Help us send 10 students to Costa Rica in May 2017

We’re giving ten Escuela Verde students a bilingual, bicultural experience with an eight-day trip to Costa Rica. They’ll learn about sustainability efforts throughout the country, from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, taking their new knowledge back home to make a difference in Milwaukee.

Below you’ll find out more about each student through their personal statements. To contribute, go to and make a tax-deductible donation between now and January 31, 2016.

Yamile Salgado

My name is Yamile Salgado and I am a student at Escuela Verde. This is my first year attending EV and so far it’s been pretty groovy. I’ve gained many great skills from my experiences at EV & developed a huge passion for nature. In the future I hope to become a wildlife expert & share my experiences with my friends and family.

I’ve only traveled once in an airplane and it was frightening. Going somewhere far from where you live can be a little nerve-wracking but I hope to travel a lot so I aim to get used to it. Traveling can be a great experience for the future and it would be super exciting to be able to travel with friends.

I know that there can be many problems that may come up but I will work hard to be prepared for them. Before the Costa Rica trip I will be going on a backpacking course for a month and I hope that will help me with any issues involving the hiking part of the trip. Reading over the things that we will be doing while in Costa Rica makes me thrilled and animated to put in effort into getting in. Especially being able to go zip lining! Over all the Escuela Verde 2017 Costa Rica trip might be a once in a lifetime type of thing that I would desire to take part in.

Joselyn Arreguin

My name is Joselyn Arreguin, and I attend 10th grade at Escuela Verde. I’m a latina originally born in Chicago, and I moved to Milwaukee when I was four years old. I am very passionate about Mexican culture and art!  I collaborated and took part in our art galleries here in Escuela Verde last year. Painting and drawing is a good way for me to express myself freely. I love everything about it. Even though I have so much to learn, I still manage to keep up. I consider myself a helpful, reliable, observant and independent person.

I hope I gain a lot of influence in this trip, meet a new perspective, and gain knowledge about Costa Rica. The activities that I would imagine us doing is going on hikes, visiting really interesting places, meeting new people, and witnessing a whole new environment. We may predict some challenges and feel overwhelmed at some point but with communication and an open mind we will get through those stressful moments. I set high expectations for myself and will continue to carry these expectations when working with this group.

Traveling for me would be the best gift to receive from Escuela Verde. I have always wanted to travel, meet new places and feel infinite! This is a huge opportunity that I am receiving from EV and I’m willing to commit and participate till the end of the trip. I would be very appreciative of any donations by anyone who is willing to help with our trip to Costa Rica. This is one of my dreams/goals in life and meeting this dream at a young age is rare.

Diana Diaz

My name is Diana Diaz. I am a 9th grader at Escuela Verde. I have been at Escuela Verde since 7th grade, and I plan to graduate from EV. I have always enjoyed EV because they let us work on the things we love doing and let us be very creative. I enjoy making others laugh and making them feel comfortable. I like meeting new people and learning about them. I’m very open about anything and it’s not hard for me to talk to someone. Once I meet them I make sure they don’t feel uncomfortable.  

I like skating! I also love traveling. My family and I always travel to Mexico. I am really looking forward to this Costa Rica trip.

I love exploring new places and experiencing new things: different types of foods, culture, and the surroundings. I travel a lot with my parents because they also experiencing new things and going back to where they grew up. I really enjoy it and love the weather especially, because it’s not the same as the weather where I live. I feel more relaxed and calm when I go to different places. The food is also different when I travel to mexico; I think it tastes more authentic than the food here in Milwaukee. The culture is also very different; it’s very open and welcoming. The people are great too – they’re very open, nice, and creative because they have nice surroundings. I am looking forward to this Costa Rica trip. I can’t wait to explore new things and see a different type of nature, foods and people.  I am ready for this trip!

Diya Noble

My name is Diya Noble, and I am a sophomore at Escuela Verde. I have been at EV since 7th grade, and plan to graduate from there as well. I am active in the school community, and participate in the Youth Activists and GSA workshops every quarter. In my free time, I write short stories and create art. A goal I have for the future is to become a published author.

I have always been interested in exploring the world. Because I have family in northern India, I’ve flown to the Himalayas twice since I was a kid. I love gaining new experiences and knowledge through traveling, trying local food, and meeting new people. I think that it’s important to be immersed in cultures that you didn’t grow up in, because this process gives you perspective on the world. I have never been to Central America or been in anything like a rainforest before, so I am thrilled about the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica next year.

Miyona Malone

My name is Miyona Malone, I am a sophomore attending Escuela Verde. This being my first year at Escuela Verde, I’ve decided EV is where I’d like to graduate. As a student I enjoy wellness, where my peers and I can enjoy the outdoors. Reading is also an interest of mine and I can enjoy doing so in reading groups.

I share many passions and interests both academic and recreational. As a student in high school, I enjoy math, reading, and English. As far as my future, I plan on acclaiming a degree in music and Biomedical engineering. When becoming a college student, my focus has been on attending John Hopkins University to pursue my Biomedical engineering degree and I would like to commit to the University of North Texas College of Music to receive a degree in music. In pastime, I enjoy volunteering at Luther Manor, a nursing home in my neighborhood, and attending Milwaukee Children’s Choir. I also revel in reading and playing volleyball to consume my time.

Having the opportunity to visit a completely different civilization is especially exciting because, one can learn about the lives and habitats of people, animals and the nature in Costa Rica. Hiking is a huge sector of what one will experience on this trip, as well as a large culture change, different lifestyles of teens in Costa Rica than my peers and I.   

