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Families host students from Costa Rica
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MONROE - Twenty-one Monroe families are hosting 19 students and their two chaperones from Monroe High School's partner school, the Liceo Experimental Bilingüe de Pococí in Guápiles, Limón, Costa Rica.

The group arrived on Monday, Dec. 27, and they will be in Monroe until Jan. 18. During this time they will share time with their host families, visit area sites of interest, and attend school.

Monroe High School Spanish teacher, Lisa Hendrickson, has led exchanges with schools in Costa Rica since 1995.

This is the fifth exchange with the Liceo Experimental school, and Costa Rican leader Tobías Ramírez Gutiérrez. Monroe Spanish teachers, Michelle Kister and Danya Ward are the other local coordinators and Costa Rican teacher, Manuel Rodríguez Rodríguez, accompanied the Costa Rican group for his first trip to the United States.

Some of the experiences planned for the Costa Rican guests include: Trips to Madison to attend a Wisconsin Badger hockey game, tour of the Capitol building in Madison and a visit to Chicago; and an overnight at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells, with a visit to the H.H. Bennett Museum.

Locally, the students will tour government facilities in Monroe and visit area agribusinesses, including Emmi Roth Käse, Dan Wegmueller Brown Swiss Farm; and Peterson Family farms, Ltd.

In addition they'll be roller skating at the Roller Den, ice skating at S.L.I.C.E., bowling at Leisure Lanes and touring the Swiss Colony.

At school they will attend classes with their host students, speak to Spanish classes, and receive special classes from the band and physical education departments

The public is welcome to attend the group's activities and meet the district's guests. You might A special dance performance prepared by the group is scheduled for on Friday, January 14 at 9:47 to 10:34 a.m., in the Monroe High School Performing Arts Center.

Monroe High School students worked during the 2009/2010 school year to raise money to pay for the costs of their stay. This year, Monroe students also are raising money a roughly 20 Costa Rica for two and one half weeks in July to complete the exchange as guests of the Costa Rican students and their families.

The Monroe High School Costa Rican Exchange is modeled after the Monroe High School German Exchange which has been in place since 1988. It brings a unique opportunity for families in Monroe to share their lives, and to experience another language and culture.

The friendships last long after the exchange ends with continued visits and correspondence.