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Proctor en Monteverde: Reflections from Life in Costa Rica

Proctor en Monteverde

Proctor en Monteverde affords sophomores an opportunity to study abroad in Monteverde, Costa Rica. From living with a host family, to studying Spanish and rainforest ecology, to being fully immersed in Costa Rican culture, Lulu ‘26, Magnus ‘26, Nicola ‘26, Sophie ‘26, Maisy ‘26, and Evie ‘26 are experiencing a life-changing term abroad. Read more from Lulu ‘26 and Sophie ‘26 share reflections from life in Monteverde this week. 

Proctor Academy Study Abroad Costa Rica

Lulu ‘26 

One Thursday for our science class, we went bat catching. When I first heard we were doing this activity I was very confused. Before going I thought of bats as creepy animals that are blind, live in caves, only come out at night, and don't have a huge impact on anything. Once we got to the bat jungle, a small plot of forest, and met Beno, I realized how wrong I was about bats. 

Proctor Academy Study Abroad Costa Rica

Beno is a bat specialist; he knows everything there is to know about bats. At the bat jungle, they set up nets hanging from tree to tree just before sunset. Once the sun sets, bats start to fly into the nets, which is how we catch them. Once they are in the nets Beno and his coworkers put them in little pouches. Once he takes them out of the pouch we let them go.  We saw eight different species of bats. We all stood in a circle around Beno as he told us all about bats. We learned that bats are not blind they can see better than humans, they can fly faster than a cheetah can run, and they have a 6th sense. This 6th sense is echolocation. The coolest part was we got to hold the bats. Don’t judge, they are really cute, the ones that didn't bite of course. We didn't hold the ones that still bite. Surprisingly they are very soft. Their hearts beat 400 times a minute, making my hand shake while holding it. Surprisingly I wasn’t scared to hold the bat. 

Proctor Academy Study Abroad Costa Rica

We learned that there are 1,400 species of bats. One is a vampire and that’s exactly how it sounds. There are fruit-eating bats, flower-eating bats, meat-eating bats, and insect-eating bats. Before I didn't think bats played an important role in anything. After I learned that without bats it would mess up the food chain. Some insects would overpopulate and flowers and fruits wouldn't have the bats to disperse their seeds. This may come across as boring to some people but it was fascinating and fun to learn about. 

Proctor Academy Study Abroad Costa Rica

Sophie ‘26 

One weekend my host mom Cynthia said that we were going to the beach! I put my bathing suit on, grabbed some sunscreen, and got in the car. The beach was called Playa Blanca and was about two hours away. The drive to the beach was beautiful, we passed mountains and mango trees. When we got to the beach I ran right into the water, where I spent most of my time that day along with my host brothers Mattias and Dario. We swam and played games for a while until we got tired. 

Proctor Academy Study Abroad Costa Rica

We stayed until the sun began to go down and then packed up our things to start on the long drive back. We had barely made it out of the parking lot when Cynthia stopped the car and got out to check something. She began talking to people around her and the only word that I could understand was ‘mechanic’. It wasn’t until I had to get out of the car and help them push it down the road from the back that I realized the battery of the car had died. We stayed on the side of the road for what seemed like forever, until we decided to pull out the beach chairs to get comfortable. Many people had tried to stop and help us but nobody could successfully get the car to work again.

Proctor Academy Study Abroad Costa Rica

Instead of worrying about how late it was getting and how much longer we would be stranded, I ate some chips and listened to music while dancing with the boys. Three hours had passed and my host mom was on her tenth apology. I told her to stop apologizing and threw my arms around her in a huge hug and said that everything was okay. At some point the dad showed up to drive us home, but I was in no rush to leave. He attached our car to his and drove us all home. I didn’t care if we had to stay on the side of the road for five more hours or for the whole night, I only cared that I was with people who love me like I am their own family. 

Check out more photos from Proctor en Monteverde Winter 2024! 

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