Discovering Culture in Costa Rica
Cultural Exchange with Costa Rican Students
The cultural exchange allowed us to converse with Costa Rican students from the Universidad Latina, here in Heredia. Five students from the university came to the cultural exchange. We played a game called “Sabelo Todo.” This game consisted of four teams, and each team had to role dice to move and had to answer a question on the space they landed on. Some of the questions rewarded teams a puzzle piece and each team had to collect all five puzzle pieces in order to win.
The questions were so difficult that it sometimes took teams 10 or more minutes to answer them! By the time the pizza arrived, no team had received more than two puzzle pieces because of the difficult nature of the game.
When the pizza arrived, the game ended and everyone conversed together while eating pizza. This time allowed us to learn about and talk to the Costa Rican students and lasted until it was time to go to our Spanish classes. – Grant Stanley and Bryce Badaruddin
We went to a house in downtown Heredia to learn how to cook traditional Costa Rican food. We were welcomed by a lovely friend of Ximena, the director of ISA Costa Rica. The lady showed us to her cozy kitchen, which heated up quickly due to the number of people. She had already cooked the chicken with cilantro, onions, peppers, and various seasonings and shredded it.
Next she prepared the rice mixture with rice, water, green onions, peppers, carrots, cilantro, salt, garlic, and basil. The chicken mixture, which had already been set to boil with butter, ground pepper, red pepper paste, and a bag of tomatoes was combined with the rice mixture.
To drink, a tamarindo-flavored refreshment was suggested. The lady commented that she wasn’t a huge fan of the juice, but still wanted to make it for us. She took an amount of pealed tamarindo and boiled it in water. The concentrate was mixed with cold water and sugar to create a drink yellow-brown in color with the taste of a sightly less tart lemonade; it was very delicious.
After the food was prepared, we all served ourselves buffet style. The aroma of the food was so flavorful and the group was very excited to taste traditional Costa Rican cuisine. The final spread included the arroz con pollo, refried black beans, chips, the tamarindo drink, and a dessert of cake and ice cream. The food was delicious and everyone took seconds. We had such a great time! – Sera Simpson, Gabriella Novak, and Anne-Cecilia Byrne
– The above posts were contributed by ISA High School students who studied abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica in 2015. Students participate on cultural activities throughout the weeks while they are abroad to help become more familiar with their host country and culture.