Surfing in Playa Uvita and Scuba Diving in Panama: Open Enrollment Student Updates

As high-season begins to wind down, students soak up their first and last moments in the Costa Rican and Panamanian sun. This past Saturday, we received our last bunch of students for Caribbean Scuba & Service as well as for Pacific Surf & Service. Three groups, including Pacific Surf & Cert, have been learning about the local region—taking time to interact within the local communities and with their instructors and peers. Here is what CSS #3, PSS #2, and PSC #2 students have been up to since they’ve arrived:

Caribbean Scuba & Service #3

2017-07-23-PHOTO-00000859After a long travel day to Costa Rica, four new students for CSS arrived to our IMG_7431rainforest base to meet their final group member who was on a Service, Hike & Homestay course the week prior. Here, they packed and prepped for the next morning when they would be traveling Panama. They arrived to the border mid-morning on Sunday and took a celebratory photo together. Monday morning students woke up bright and early to begin their scuba diving certification. They were met by Jim, Executive Director and Scuba Instructor, to learn theory and fundamentals of scuba diving. Later, students dressed in scuba gear to learn how to use the equipment in confined water. Afterwards, they took a break to go wake-boarding through the islands. For most of them, it was their first time carving the water, but they looked like pros! Yesterday they continued to gain more hands-on scuba experience before preparing to take their written test. We wish them all the best of luck!

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Pacific Surf & Service #2 + Pacific Surf & Cert #2

IMG_7430Saturday, we welcomed one student flying in to meet up with his five course-mates on base for PSS and PSC #2! Here, they enjoyed lunch together and met their surf instructors for the next 1-2 weeks before packing their bags for the beach. Sunday morning, students hopped into the OBCR van—equipped with surf and boogie boards—and drove down to Playa Uvita. They will be camping right along the water for the remainder of this week! Monday morning they were awoken by the sun shining into their tents, got dressed, and drove to a nearby school to complete a service project. For most of the day, students helped paint an outdoor event space for students that will be graduating later this year. Tuesday morning everyone got up and out into the water early to enjoy a surf lesson. All of the students were able to stand up and ride the white-wash waves. Some students were even able to venture out further and catch a few bigger waves! When they returned back to shore, the group was taught a few CPR lessons by their instructors before heading to their camp kitchen to prepare lunch. Wednesday morning, the students headed back out for an early morning surf lesson and boogie boarding. Today, students are enjoying their last full day at Uvita beach while learning how to get out and catch bigger waves. Tomorrow, PSS #2 students will be transferring to Dominicalito and PSC #2 students will be heading back to our rainforest base before returning back home on Saturday.

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