Sara Lopez

My name is Sara Lopez, and I’m a student at Escuela Verde. It’s my first year at the school and I hope to stay here until I graduate in 2019. My favorite workshops currently are GSA and Youth Activists because I’m passionate about equal rights. My biggest life goals are to make a career in music and travel the world.

I think it’s exciting when you get an opportunity like this, to go out of the country and see things you’ve never seen before with the school. I’ve always wanted travel the world. Even as a kid I knew that I was going to travel and see things I’ve never seen. When I start my career in music, I hope to go on tours and things like that so I can see new places and to get a taste of it now would be an amazing experience. I also love knowing cultural things about different places. I think it’s interesting to think about what other people in different cultures do everyday that would be irregular to us.

When I heard that we’re going to go hiking and see how beautiful the country is, and go eat new foods, I was really excited because even now I get excited when I go to the Indian restaurant down the street from my house. But, one of the challenges I’m going to have when we go is the Spanish. I understand Spanish, but when I speak Spanish it has to be basic because I’ve spoken English for a majority of my life. Overall, I’m very excited about going to Costa Rica, seeing a new country, getting some extra experience, and getting a taste of my future in this trip.

Marlenny Vargas

My name is Marlenny Vargas and I am a freshman at Escuela Verde, I enjoy nature and camping. I am also a passionate activist for social justice, I feel very strong about the feminist movement and I spend time during school to talk about my opinions with my peers during Youth Activists and Girls Empowerment. I love cosmetics such as makeup but plan on becoming a surgeon in the future. Currently my goal is to graduate high school and attend short makeup lessons.

 I have not yet traveled out of the states, however I want to expand my horizons. I want to understand and experience new cultures, traditions, and nature. Nature has a great positive impact on my emotional being because it causes me to feel content and at peace. I also have dreamed of what it would feel to travel, to be able to meet and interact with people you wouldn’t even think of meeting, just because it’s such a different place and people have different styles and personalities. I know traveling may bring some challenges because of the different foods,  weather, languages, and customs and traditions.

Specifically, traveling to Costa Rica in 2017 makes me feel a little anxious, because I speak Spanish but the way it is spoken there it totally different, and it will be difficult to understand what people say. What makes me excited though is the food, culture, nature, hiking, and getting closer to my peers and advisors because building friendships is always something positive for someone’s life. I love water, and getting in the water mostly in hot weather like Costa Rica’s and visiting the Fortuna Waterfall and the Pacific Ocean would be perfect! Hopefully this trip will inspire others to go out and try to enjoy the amazing nature there is around the world.

Justice Grant

My name is Justice Grant. I’m a 15 year-old student at Escuela Verde and I’m in 10th grade. I’ve been a student at EV for two years now, and plan on doing my 11th and 12th grade years here. I’m into photography and computer animation, I love to take photos of  nature and the environment. I love to go to new places to take pictures and get a new perspective on the community and environment I’m in.

I base my travel and exploration on things and cultures that interest me, so I can learn more on that subject. I’m anxious about a trip to Costa Rica or a new place in general, but i’m excited of all the new knowledge it will bring. I’ve gone on a variety of trips but none out of the United States and to another country. I see myself embracing the area i’m in while being as in tune with it as possible and gaining a new perspective.

I’m excited for the journey we are taking and I’m trying to get in better shape for all the backpacking and hiking we’ll be doing on the trip. Also getting better equipment to take pictures of the adventure and to protect my camera and its accessories. The wildlife there is nothing like Wisconsin and I’m excited to see them.

Marysol Bermudes

I am a 17 year old Latina artist. I am currently a student at Escuela Verde. I have attended Escuela Verde for 3 years now. I love painting, spending time outside, fighting for social justice and trying new things! I enjoy traveling and getting out of my comfort zone. I love being a student at Escuela Verde because they give me support and encouragement to do the things I love. I am an aspiring artist and business owner.

I love traveling to new places – there is so much to discover! I want to travel and view life through a different perspective. Going to Costa Rica will definitely be a life changing experience! I want to learn about their culture, food, everything! I am very excited about seeing Costa Rica’s Rainforest. This will be our first ever international trip and I’m glad to be part of it.  I hope to gain inspiration for my art in Costa Rica.

Henry Colon-Vega

My name is Henry Colon-Vega and I go to Escuela Verde. I am in 10th grade, and this is my third year at EV. I expect to graduate in June 2018. Academically, I’m especially interested in Automobile Engineer and, am currently working on projects to develop my understanding of the field. I’m also involved in workshops like bilingual education, math, and Youth Activists. A goal I’m currently working on is to become a successful man in the future.

I like to travel and explore other places because it’s somewhere I have never been before and it’s something new. There are many things in this world I have never seen, especially other art, music, food, the way people, live, and their history. Also it’s different how other people live and the climate is different from Wisconsin. It’s challenging because there will be things I won’t know or understand, but I can also learn something new.

I am excited to be traveling to Costa Rica with Escuela Verde. This trip will be an opportunity for me to learn more about their history, art, music, food, the way they live, and the difference of the climate. I will also be able to personally challenge myself to learn more about their culture. I am looking forward to finding and buying things from Costa Rica and to be able to explain what I learned from the trip. I am ready for the challenge of Escuela Verde’s Study Abroad Program’s Costa Rica 2017 Trip.

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