FAES 3797 is the required course to take leading up to the spring break service learning trip to Costa Rica. It is an undergraduate course, so it won’t count toward my degree program, but I took it anyway because I wanted to go on the trip. Costa Rica is known as a leader in environmental sustainability, and I’d like to see how it works for myself.
Here’s the description:
During spring break students will travel to Costa Rica for nine days to learn about development and sustainability through service-learning. Students will tour the country, observe Costa Rican agricultural production, and work hand and hand with the world-famous EARTH University on various development projects. Students will learn about environmental and agricultural sustainability through the various service-learning projects and through the many tours and hands-on experiences throughout your travels in Costa Rica.
The group will first travel to EARTH University and see various farms (cacao, coffee, banana, animal) on and around campus. Another benefit from staying at EARTH University is the interaction between the OSU and EARTH students who are from various tropical countries around the world. Students will be able to see the education that takes place at EARTH University and prepare for the service-learning projects that may include: building a bio-digester, building urban gardens, constructing mobile chicken coups, school renovations, writing project manuals in English for other English-speaking groups that visit EARTH University, or other possible activities.
The program will visit Tortuguero National Park, (Ranked 4.5 of 5 on TripAdvisor) where there are only two ways in and out: flying or boating. The group will take a boat trip through Tortuguero National Park to the beautiful and remote destination of Laguna Lodge located on the Caribbean Coast. At this at other locations students will have the opportunity to hike and enjoy the beauty of Costa Rican ecosystems.
Other activities the group will take part in include cultural and historic visits throughout Costa Rica as well as time to experience various marketplaces. Students will also have the opportunity to get a closer look at the volcanic action in the country by relaxing in a volcanic hot spring.
Here is my final Costa Rica Reflection Paper (pdf).