Two Fairfield teenagers recently completed an eight-day trek through Costa Rica through a program designed to promote awareness of the Central American nation’s culture and environment.

Lindsey Ferrante and Isabelle Burdo, both 16 years old, joined an expedition through the Costa Rican rain forest organized by Outward Bound Costa Rica.

During their trek, the Fairfield teens learned about Costa Rican culture by staying with local families, as well as being tested by what program organizers call “adventure activities.”

“It was an experience that gave me confidence to be my better self,” Burdo said in a release issued by Outward Bound Costa Rica after their trip. “I enjoyed the home stays the most because I was able to see how each person lived and it was amazing to be welcomed into their homes.”

“I did not realize how difficult it would be but looking back I enjoyed it,” Ferrante said. “Outward Bound takes you out of your comfort zone and shows you a different point of view.”

The teens were part of an Outward Bound group that hiked and camped through a rain forest to the remote village of Piedras Blancas, passing waterfalls and dense cloud forests. In the village, the group stayed with local families, practicing their Spanish and learning about Costa Rican traditions through activities such as harvesting sugar cane and making it into juice and candy.

The girls with fellow Outward Bound trekkers even rappelled down an 80-foot waterfall.

The also visited Manuel Antonio National Park, where they learned about native wildlife, and ended the trip with whitewater rafting on the Pejibaye River.