Maripasario - Butterfly Research Lab

Maripasario is a local butterfly house and lab in the town of Colonia Libertad. The Maripasario is a joint effort with the Seeds of Change organization, several U.S. colleges  and the University of Costa Rica (Dr. Adrian Pinto's lab) and the local women of the town. The lab is currently being run by Sivla Ceballos and will be part of the Seeds of Change curriculum and research opportunities. Once operational, it will serve as a new source of income for the local economy as people come to visit the butterfly house.

In addition to the beauty of these creatures (the blue morpho is amazing), the lab has the critical task of finding new antibiotic producing bacteria that may be found in the different stages of the butterfly. Maddie, from Mercy Academy in Louisville, KY, was the first student to experience this type of research. She spent the afternoon working with Silva to culture bacteria found on the bodies of caterpillars. She also got to assist in the dissection of a pupa and cultu…

End of an Adventure

Yesterday we went to the beach. Although it was cold and rainy, we still made the most out of it. We swam in the ocean, built sand castles, and had an extremely close encounter with a stingray (don't worry he's okay!). We also drank cocnut water, then ate the coco out of it. After our beach day we had a really nice dinner, it was a BBQ with everyone all together. Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Bowman had an enexpected guest (toucan) in their room and he did not want to leave. We had to get to bed early to wake up at 3am! The wake up was hard but we made it through.

Currently we are sitting in the Houston airport and will get home really late because of the current delay. We want to remind everyone to not forget about us and pick us up when we finally get home. Also, presentations will be at 6pm on Saturday. This trip was probably the best one yet and we would love to go back. We got to make some of our dreams come true and see amazing sites. We are very sad to see it end and would love t…

Horizontes - Dry Forest Research Station

It is morning when we had to get up and finish packing After breakfast we went to the giftshop to buy things and chocolate for our families. We loaded up in the vans and started our 2 hour bus ride. We stoped at the local super market for our journy. After buying tons of food and drink we started out journy to the beach where we will do our turtle search. Once we got to the research facility we ate lunch and we saw a reascue toucan sitting on one of the benches around everyone. Then we all went into a building to speak with a marine biolagist about sea turtles. We had two hours for ourselves and played a soccer game with the locals and bus drivers while other people climbed the fire tower. 

By: Triston and Cole

Day 8

By: Scott Tobe

Today was an wild run-around day. We all presented our projects today on our leafcutter ant tests and got some feedback on what to do back home. After lunch we all went to a waterfall via an extremely wobbley tractor, and went up and down mud covered slopes for miles. While I didn't go in the water, I did take some pictures of the surrounding forest and played with the dogs. After I stumbled into a hanging chair, I decided to pet on the cats before everyone else scared them off. This has been a nice place to stay, and the beds were quite luxurious.

By: Triston Armstrong

We started this morning practicing for our final presentations and getting the last amount of data we can before giving Dr.pinto our projects and lab notebooks. Presenting was very nerve racking knowing that this was going to be the project we show back home. After presenting and eating lunch I took a tractor ride to the most beautiful waterfall I have ever seen. Although it was a pretty hard hike to…

Cooking Class and Science

By: Zachary Santana

Today we were wrapping up our research projects, finishing up our presentations, and finding the final result that are trials are showing based on the recorded data. The recorded data was based on the studies on Atta Cepholtes' behavior and activity in certain environments. Unlike most of the other days, today was closer to a full day of work. We had the normal breakfast time and lunch break was working in the morning because presentations are tomorrow morning.

We did have a short cooking class today at 5:00 P.M. After the cooking class we had dinner which was the best one that I had out of any day here. The place that we went to was in the village of Colonia Libertad and to the restaurant was a fairly short walk.

The trip in total was a great trip on which I learn many new facts about the leafcutter ant species. We are in a very nice place in Costa Rica and the species is very abundant. We have also been to very cool place around the area by Finka La Anita.


Experiments Coming Along... and a hike in the morning.

Today was a early morning we got up at 5:15am  we went for a hike. We drove for about 2 hours to a building where we meet our guide. Our guide 's name was Freddy he showed us a very neat bug called the penut head (it looked like what it was called). He went and lead us to a lot of places to go see for exapmle we went to see a sulfur hot spring at first the smell made you not want to get in, after once you get used to the smell it was fun. It was also cool, the water was in different places like puddles almost but split up by rocks and each one had different tempatures. The lighter ones were warm and the darker ones where cold, to me I liked the cold water but after a while I went in the warm water and it felt very nice. We headed back and saw a stick bug it was very cool to see one. After that  we went to a water fall and we went and swam in the water which was very cold. After we swam a little while we went back to a building to eat lunch. 
We came back and some of us showered, …

Horse Mania by Caelan and Gavin

This is Caelan and this is my experience horseback riding. Horseback riding, what a great way to start the day! At 6 am, half of us woke up to start the great adventure of riding horses through Costa Rica's amazing sites while the other half slept in to experince the wonders later in the day. At the beginning of the experince, I was really excited to get on the horse and take off. Later I found out that the ride was going to consist of a simple walk, at least that was what was planned. The ride went great but when you are riding a horse that loves to be in the front while you want to go slow and enjoy the sites, you tend to experience some conflict along the way. The ride went smoothly at the beginning but towards the end, my horse was getting slightly agitated. As soon as we could see the building where we had to stop, my horse decided that it was tired of staying behind the rest of the group, it took off! My first instict was to scream and try to slow the horse down by pulling b…