UMO Students Travel to Costa Rica

UMO Students Travel to Costa Rica

May 23, 2022
Contact:  Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive Student Activities Office recently took a group of students on an 11-day tour of Costa Rica.  The culturally enriching experience included tours in the capital city of San Jose and more rural coastal towns, such as Puerto Viejo.

The group visited and hiked through many national parks including The National Park of Cahuita, of Arenal Volcano, and of Manuel Antonio. These ventures held several chances to spot native plant and animal species, such as sloths, monkeys, snakes, and alligators. The group zip lined over the Arenal Volcano National Park and saw several spectacular natural waterfalls. Additional highlights included a visit to the National Soccer Stadium of Costa Rica, a glimpse of 500-year-old Ceiba tree, and a tour of the Poás Volcano.

A visit to the Indigenous Maleku Tribe Village gave participants an opportunity to listen to a presentation on the tribe’s history, customs, and culture. “This was my favorite part of the trip,” said Michelle Flores, an accounting major from Teachey, NC.  “Being able to communicate with the natives and gain an understanding of their homeland was eye opening. Their culture is very similar to the one I grew up in, so this was very interesting to me.”

Chandell Lee, a biomedical science major from Goldsboro, NC, agreed, “Cultures are definitely different wherever you go, but there is so much life, love, and beauty around the world, even in the smallest things.”

During leisure time, the group experienced the people, food, and music of Costa Rica. Baldi Hot Springs and a boat tour on the Pacific Coast, where participants snorkeled and swam with the aquatic life, were memorable highlights of the trip. A visit to the Doka Estate Coffee Plantation provided a glimpse of the environmentally conscious processes of coffee production.

“One of my biggest observations was how clean the environment was for plants and animals to grow in the tropical environment,” said Andrew Cruse, an education major from Faison, NC.

“Travel and exploration are an important part of the college experience,” said Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Dan Sullivan. “UMO has worked hard to provide opportunities for our students to travel domestically and abroad. After a two year travel pause, the pandemic has only reminded us just how important these opportunities are for our students. We look forward to providing additional opportunities for our students to travel next year.”

Chandell Lee concluded, “My favorite part of the journey was getting to meet other UMO students I didn’t know and building bonds that I’ll never forget.  All of this was done while experiencing breathtaking sights.”

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists.  For more information, visit