Amazing Kids! Magazine

Expedition Central America: Costa Rica/Off Camera

By Enzo Monfre, SciTech Kids Colunnist


We just got back from Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Exploration Nation and a team of awesome doctors, dentists and former Special Forces veterans went on a medical aid mission to help the Rama Indians.

What I’m writing now is not everything that happened, just some journal entries about what happened when the cameras were not rolling. Basically, this is what happened off camera.

(Journaling is an easy and great way to record your adventures when you travel.)


Thursday 4/4: We flew from Austin to Houston, Texas and then to San Jose, Costa Rica. The flight was supposed to take four hours… it took more than five. We were wondering, “why aren’t we landing?” Our pilot could not see the runway, because of clouds, so he circled around the country of Costa Rica for an hour.


Friday 4/5: We toured the Dole banana farm before shooting the episode. Carlos and Rudy were very helpful and super nice. I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know about the banana PLANT. I was corrected many times that it is a Banana PLANT, NOT A Banana TREE.


Saturday 4/6: We shot the episode on sustainable banana farming at Dole; they use mules or mulas to pull the banana train. The banana train is on a track system that runs throughout the farm and carries the banana bunches from the field to the washing and packing area.

My fellow hosts Emma, Haley and I had to pull the banana train into the washing area. A mula is not allowed in the washing area. Then we had to wear hairnets and waterproof aprons. I felt ridiculous in the hairnet.


Sunday 4/7: We travelled by a raft to get down river to Rios Tropicale’s jungle lodge. White water rafting was very fun! We were soaked from the big rapids coming into our raft. A little after the halfway point we were allowed to swim for about 400 feet until we saw another rapids.

Later, we rappelled down the waterfall; it was very scary! What is strange about it is, that it is scarier when you are just standing on top of the waterfall. While you are rappelling down, to stop, you simply tighten your grip on the line.


Monday 4/8: We hiked 846 stairs on a trail up a rain forest mountain to meet Rafael Gallo, this amazing guy who is transforming once stripped farmland back into the rainforest again. On the way up the mountain we saw leaf cutter ants, army ants, and a fer-de-lance snake.

We then hiked to the area where we filmed “Rebuilding The Rainforest.” Our audio guy, Ricardo stepped into a huge mud pit.

Stayed tuned… next month I’ll share journal entries from the other half of our expedition to Nicaragua. There were interesting animals, we learned about Jungle Survival and we helped the Rama Indians.

Keep Exploring!