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Brenda Pe a 17 year old at Coliseum College Prep, went on the trip last year. For the first few days, she said, she was horribly homesick. hike, the monkeys that swung from the trees outside their hotel and the nesting sea turtles they observed at Adidas Cap Mens
Boyle said all the students are already leaders each in their own way but predicts that they will come back with a stronger sense of what that means. In last year's group, one of the students, who is gay, came out to his classmates upon his return to Oakland and went on to start a Gay Straight Alliance club at the school.
Since 2009, the organization has sent more than 100 students around the world on travel scholarships to Southeast Asia, Central America and South America. This summer, 99 students from five American cities will go.
Francisco Becerra, 13, said he was most excited about the cultural life he'd encounter and that he also hoped to catch a glimpse of an ocelot, a Arizona Cardinals Caps
Ana Romero, 16, said she was hoping to become more independent.
Most of the students are fluent in Spanish, as well as English, making it possible for them to interview Costa Ricans in their native language.
"Hair gel is not an emergency thing," Amy Boyle, a teacher and trip coordinator, said during a meeting with the students and their parents. Looking straight at a group of boys, she added, "Don't bring your Axe."
The Oakland group has spent months learning about travel writing, ecotourism, global citizenship and their New Era Cap Cincinnati Reds
10 local students chosen for service and travel writing trip
OAKLAND The packing list includes a passport, dark clothing for nighttime turtle watching, newly issued hiking boots and a pair of shoes that will most definitely get soaked in a river.
Brenda also told her family that she'd changed her mind about never going away to college; she's no longer afraid.
"I want to get used to being away from home," she said. "Whenever I travel, I always have my parents right there with me."
When she came home, she and her parents turned their barren backyard in East Oakland into an urban farm. There is barely room for them to move around, she said; the space has been overtaken by tomatoes, corn, squash, cucumbers, lemons, chiles and nopales, or prickly pear cacti.
Jose Lino, whose family has roots in El Salvador, said he was happy his daughter Maria was learning about another Central American country. "It's a big opportunity, not only for her but for everyone," Lino said. "It's a beautiful and great culture."
Now, she said, "I see nature in a different way."
destination, Costa Rica, including the plants and animals that are found there. The next time they meet will be June 27 at San Francisco International Airport.
The young travelers, 13 to 17 years old, attend a small public school on the corner of 66th Avenue and International Boulevard, a high poverty East Oakland neighborhood that is plagued by violent crime. They were chosen from a pool of applicants by the AFAR Foundation, the nonprofit arm of San Francisco based AFAR Media.
Ten students at Oakland's Coliseum College Prep Academy will leave the trappings of teenage life behind when they travel next week to Costa Rica on a New Era Seattle Mariners 10 day service and travel journalism trip. No electronics outside of the airport, including cellphones. No need for mascara, sticky hair products or cologne.
For 10 days, they and their guides will explore the Central American country. They'll help clean up a beach on the Pacific Coast, create a library in a rural school and, upon their return, write pieces for an AFAR travel magazine, describing the adventures they took, the food they learned to prepare and locals they interviewed.
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