Saturday, January 30, 2010

Visit the Local Markets and be Immersed in Spanish Culture


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Spanish for Success
Study Spanish in Costa Rica



When visiting a new country, one of the best ways to learn about the culture is visiting the local markets.

The markets are usually held once a week, and in certain countries it might be more. Local farmers bring in their fresh cropped, fished, and butchered goods.

At first, it can be a little intimidating, but once you get use to the loud and busy atmosphere, it can be quite an exploration. If you're a person who loves to take pictures or videos, this would be an ideal place to capture some of the most intriguing images. A variety of colors, stories, and personalities just seem to come up.

If you love to learn languages, such as Spanish, here is a great way to practice and get immersed.

In the video above, we take a walking tour of a local market in, Turrialba, Costa Rica. The markets are usually held on Fridays. Rain or shine the buyers and sellers are trading away. Since Costa Rica is known for producing plentiful fruits and vegetables, here you will see some of the freshest and most colorful crops. The farmers seem very happy, as this is also a good way to catch up with friends and their regular customers.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Adventure Tours in Costa Rica

Blog content by:
Spanish for Success
Study Spanish in Costa Rica 
 
Explornatura
The adventure company, Explornatura is a close associate of Spanish for Success. Many of the past students who attended programs in Turrialba, Dominical, and Arenal had used the services of the company.

The company has been operating since early 2000 and they’ve had a great track record on safety. The owners Massi and Ronald had taken the proper steps in order to keep the adventure tours running smoothly and safely for adventurist participating. They are one of the premier services that operate from the town of Turrialba.

Explornatura operates several tours, the two most popular ones are white water rafting, and canyoneering. They also offer other tours operating within other parts of the country. For more information, hop on the website www.explornatura.com

Click for More Images

While participating in one of the tours, our blog contributor, Russo Mutuc, had interviewed Massi and the raft guide. See video below.

Russo Mutuc – “Participating in one of these tours is definitely a highlight when you come to Costa Rica. I have known most of the owners of Explornatura for almost 9 years, and every time I come back to the country, I try and participate in one of the tours. When I first came to Costa Rica in 2002, it was the first time I had ever rafted and ziplined. I thought this was such an amazing experience, and it definitely got me talking about it within my social media friends in Friendster and Myspace. Living and participating in the tours, the excitement was flowing, and I was constantly posting videos and pictures. With the incoming travelers visiting Costa Rica, often times, these tours are a must in their itinerary. From the customers I had spoken with after, many had commented on the high adrenaline fun and excitement. Though some of the tours are not meant for everybody, I definitely would recommend checking with your doctor prior to arriving in the country and participating in any adventure sports. Keep in mind, these tours are in nature’s environment, and often times, nature or the environment is unpredictable. “



video



Sunday, January 3, 2010

How to Use the Costa Rica Public Phone System

 Blog content by:
Spanish for Success
Study Spanish in Costa Rica

When you arrive to Costa Rica, and would like to use the public phone system, keep an eye out for phones that look like the one below. These blue public phones are the newer versions they have around the country. In order to use this phone, you would need to buy pre-paid phone cards, which you can purchase at the airport, markets, and small convenient stores.

The national telecommunications company is called ICE, and places that sell the phone cards, will have signs on the entrance or near the cash register. The phone cards which you can buy are $5, $6, $10, or $20. Aside from the airport, you will most likely pay with Colones, the Costa Rican currency.

These phone cards are very easy to use, and they have two types of phone cards with different directions to key in the digits. The normal key in is 197 and 199. For travelers that don’t speak Spanish, make sure to purchase the 199, this has the English option for instructions. 199 are ideal for using when you would like to call outside of the country. If you plan to make longer calls or multiple ones, make sure to purchase phone cards that are $10 or more.

Sample instructions on how to use the phone
•Pick up the handset and wait for the tone
•Dial 199
•Listen to the instructions and key in for English option
•In the back of the phone card is the code numbers which you will also need to key in.
•Once you have keyed in the code, you will then key in the phone number you are trying to call. (Please be advised on the new additional number they had added. For land lines you have to key in additional 2 + the seven digit number. When dialing cell phones, 8 + the seven digit number.)
•Finally, the automated system will inform you of how many minutes you can talk for.

video

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Red Eyes From a Flight to Costa Rica

 Blog content by:
Spanish for Success
Study Spanish in Costa Rica 
 
Red-eye Flights
Many of you have probably traveled and taken the red-eye flight. For some that had, you know how it feels to be part of this experience. For the readers of this blog interested about the experience, see the video below and read on.
There is a reason why they call it red eye flights, and literally, your eyes are red after taking the flight. The term comes from flights operated overnight, and travelers arrive at their destination with fatigue and exhaustion. The eyes are stressed from lack of proper sleep, and time change.
In the video below, I took a red-eye flight from Los Angeles (12a.m.) to El Salvador and final destination, Costa Rica (9a.m.). For travelers arriving in the country, this is a great way to save time and possibly money. Take for instance short-term vacationers, taking this flight would be ideal if they really wanted to maximize their time in the country. Arriving early morning will give them a full day to discover. But the disadvantage would be fatigue. If the body is not accustomed to little sleep, these short-term vacationers might end up sleeping in the rest of the day.
With my returning trip to Costa Rica, spending 4 days in the country made sense taking the red-eye flight. I had more hours in the day, to take care of business. The first night, in the country, I slept for hours.


Art Scene in the Streets of San Jose, Costa Rica

Cow Art

The video clip of the Costa Rica Cow Parade was filmed in Avenida Central, San Jose (2009). While watching the video, Massi Devoto, talks about the background of the art piece. The various painting on the cow depicts a story of a local musical artist, who stayed with the cow piece, on a daily basis, to protect it from kids damaging the original design. When the cow artist heard about the defender, “Marito,” they took the original art piece and incorporated him in the cow. They since have left the art piece in Avenida Central to share it with the locals, to let it be known, that Marito was a huge part of the art.




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www.spanishforsuccess.com