Camino Travel planned a community trip to take 22 sixth grade kids from Jauuri School in La Fortuna to visit Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park.
The Corporate Social Responsibility coordinator from Camino Travel, Maria Laura Gonzalez, arranged the visit to the school donating the service for the kids. This also included 2 Tour Leaders from Exodus Travel that offered themselves as volunteers “Jhonny Villalobos” and “Eduardo Caravaca”, the team was also accompanied by a Sales Executive “Fiorella Cambronero” and a photographer “Juan Pablo Soto”, both from Camino Travel.
As the Arenal volcano is one of the main destinations of the country it is well known that is surrounded by plenty of luxury resorts, hot springs, a considerable amount of commercial stores, souvenir shops, restaurants and most of these kids haven’t had the chance to enjoy some of the popular touristic attractions around the place so Camino Travel and Exodus took care of delivering the full experience to these kids from public school.
The trip happened on August 18th. The team departed from San José early and arrived at the school at 9:00 am in the morning with the idea of sharing the experience with the kids to learn all about the nature that surrounds the National Park and gain a new perspective of its importance. The Tour Leaders emphasized with the children about the precautions and the respect that we all must have when you come in the fragile ecosystem of the rainforest.
The kids were divided into two groups taking advantage of having two Tour Leaders and the buses arrived at the Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges at 9:30 am, Maria Laura took care of developing teamwork with the kids with a few interactive games before starting the trail to the hanging bridges.
The gardens around the lobby area of Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges have a bunch of fruit-bearing trees, and there are always white-nosed coatimundi walking around, an ideal start to take a picture of the usual wildlife in the place.
Just starting the trail one of the Tour Leaders spotted an Eye-lash-viper, the kids were excited. They actually behaved better than anyone expected, by staying calm while crossing the bridges and paying attention to what the Tour Leaders were pointing and explaining.
While crossing the bridges the team and the kids got the chance to admire some howler monkeys, morpho butterflies, blue jeans frogs and even a sloth in their natural habitat.
An objective of the trip was to receive feedback from the kids about the trip in general, and the impression was inspiring and satisfactory for the team.
One of the kids, Katalina Corella, a 12 years old student was showing extra interest along the tour, she was asking more questions than the others and seemed amazed by some of the explanations delivered by the Tour Leaders, Maria Laura made a brief interview to hear more about her personal opinion of the trip and this is some of the things Katalina shared:
‘What did you think about the day trip?’
It was a super cool day! Pura Vida! I loved all the animals we got to observe. I learned a lot from the Tour Leader. He was very nice, and he answered all my questions even though I had lots of them.
‘What was your favorite part of the day?’
My favorite part of the day was all the different animal species we got to see. I want to be a biologist when I grow up because I love animals, so I loved seeing all the different things we saw.
It was the first time on a hanging bridge. It felt really nice, and the air was more pure than usual. It was also the first time I got to see howler monkeys in my life. I usually hear them from my house, but today we saw them very close from the bridge.
Camino Travel and Exodus Travel were happy to hear the response from Katalina as the main objective was to deliver a unique experience to these kids from a low-income public school and all the members of the team made an effort to fulfill an unforgettable journey accomplished by the personal experience of living a touristic attraction surrounded by the vast beauty of the tropical forest preserved within the wonderful Arenal Volcano.
For us in Camino Travel, this experience was personally and laborally profound and enriching. It is a fantastic way to connect the communities with their surroundings and the travel industry and we are looking forward to live and enjoy our next one.