Montezuma School Goes Bird Watching

When a group of 15 seven and eight-year-olds become first-time birders for a day, there’s no stopping their curiosity, excitement and all around fun. That’s exactly what happened last week when JC led a group of students from the Montezuma Elementary School on a bird watching outing and nature lesson in the outskirts of the nearby town Cabuya.

Montezuma School Goes Birding - JC's JourneysBirding and Learning

The goal of the day was for the group of first and second grade kids to get an in-depth lesson about four birds they would be sure to see in the area:  Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, and Brown Pelican.

Learning the names of these birds in both Spanish and English, as well as details of the species’ appearance and behavior, the group then got a chance to view the birds through a scope and binoculars. Getting an up-close vMontezuma School Goes Birding - JC's Journeysiew of the birds using these tools piqued interest even more and got the kids excited about the bright colors they could see and compelled them to seek out more and different birds on their own. The kids learned that there were officially 903 species of birds in Costa Rica and spotted a hummingbird which offered a prime opportunity to explain how hummingbirds are great pollinators, and thus the importance of protecting them and all wildlife.

In addition to the many birds kids learned about that day, howler monkeys made a grand appearance, and while these kids are no strangers to the sight of a howler monkey, JC pointed out some interesting facts about them and made his famous howler imitation much to their amusement.

Lessons in Recycling

LMontezuma School Goes Birding - JC's Journeysastly, as part of their final lesson, the kids each received a birding journal crafted from recycled cereal boxes, milk cartons and cardboard to integrate the concepts of recycling and environmental protection for the sake of wildlife conservation. Filled with new knowledge, the group will later jot down details and draw pictures in their journals recalling information from the outing such as the bird’s name, location, diet and migration patterns to reinforce their lesson. But before returning to school, Kevin, a local shuttle operator and driver for the day, encouraged each student to collect a few pieces of rubbish strewn around the beach to deposit it in it’s proper recycling bin back in town. These kids are awesome! We can see that they are truly inspired and already have great respect for the environment and wildlife around them.

Montezuma School Goes Birding - JC's JourneysIn timing with World Responsible Tourism Day, this small outing is just the type of thing we hope to continue doing with Montezuma School and other schools in the area. We love doing tours and sharing this love of nature and environment with visitors from around the world, but it’s just as important for us to share it with those around us every day as well.

Happy World Responsible Tourism Day! And thanks Montezuma School! It was fun spending time with you and we’re sure you will have some things you can teach us next time too. 🙂

See more info about our birding tours here.

 

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A Costa Rican Culinary Treat: Chorreadas con Natilla

It’s the middle of September. And while there are still many sunny days in the Southern Nicoya Peninsula, there’s nothing more perfect to enjoy on a rainy morning or afternoon during the wet season than a homemade chorrreada with natilla cream and a delicious cup of coffee.

Chorreadas are a flat round corn cake similar in appearance to a pancake. This simple Costa Rican dish is made with few ingredients including corn (the main ingredient), milk, salt and oil, and goes best topped with natilla, a sour cream that perfectly complements the savory and slightly sweet treat.

It all starts with a bundle of fresh corn. During the rainy season is a fashionable time to enjoy chorreadas as it’s a time when corn is being harvested, and the abundance of it by local Costa Rican farmers like Mario (pictured) brings lots of surplus to make enough chorreadas to go around. The process goes something like this: boil the corn, blend all the ingredients together, pour onto a hot ‘comal’, and you’ll be eating chorreadas in no time.

 

The best place to try one of these would be from a local family or small restaurant where you get a real, traditional sample of how the dish is made and how it should taste. If you’d like to see it done, we can always arrange a special “Let’s Get Local” tour to give the inside view. But for now, enjoy this video, and when your mouth begins to water… jump on a plane and come to see us! We’ll eat one for you in the meantime. 😉