Sunday, July 28, 2013

Latin America Educational Plans

See an earlier post for our overall educational theme that we'll use in all locations.  The following are specific experiences we're planning in Latin America.

August 12 – November 15, 2013

Costa Rica

8/12 - 8/25: Monteverde Cloud Forest and Spanish Language School

We’ll be staying with a Costa Rican family, having meals with them, and studying Spanish 4 hours a day in Monteverde.

Educational Topics:

  • What is a cloud forest?  Is it different than a rainforest?
  • What types of animals live in the cloud forest, and where do they live?
  • Why is a rainforest or cloud forest important to maintain?
  • Is climate change having an impact on the cloud forest?

8/26 - 9/2: Manuel Antonio National Park

A coastal rainforest that is one of the most popular in Costa Rica.  Among other things we’ll be doing a tour with Kids Saving the Rainforest

Educational Topics:

  • What is the difference between this rainforest and the cloud forest we saw in Monteverde?
  • What types of animals live here?
  • What did kids do to help save the rainforest?  And specifically, what did they do to help the monkeys?
  • Is climate change having an impact on the rainforest?

Overall Educational Theme: Connections

This will be our overall theme to link the places we're visiting into educational experiences for our kids and others that follow us. Here are some general questions we'll use everywhere to guide our investigations.

How do we or can we connect with the places we visit?

  • How are we in the U.S. connected to these places?
  • What do we do that impacts them?
  • How do things that happen in these places impact us?
  • Why is it important to preserve these places?
  • What are the forces that make it difficult to preserve the places?
  • What are local people, especially kids, doing to preserve the areas we visit
  • What can we do to help?
  • What can others in the U.S. do to help?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Carbon Cost of our Trip - Part 1

Our plans for the first part of our trip are set (we’ll blog more about that in the next few days).  We know the flights we’ll be taking to get from Minneapolis to Costa Rica to Peru to The Galapagos and then back to Minneapolis in mid-November.  We have plans to rent a 4WD vehicle in Costa Rica for about 3 ½ weeks so we can explore Manuel Antonio National Park and the Peninsula de Osa area.

I used the carbon footprint calculator at terrapass to calculate the carbon footprint for this part of our trip (

I plugged in each flight we are taking, and for the four of us, the flights are estimated at 41,097 miles, generating 20,341 lbs of CO2.