day 18: to San José via Sarchí (wood working craftsmen using water wheel to run tools)
Day 19: Poas volcano & La Paz Waterfall Gardens (culture, history & hiking to a volcano & around a small lake & then several waterfalls)
Day 20: Café Britt coffee tour, Downtown San José market (history of coffee in Costa Rica & lots of coffee products & candies to taste; last minute shopping experience at the local marketplace – not a mall of stores). Farewell dinner at a typical Restaurant.
Day 21: LV to PDX
* You pay for this adventure. Usually these are around $75-$100, especially if at least 10 choose to do the same adventure.