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Capture | Costa Rica
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Capture | Costa Rica

861,571. That’s how many photographs we have collected from our programs over the years. Each summer we send photographer guides out on our programs to capture the stunning imagery that our students and staff have the privilege to witness firsthand. Some of those photos end up in our catalog and on the website, but a lot of them end up on hard drives, waiting to be seen. Instead of letting those pictures sit in the archives collecting dust, we want to share them with our students, staff, parents, and anyone interested in seeing the work of our talented photographers.

One of those photographers is Amanda Schwengel, who has shot for us in Costa Rica, Australia, and Thailand. An accomplished photojournalist now working in higher education in western Massachusetts, I asked Amanda to look back and pick a few of her favorite photographs from her time in Costa Rica, where she worked on the Surf and Service and Intro to Community Service in Costa Rica. Below are her top picks and her brief thoughts on the photos, we hope you enjoy them!

A pair of macaws fly out of a tree in Matapalo, Costa Rica.

“Macaws love to roost in almond trees, and they obviously move pretty fast so this was a lucky shot, right as these two macaws were about to move on to the next almond tree.”

La Fortuna, Costa Rica

“Volcano Arenal is usually covered up by clouds, so you really have to be quick to get a shot of the perfect dome shape. It’s incredible how many volcanos don’t look like the stereotypical volcanos we were drawing in first grade, which makes Arenal pretty unique.”

Near Jaco, Costa Rica

“This picture doesn’t do the crocodiles justice, some of them were over 10 feet long! They all lounge under a bridge on the way to Manuel Antonio, anywhere from 5 to 20 crocs, and it’s oddly calming and serene.”

La Paz, Costa Rica

“This is from Soccer and Service La Paz, the students were able to bungee jump off a bridge over the jungle. I took the picture from the platform shooting down, it turned out better than I expected.”

La Paz, Costa Rica

“The colors on the morpho butterfly are just incredible. This one landed on a fence and practically posed for me.”


If you want to keep up with Amanda’s adventures, follow her on Instagram or check out her blog. Love these pictures? Check out our Photo Gallery for more pictures from Costa Rica and around the world.

About the Author

Emily Weiner

Marketing Coordinator

Emily is a Phoenix-area native with a journalism and photography degree from Northern Arizona University. Prior to joining Rustic Pathways in 2015, Emily lived in Tel Aviv as a journalist for Time Out Israel magazine. Her passion for creative writing and travel drives the editorial content she produces for the creative team. During her spare time, you will find her hiking camera-in-hand, eating Mexican food, exploring San Francisco, and writing for Time Out San Francisco online.