Escuela de Los Amigos de Monteverde… Tres Grande Impresiones

First Impression

We were impressed from the very beginning. Elon and I spent the early part of her 11th birthday renewing passports. Expediting one is a long wait. With her new Kindle in hand and iphone in mine, we were prepared. Passports done, we headed to lunch enjoying the walk down Hudson St. We talked about the neighborhood and what celeb sighting we might have while in Tribeca. I got the moves like… yep, we ran right into Mick Jagger! I managed a “Hi Mick” and got a hello back. Thanks to Adam Levine and Christina Aguillera, Elon was starstruck!

The most impressive stuff began on March 18, with our journey to Escuela de Los Amigos de Monteverde in Costa Rica. The vast biodiversity we noted along the 4 hour bumpy bus ride from San Juan to Monte Verde was stunning. Josteled and quesy from the bumpy dirt roads, we still took in the beautiful flora, green and vibrant with horses and cattle, mountains and deep valleys. The group of us, Riverdale faculty, teachers, and two family ambassadors – Collins and Brodsky, enjoyed our first marisco & Tican (local) food at Caballo de Blanco.

Second Impression

The cloud mountains of Monte Verde are 8K ft in elevation, NYC is 800 ft) and they offered the first introduction to Pura Vida, the Costa Rican cultural greeting loosely translated to mean plenty of life or full life. Monte Verde Friends School was the destination and where we met a great school community of Tican, Nicaraguan, Peruvian, European, American students and teachers who were experiencing the Quaker traditions of a Friends School. John Blount, MFS Head of School (former head at St. Andrews in D.C.) was a gracious host and spent time with the group sharing curriculum, culture, and student life at MFS. He and Laurie Stern, RCS lower school reading specialist, have started what we expect to be a global exchange program between the schools. Elon, Teddy, and Carolyn met students in their grade, sat in on classes, and had plenty of questions. They continue to exchange with students as pen pals well, ok, e-pals.

The Monteverde Friends School is a bi-lingual private K through 12 school sitting on acres of sustainable forest and they begin each day with moments of silence during morning meetings. The students have a rigorous curriculum and get accepted to the top colleges and universities in north america. Schools like Riverdale have a tremendous amount of resources, particularly with technology. Riverdale’s visit last year gifted three Mac computers, and they are being put to good use. MFS is rich in it’s culture, curriculum and obvious natural resources. Costa Rica is one of the most sustainable countries in the world. 

Third Impression

My last and over-riding impression of Monteverde, and most of Costa Rica was the concept of simplicity. From dirt roads to moments of silence, to brilliant sunsets and Macaw’s, to sloths, to limited 3G, and zip-line team building, there were many moments of appreciation and humility. 

Travel and exchange in Costa Rica with Riverdale was an awesome opportunity for my daughter and I to build deeper global connections that will enrich and inform ourselves, our family, and our school community.

Thank you Laurie Stern, Ms Kaplan, Ms Domino, Ms James, Ms Fierst, Ms Cothren, and the Brodsky’s, it was a pleasure!


Pura Vida! 

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