A Trip to the Tide Pools

Written By: Ryder, Sixth Grader

“Don’t wear your flippers in the tide pools,” my teacher shouted. “It kicks up all the sand so we can’t see any of the sea creatures.” Looking down into the sand with my mask I saw little nudibranchs crawling around in the water. My classmate, Ayla, jumped into the tide pools as well. I took off swimming down deeper where the water went cold, as larger fish started to appear. A shiny glimmer on a fish caught my eye. It was a Banded Butterflyfish. It was shaped like a triangle and had stripes like a zebra. A whole school of them darted right by me, so close I could almost touch them. Then I took a deep breath and dove down touching the rocky floor. I kicked my flippers shooting myself across the rocks. Suddenly, a black little tentacle slithered out from under a rock then went back under. I swam down and lifted the rock up, careful not to hurt whatever it was. I flipped it over and it was a little Brittle Star, it slowly slithered away across the rocks. I let it fall onto the palm of my hand, it felt spiky and slimy like jelly. It then launched off my hand, as if it was floating in space.

Banded Butterflyfish
Brittle Starfish

“Ryder, come look,” Ayla exclaimed. I quickly swam over there looking for things on the way. When I got there, I slowly saw something behind a rock she was pointing at. A little eye peeked out to see if we were gone. I then carefully swam closer with my camera rolling and looked over the rock. It appeared to be a spotted pufferfish. It was bright blue and had lots of white spots on it that looked like stars. I didn’t want to inflate it because they can only puff up a few times in their entire life, and then they won’t have any more defense.

Just before I dove back down I heard my teacher call, “We’re leaving now.” I didn’t want to leave, I wanted to keep filming marine life. I swam closer to the beach feeling the sand below me thinking that we have 95 percent of the the ocean left to explore, and I wonder what other amazing creatures are yet to discover deep deep down…

Cave Adventuring

Written By: Ayla, Grade 6

In the early morning I lathered thick sunscreen onto my skin. Then I filled up a big blue water bottle with freezing cold ice water because it was a hot and sunny morning. I packed a snack and drove to school with my dad.

When we got to school everyone piled into my car. As we drove away, my stomach began to fill up with butterflies as I realized this was actually happening! I was excited about what the caves would look like because we had been learning about them in class.

Once we arrived to the check in area everyone jumped out of the cold car with joy and we ran to check ourselves in. The employees told us it was about three hours to walk to the cave or we could drive. Luckily my teacher (Ms. Paige) made the right choice so we crammed back in the car with the guide.

After a very hectic drive, we made it to a desolate parking lot. I saw the beginning of a trail and felt even more eager. We hopped out of the car, grabbed our backpacks and began to walk the trail. During our hike we learned about the different types of plants and animals and what plants we could and could not eat. Also, the path had very sharp pieces of limestone popping out of the moist dirt and some pieces had plants splitting through them, which I identified as an example of physical weathering (I had learned in class). We all took notes and listened.

After walking for a good amount of time, we got to where there was a sign that said, “Do Not Enter!” So we walked right past it. Suddenly, the guide asked, “Where are you going? It’s this way,” as he pointed to the sign. I stepped over the small yellow sign and followed the guide assuming it was ok because he was with us. We hiked up a steep path and the guide showed us a flower that smelled like chicken soup. We then came across a cave that was underground and it had a steel rusty chamber gate covering it. It looked as if somebody or something was trapped in there. I was frightened. A few minutes later our guide said we were going to go in, but he was very sarcastic as he said it so everyone laughed but nobody was sure if he was kidding or not. After that, everyone kept asking my teacher if we were going in and she said, “For the millionth time we’re not going in!” But then we turned our heads and the guide was climbing into the small hole! He then asked us who was next. Leila, the youngest and bravest student in my class, went in first. Then I did. I thought I was going to get stuck in between the rocks but then I kept telling myself, “If the guide, who is twice my size can do it, I can do it.” I made it through.

Once I was inside, the air was cold, it was dark, there were pieces of stalactites hanging from the top of the scary cave. I also saw stalagmites growing from the muddy ground. I could hear little bats chirping. The ground was so moist and slippery that it felt like I was going  down a slide. We explored the cave for a while. Everyone had learned a lot about how the cave had formed. I learned that it took over millions of year for for the small cave to form and that it was formed by erosion. In the cave I was feeling a little claustrophobic so I got out and was very relieved.

After that we continued on the other trail and walked to the mirador. Once we got to the yellow sign I stepped over it and almost fell on my face. When we got there the wind was blowing hard, I felt like I was going to fly off the mountain. I could see the valley, eagles flying, cattle walking on the small streets and even the Golfo de Nicoya. We sat there and ate our snacks as we enjoyed the beautiful view. We then walked back to the car and drove to the check in area, ate some delicious lunch and drove home. In the car I thought about how fun this field trip was and how I learned so much while having such a great time.      

Infusing Fresh Ideas

Now that the garden is beginning to produce delicious and healthy greens, the students of Home School Nosara are working hard in developing their business in our Spanish Program. Together they are putting their creative minds in action and experimented with their first herbal infused water recipes. They began with sampling the taste, texture and smell of our Vive Verde Garden’s different herbs and playing with their own recipes. After setting them out in Costa Rica’s natural energy source to blend the flavors they had a blast test tasting each other’s concoctions in class. Suggestions were shared in evaluating the first trial and the kids are excited to bottle their first refreshing blend of ideas and herbs.

Upcoming Projects…

This week they will research the health benefits of the different herbs to invite the interest of future customers along with the help of a local graphic artist, who will be coming in to help the kids develop their final logo crafted from their sketches. And in the meantime, students will continue to produce new ideas for our business venture to sell in our community to maintain and grow our sustainable and organic garden.

– “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller



Our First Harvest

Our new year has greeted us with our first produce ready to be picked! The organic arugula (donated to us from Finca Organica), planted by seed and tended to by the children, has sprouted enough leaves to harvest. Learning from our local gardener, we were able to pluck clippings. In math, students put them into bundles by weight and calculated the income from sales if we sell them all. With the money, students will decide together where to invest the money into our garden.

Did I also mention it’s delicious! The kids needed to sample their product (of course) before selling and their taste buds spiced up to the idea of liking the arugula with their brains reasoning it with the care, time and hard work they put into growing it.




The Gift That Keeps on Giving

We’ve caught the holiday spirit and this month is all about giving! The students at Home School Beach Nosara have decided to donate their Viva Verde Sustainable and Organic Garden funds to buy gifts for the children who were affected by the devastating floods last month in Nosara, Costa Rica (over 1,300 children were affected and you can donate to Amigos of Costa Rica) .

They created festive hand painted holiday pots reusing plastic containers to sell their lemongrass and flor de China (both grown by the kids). And by putting their heads together during business class, they decided the best way to sell them would be at our local outdoor markets. This past Saturday and Tuesday, students utilized their business skills by communicating and selling to customers. As a result, they not only built self- confidence but relations with local community members.

When asked what she enjoyed about selling at the markets our third grader enthusiastically responded with, “I felt happy selling the items we made and talking to everyone. Everyone wanted to help support us. It was fun!”

The following day in class they put on their accounting hats and calculated the gross income along with how much money each student has to spend on for the child they have selected. They were amazed with the amount they raised and they are eager to go shopping this Friday to buy the gifts to make a child’s Christmas that much brighter.

Most students yearn for a holiday party or a Secret Santa present exchange on the last day of class before vacation, but these kids are excited to bring a smile to a child’s face through the means of their own hard work and raising the proceeds to be able to do so. And that is what the holidays are all about!