Send Ari to Study Spanish Language and Culture in Costa Rica this Summer

Arianna Butler Start Date: Apr 17, 2015 - End Date: May 31, 2015
  • San José, Costa Rica

My Travel Story

by: Arianna Butler Start Date: Apr 17, 2015 - End Date: May 31, 2015
I am excited to share with you that I am graduating from Hampton University with my Bachelors of Biological sciences. However, I have one final Spanish language requirement to complete my degree. I was accepted to fulfill that requirement with the CIS summer abroad program in San Jose Costa Rica.

As a student coming out into the California work force, being able to communicate in Spanish can greatly enhance my future opportunities and allow me to be of greater service to my community. Immersing myself in the Costa Rican culture by living with a Spanish speaking family will help ensure my daily practice of Spanish and I plan to return to the United States a fluent conversational Spanish speaker. With a biology degree from Hampton University, I am planning to become a health care professional or perhaps a doctor one day.

However, I also have an interest in cultural expansion through the arts. In addition to a Spanish language class, I will have the opportunity to take an elective course of my choosing. One course in particular, Topics in Afro Caribbean studies, is of great appeal to me because the Black African descent portion of the Costa Rican population is a cultural aspect of my personal history.

I am an African American woman of Afro Mexican and Honduran descent. My great grandfather was born in Honduras, Latin America to an Afro Mexican mother from Vera Cruz, Mexico. However, unlike his siblings of full Afro-Latino descent, his father was a Honduran Spaniard. On July 1st, 1935 my great grandfather, his mother and siblings traveled from their home in La Ceiba, Honduras on the ship WM Delphia to America where they settled. Almost 8% of the Costa Rican Population is comprised of black/mulatto people, called Afro-Costa Ricans. The history of the Afro Costa Ricans is intriguing because unlike that of most American and Caribbean countries, the Blacks brought to Costa Rica were not brought as slaves, but as working class members of the population. I am filled with excitement and anticipation to learn about and experience a piece of that legacy while studying Spanish and Afro Costa Rican culture.

In addition to the language and culture, I am deeply interested in the amazing biodiversity in the Monteverde cloud forest. As a science major, the rarity of observing an active volcano is a sight I am more than ecstatic about experiencing and studying.

My expectations are that my trip will broaden my understanding of the African and Latin cultural combination and deepen my understanding of Tropical biological phenomena. Due to the great richness in Costa Rican popular culture, not only will I being exposed to language and science, but exploring the arts will also enrich me. During my summer abroad, you, my family and supporters will be able to travel with me. I will blog my experiences, sharing both photographs and stories, so you can enjoy my adventures with me.

Please understand that this trip is only possible with your help. Luckily for me, I believe I am well endowed with family and friends. Your investment in my growth through travel and study will pay off in terms of my returning to the United States being a more viable member of my community. Please donate now to my summer abroad in San Jose Costa Rica. 

Thank you in advance.
  • San José, Costa Rica