Students to Travel to Costa Rica

‘Spring’ and ‘break’ are two words that when paired together are synonymous with partying. College students take their talents to South Beach-among other places-to live it up for a week or so before classes resume. Some SUNY New Paltz students, however, take this time to fully immerse themselves in the culture of a foreign country.

The third  annual New Paltz Spring Break Costa Rica Expedition will take place March, 2012.  For eight days, students experience the environment and  culture of the country. The itinerary includes activities such as white water rafting down the ninth fastest river in the world, zip-lining, hiking in the rainforests, among other adventures. The trip is run by the Costa Rica Rainforest Outward Bound School. To be truly immersed in the surroundings, there are no cell phones, watches or are iPods allowed. The goal is to enjoy the moment and experience what is happening in Costa Rica.

Some students that have gone on this trip have rated it as “one of the best weeks of their lives,” according to the director of the New Paltz Wellness & Recreation and  trip director Keith Kenney.

“Describing [the] trip in words wouldn’t do justice for it,” said John Colatosti, who participated in last year’s trip. Colatosti also said that the Outward Bound School was very helpful in understanding the many cultural and environmental facets of Costa Rica.

Meghan Walsh, an attendee of the inaugural 2010 expedition, said that the highlights were hiking, staying with the Costa Rican families and the wildlife.

“The whole trip was a highlight,” said Walsh.

Jamie Lyn Walsh,  a 2011 trip attendee, said that the journey was one that led her to meet amazing people that were, according to her, “incredibly kind, supporting, and fun to be around.”

The overwhelming sentiment was that the trip was a once in a lifetime experience and that being in Costa Rica was life-changing.

The cost of the trip is $890 plus the flight, whose price has not yet been determined. The payments are broken down into two $445 payments and covers all food, activities and  transportation to the airport. The deadline for the first payment is Oct. 18. The second payment is due Jan. 27. The payment for the flight is scheduled tentatively for Nov. 22, but is subject to change.

As of right now, seven individuals have signed up and the maximum occupancy is 24. According to Kenney, students who are interested must register, read all information and materials,  fill out the application and then drop off the form and checks at his office in room 207 in the Athletic and Wellness Center.

All additional questions and concerns should be directed to  Kenney, who can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 845-257-6956.