On Thursday, June 24th, the Miguel Angel Asturias Academy embarked on an adventure to Auto Safari Chapin in Escuintla, Guatemala. Given that many of the students have never left Quetzeltenango, it was a drastic change, to say the least. With two school buses filled with K-12 students, we descended from the cool highlands and into the humid coast. Throughout the students‘ four hour journey, they were given information about the different communities that they were passing through, such as the local economies and the Mayan languages that are spoken in each area. The first part of the safari consisted of all the students staying put on the buses while observing exotic animals, such as lions and giraffes, from afar. Students moved from one side of the bus to the other as fast as they could so as not to miss any opportunities to take photos. After the “auto” part of the safari, the students got off the buses and were able to start the pedestrian portion of the trip to see animals such as parrots, ostriches, and pumas in an up close and personal zoo-like setting! The trip ended with lunch accompanied by a few refreshing hours of swimming in a pool located within the animal park.
The Asturias Academy considers field trips to be an integral part of every student’s educational experience. Spending time outside of the classroom interacting with the real world is invaluable to growth, and we are certain that providing the students with an intimate interaction with the natural world was significantly enriching. That being said, the best part of the whole day was seeing how the students marveled at the novelty of seeing animals for the first time in person. The looks on their faces were priceless and sharing that experience with them was incredible.