Humans of Pura Vida: a student photography project

“Escuchamos la radio y leemos sobre las guerras en diferentes partes del mundo… tenemos suerte; Nuestra familia se siente segura aquí/We listen to the radio and we read about the wars in different parts of the world… We are lucky; our family feels safe here.”

Since its launch in 2010, Brandon Stanton’s photographic census Humans of New York has been capturing the attention and hearts of viewers the world over. An ever-growing collection of street photography, Stanton’s photos and their accompanying captions tell a salient story, one individual at a time.

During the course of the average day, we shoot cursory glances at hundreds, if not thousands, of individuals, mildly critiquing or praising their clothing, aesthetics, and actions, but little else. Stanton’s photo’s invite us to put aside our judgment and recognize the subject’s uniqueness. And when we do so, we find out just how easy it can be to relate to anyone.

Humans of Pura Vida

Inspired by Humans of New York and armed with the advantage of travel, our Spanish teacher, Sam Nelson, set up a project in Monteverde, Costa Rica, for his grade 11 students to build off of the Humans of New York concept. The result, Humans of Pura Vida, provided his students with the opportunity to interact with the locals, practice their Spanish dictation and writing, and learn about daily life in Central America’s happiest country.

“Aquí, la vida es fácil. No necesitamos cerrar la puerta con llave por miedo de ladrones como en la ciudad, solamente necesitamos vigilar nuestras cosas de los monos!/Here, life is easy. We do not need to close the door for fear of thieves like in the city, only need to monitor our things from the monkeys!”

The project was well-received by Sam’s students, and he looks forward to keeping it open-ended as we traverse the world (likely with a name change). You can find all of the Grade 11 photos and captions (with translations) on the Humans of Pura Vida Facebook page. Like what you see? Our students love feedback!

weXplore Greece: math, science, and natural beauty in Peloponnese

greece wexplore

Two weeks removed from recreating The Odyssey, our ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders are heading back out on the road to continue exploring our host country of Greece. Where to this time, you ask? We’ll be heading south across the Gulf of Corinth to spend six full days traversing the Peloponnese peninsula. The Peloponnese peninsula’s more »

Four students tackle real-world issues in The Vandalist

the vandalist

Māori rights in New Zealand. Poverty in Costa Rica’s rural areas. Greece’s possible withdrawal from the Euro Zone. In each country that we’ve visited this year, pressing topics such as these are a constant source of discussion, and not just among the locals. Many of our students have used their direct exposure to new countries more »

5 questions with author and adventure traveler Leon Logothetis


Leon and his trusty Kindness One have made their way around the world While our term in Athens, Greece, was getting underway, our students had the opportunity to interview a remarkable man of Greek heritage, a world traveler whose journeys have led him across 90+ countries, resulting in an impressive array of stamps in his more »

Wanderlust: an irresistible desire to travel

utkarsha heart

While enrolled at THINK Global School, students are encouraged to be creative during the course of their studies and travels. When the students document these thoughts, we are often delighted with the results. In ‘Wanderlust: an irresistible desire to travel,’ ninth grader Utkarsha V. recounts her month traveling across Costa Rica, learning valuable lessons and more »

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