Thirty-five students were accompanied by three teachers and 11 parent chaperones for a week-long stay, visiting places of significance and learning about the myths and legends that accompany the island’s landmarks.
Tour group leader Maria Aiturau said the tour was a way of showing her students what students in Mangaia do.
“By learning more about the lifestyles that their Mangaian friends experience, they can then make comparisons to the lifestyles that they have here in Rarotonga.
“Therefore it will help them appreciate their individual heritage, to be proud of where they come from as well as being proud to be Cook Islanders.”
One of the highlights of the trip was a tour of the Tuatini Cave, where the students and staff got to experience how in centuries past, islanders hid from their enemies in pure darkness.
The group also visited the highest point of Mangaia known as “Te Pito o te Enua”, often described as one of the most beautiful landmarks on the island, where the villages and the surrounding ocean can all be seen.
Aiturau said overall the trip was a success.
“The students really enjoyed their time and it really helped them to appreciate more our special Cook Islands culture and our language after experiencing it first hand with the people of Mangaia.”