I hold an adamant belief that travel can be an invaluable, life-altering experience. Families that have the means to travel often see it as a luxury, and take for granted the incredible learning that they and their children gain. I work in an alternative high school – most of my students are from families that do not have anywhere near those kinds of means. Their experiences have been, in large part, a struggle and the larger world is mostly an abstraction – including the potential wonder and hope that it can hold. Monteverde, Costa Rica epitomizes that kind of wonder and hope – blending the culture of indigenous inhabitants with that of the American Quaker settlers that arrived in the 1950’s, and balancing a model of conservation with becoming an international eco-tourism destination. The book, Walking With Wolf, tells this story in a remarkable way.
We are now in the midst of a year-long interdisciplinary class that will include Walking With Wolf, student blogs (which I hope you'll check out on the right), individual research projects, and a 10-day trip to Monteverde this Spring. The students are working hard and must fundraise their entire way there - they need your help. If you are willing to support their efforts,
checks can be made out to “Lister Academy – Costa Rica Class”, and mailed to: Robert J. Lister Academy, Attn: Bryan Mascio, 35 Sherburne Road, Portsmouth, NH 03801.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday 4-12-11

It is 5am our time and we're getting ready to leave Monteverde for Arenal. We'll be whitewater rafting and planting trees on our way. Much of the group is a bit sad to leave here - it's been beautiful and a very family-like feeling while staying at the Valle Campanas. However, there is more of Costa Rica to see. We will likely have more limited internet access at the next two locations, so overnight, we uploaded some of the zipline and wildlife videos to the YouTube Channel. There's no way to edit them here, so you're getting us in our full glory. Here's a sample.


  1. Wow.. still living vicariously through you doing all the things I want to do.. way to go!! Here are some more questions from your classmates back in NH:

    How fast were the rapids moving? ~Nathaniel

    How high were you guys on the zip line? ~Maria

    I hope you guys are having fun! Miss you guys :) ~Cat

    How was it when you guys went down the water?

    What is the average temperature since you've been there? How does zip-lining work? How far above the ground are you & how long does it go?

    So far, what was your favorite part of the trip?

    Was it scary on the zip line?

    It looks like you are having a good time! ~Eric

    Hope you guys are having an amazing time! Bring me back some sand from the beach. :) ~Sammi

    Enjoy the rest of your trip.. and don't forget my monkey!! ;) ~Ilysse

  2. Some more questions..

    How active is "active" at the moment?

    How close are they getting to the water?

    What does "Arenal" mean?

    How much/what kind of animals live on the slopes of Arenal?

    Enjoy the last few days!!