Friday, May 14, 2010

First Costa Rica...then the world

Wednesday morning was our homeschool groups third annual World Expo. Each family chooses a country and puts together a display to educate our friends about the geography, history and culture of our destination. This year we used photos from last summer's trip to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens Costa Rica biome. The kids made a plasticine rain forest diorama. We served hearts of palm and pineapple (which really came from Costa Rica.)  After we set up in our continents with our food and artifacts and display boards, the kids all received their passports and we spent the morning touring the world.

We chose to do Costa Rica this year, which, as it turns out, is a fascinating country. Some of the things we found most interesting:
25% of the country's land is set aside as environmentally protected space.
5% of the world's biodiversity exists in this space that represents only 0.1% of the earth's land.  There is a 50,000 acre Children's Rain Forest Preserve which was established when Swedish children decided in 1987 to raise money to save the rain forest. The effort has grown and is still funded by donations from children around the world.
Costa Rica is a peaceful nation with no army (as written in their constitution) and it is home to the only United Nations university - which is called the University of Peace.
Costa Ricans just elected their first female President who was sworn in this week (how timely for our project).

I love this opportunity for my kids to study a country in depth and then talk with their friends about what they have learned - giving them a taste of world travel without leaving home.

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