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While comparatively speaking Costa Rica is a small country, shown by the fact that driving from coast to coast - Pacific to the Caribbean - takes only 6 hours through countryside and along one lane highways, it is a country filled with natural wonders, adventure and culture.    

Costa Rica is not the least expensive country in Latin America to visit, but it is one of the safest with both an educated and friendly populace. Ticos, the locals, are quick to extend a smile or a helping hand to visitors. This warm ambience is complemented by the fact that the Spanish spoken in Costa Rica is lauded as being one of the best in the Americas.  So while the experience is not low-budget, you will find that the quality is high.

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Emphatically – yes!  Children are especially able to learn another language and immersion accelerates that process. Studies show starting a second language as a child carries enormous social and cognitive developmental advantages. Parents choose the CPI Spanish Program option whether their children/teens are new language learners or as a means to fine tune current second language skills, all while taking advantage of an opportunity to deepen cultural understanding. There is no denying language is culture and culture is language.

San Joaquín

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San Joaquín de Flores is the quintessential quaint Costa Rican village, centralized around La Plaza where children, teens and families gather for recreational bike riding, soccer scrimmages and conversation.  Of course no typical Costa Rican plaza is without the public primary school and Catholic Church; fun fact: did you know almost all the Catholic Church doors in Costa Rica face west? A helpful tip when trying to find your way around, as Costa Ricans use cardinal directions and points of reference as addresses.  As you look around the plazas don’t be surprised if you see a very small corner bar where the older gentlemen pull up a stool for a leisurely ‘cerveza’ and low key chat with friends.  Another important feature to any typical town – a fried chicken establishment – San Joaquin de Flores offers three for your choosing.  Fried chicken is likened to the hamburger of the north, a very popular fast food option served with pickled plantains and a side of fries.  Should you prefer other local fare, in San Joaquin you have a solid variety of restaurants from which to choose: seafood, to Chinese, to ‘tipico’.

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Tours are the perfect complement to studying Spanish as they incorporate not only adventure – imagine white water rafting, canopy ziplines, & river cannyoning; learning about another culture - envision a traditional sugarcane & cacao or coffee tours, pre-Columbian pottery & gold pieces at the National Museum, and typical dances; but also ecology and biodiversity- picture seeing first hand monkeys (3 kinds!), scarlet macaws, crocodiles or sloths (2 or 3 toed) all in their natural habitat whether that be a tropical dry, rain or cloud forest.   Costa Rica offers all the aforementioned and more in the landmass the size of West Virginia. 

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