Written by Alexandra Carelli / Photography by Adam Barber
Children squealed and peaked through their spread fingers as a 6 foot long crocodile leaped from the water to catch a flopping fish in its gigantic jaws. Their babies sunbathed on the shore, clusters of tiny crocs that all but blended in with the surrounding mud. Exotic birds flew over-head, while others dove headfirst into the murky waters for a morning snack. A gnarled and spiky Jesus Christ lizard perched gracefully on the branch of an overhanging tree, and nearby bats hung upside down alongside coconuts and giant leaves.
Amidst swarms of mosquitoes and the shrieks of children, we witnessed many of nature’s miracles mere meters from our tiny motor boat during our field trip to Hacienda el Viejo wetlands. As we slowly drifted through the lush, jungle swamp lands, we were greeted by some of the best wildlife Costa Rica has to offer, and the kid’s couldn’t have been more excited. To everyone’s delight, the guide’s pointed out a variety of birds, monkeys, and water creatures, most of which no one in attendance had ever seen before. Thanks to our generous donors, AM students were able to learn about many of the wonders of their home country, and see first-hand the raw circle of life at work.
After a fruit breakfast, a boat ride through the wetlands, a big tipico lunch, and a tour of a sugar cane plantation, the AM volunteers and chaperons were ready for an afternoon nap. But, of course, the AM students were still filled with energy and inspired by their latest foray into the world of knowledge. The bus ride home echoed with chatter and excitement about the amazing spectacles we had just witnessed. As the volunteers rested their heads on the vinyl seat backs, they were lulled by tales of teeth and moments of childhood glory, satisfied that the children of Playa Potrero had been given another life-changing experience.
Thank you to all the wonderful people that made this trip possible!