Costa Rica Trip Combines Service and Adventures for 10 Gators

A Costa Rica trip that includes helping others and exploring the rugged Central American country starts this weekend for 10 University of FCosta Rlorida female student-athletes.

The nine-day trip begins bright and early Saturday morning with the group landing in San Jose almost seven hours after boarding their Gainesville departure flight.

The group, which includes five staff members representing the Hawkins Center, Gator Athletics Creative and UF, will make several trips out to help in the community, including:

  • Working with Casa de los Ninos in San Jose, an organization that seeks to break the cycle of poverty.
  • Visit the beach town of Playa Junquillal to work with Verdiazul, which focuses on  conservation of the environment. This group patrols beaches every night looking for sea turtles.
  • Work with the non-profit organization Abriendo Mentes when visiting the rural beach community of Playa Potrero. The organization brings innovative education and community development programs to rural and underserved Costa Rica communities.

The group also visits Costa Rica university Escuelas Deportivas plus meets with a leadership panel including local professionals from a variety of fields in Costa Rica (community, government officials, education professionals, sport administrators and business leaders).

Of course, there is time to explore Costa Rica built into the schedule. Planned excursions include:

  • Hike to La Paz Waterfall Gardens and visit animal sanctuary
  • Visit a coffee plantation
  • Arenal Volcano
  • Zip-lining through rainforest
  • Catamaran tour for swimming & Snorkeling on the Pacific coast

“I am so thankful to represent the Florida Gators in Costa Rica. I am looking forward to all of the service opportunities and being able to make an impact in the community. This is an amazing opportunity to experience a new culture and gain new perspectives from the people I meet,” Gator gymnast Chloi Clark said. “I am excited to build and grow relationships with other student athletes from UF and to be able to bring back what we learned from the trip to Gainesville.”

Participating Gators:
Chloi Clark-Gymnastics
Leah DeGeorge-Swimming
Avery Goelz-Softball
Molly Golding-Swimming
Chloe Hyde – Cross Country/Track & Field
Da’Moni Kelly-Track & Field
Ellie Lazzari-Gymnastics
Emily Lortz-Lacrosse
Taylor Roberts-Golf
Jeriah Warren-Basketball

Megan Cantrell-IFAS – Department of Agricultural Education and Communication
Shandy Dawkins-Leadership Development Coordinate
Taylor Fishman-Digital Content Creator
Allison Forrest-Director of Gators Experience
Ashley Ray-Photo

Follow Gator team and Florida Gators social accounts to see sights and sounds from Costa Rica.