The Paideia School

Students travel to Costa Rica for Comparative Health Trip

The students spent the first three weeks of short term preparing for the ten-day trip. In classes covering Medical Spanish, Tropical Forest Ecology, and Public Health in Central America (taught by Alberto Méndez, Brian Smith, Lindsay Reid, Miranda Knowles and Joy Lewis-Méndez), students were primed for their experience before stepping foot into the country. Once in Heredia, participants were shepherded by Arcos Abroad on-site directors (native Costa Ricans) as well as teacher chaperones, Joy Lewis-Méndez and Lindsay Reid. 

Upon arrival on January 20, the cohort was immediately immersed in the Spanish language and Costa Rican lifestyle– staying with host families, eating home-cooked meals, and exploring the sights and sounds of the city of Heredia.

The service learning components of the program had students composting on a Permaculture Farm, leading activities at an elderly care center and taking medical classes at the university. In these classes, students learned to take vitals, calm a patient, wrap gauze and deal with post-injury shock symptoms (all in Spanish!). Additionally, students participated in a health clinic alongside local youth, rotating through learning stations and interactive mini-classes taught by doctors, social workers and sociologists. Before leaving Atlanta, they had made posters in Spanish to aid the classes and donate to the center.  

In addition, they participated in cultural activities like a cooking class, fruit tasting, dance class, wildlife refuge visit, and excursions to Jacó Beach and La Fortuna rainforest.

During Short Term A, a cohort of 20 students participated in a Comparative Health curriculum trip to Heredia, Costa Rica.