After traveling with ISA, my study abroad program, I could not wait to visit another part of Costa Rica with my ecotourism class. I enjoyed staying in luxurious hotels and going to Playa Tamarindo and Arenal Volcano with ISA, but I wanted to have some more authentic experiences in Costa Rica, too. Thus, I was very excited to travel to not one, but two, permaculture farms with my ecotourism class this past weekend.
When we left for Mastatal, a small town in the mountains of Puriscal County, I hoped that my class and I would enjoy the weekend and learn a lot. When we arrived at Rancho Mastatal, the first farm we would visit, I was sure that I would enjoy my stay. I have visited a permaculture farm before, but this one still did not fail to impress me. Prior to the trip, I hoped that this weekend would be full of profound conversations about sustainability and how to live a fulfilling life, and I was not disappointed. However, my experience at Rancho Mastatal was only the beginning of a great trip.
As soon as we finished lunch at Rancho Mastatal, we left for Villas Mastatal, the other permaculture farm where we would be spending the rest of our weekend. When I learned that we would be staying there, I did not think that our lodging would not have walls. Although my expectations were incorrect, I am happy that it ended up being that way. It was amazing to spend the majority of my time outside. Through activities like a waterfall hike, farm tours, and a tree planting, I was able to relax and slow down while I learned a lot about permaculture, ecotourism, and myself. I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I hope that I will have more opportunities like this one during my remaining time in Costa Rica.