1. The MasterCard Foundation partnership is already empowering young leaders from Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa with relevant and transformative education. The first 39 Scholars completed their first year at EARTH embracing the hands-on learning; showing their environmental and social commitment; and demonstrating their exceptional leadership capacity. We invite you to meet The MasterCard Foundation Scholars from the Class of 2015 here and join us in inspiring young people to lead change through education.
2. Together with the Costa Rican government and the Ibero-American General Secretariat, EARTH announced ECOIN, the Gathering for Intergenerational Joint-Responsibility for Climate Change. With the mission of strengthening current responses to climate change, the meeting will bring together two generations: current decision-makers and Latin America’s young professionals. ECOIN is structured into three phases. In the first phase, social media and an online contest to be launched in March 2013 will identify young Latin American leaders’ 100 most successful experiences in addressing climate change. The second stage will bring the finalists to EARTH University’s campus, located in Guácimo, Limón, Costa Rica, to discuss their ideas and begin developing the proposals they will take to ECOIN. Finally, on April 9 and 10 of 2014, the meeting between government leaders and young professionals in Latin America will take place on at EARTH-La Flor in Liberia, Guanacaste.
3. Income generated from the student-organized Tropical America Fair was able to cover the travel expenses for at least one family member of every graduating student – a truly remarkable achievement, with students’ families coming from as far away as South Africa and Brazil. The event raised a total of $33,494. Graduating senior Liset Menacho (‘12, Bolivia) commented: “It’s the most wonderful gift you can give to your parents…for them to see you happy, a professional, realizing your dreams.”
4. The University welcomed students from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Zimbabwe for the first time. As part of the second cohort of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars, these students arrived on campus in September for four months of intensive language and cultural immersion prior to the official start of classes in January 2013. The students have brought new perspectives, enthusiasm and experience, further enriching EARTH’s international campus culture, which now has students from more than 30 countries.
5. Reporters, bloggers and Whole Foods Market customers experienced the meaning of “Buy a Dream” hands-on. The University hosted the winners of the Whole Foods Market-EARTH University “EARTH Student for a Week” contest in February, giving them a chance to learn about sustainable agriculture and sustainable development in the tropics. The contest, held in September 2011, drew more than 8,800 new subscribers to EARTH’s newsletter. Blogger Max Goldberg, of LivingMaxwell, who joined the trip, listed his visit as his number-one “organic food moment” of 2012. Alyce Lomax, a reporter for The Motley Fool and AOL Daily Finance, shared: “The experience reminded me that if you want to change the future, you’ve got to buy into the dream―and get to work. Nothing is impossible.”
6. “Sentimientos de Navidad/Christmas Feelings,” the original music video, proved that holiday cheer could be found in the most unexpected of places. With its catchy roots-reggae beat, “Christmas Feelings” is the first recorded song by Tribu (which means “Tribe” in Spanish), a student band with a self-described “Afro-Reggae-Caribbean” sound. The six students, now all in their second and third year of study at EARTH, come from Haiti, Nigeria, Guatemala and Costa Rica, and feel the powerful connection between their art and agriculture. The entire EARTH community joined in merriment to produce the video, which received more than 11,000 views, as a gift of appreciation for all of our supporters’ generous donations, unfailing support and encouragement. We even received a Tweet from USA Today_Education.
7. The Office of Admissions sparked more student interest than ever, receiving a record number of 1,782 applications from students representing 37 countries. Junior Acosta, Director of Admissions for EARTH University, attributes this increase to both expanded admissions efforts–particularly in Africa–and to improvements in marketing and the successful engagement of young people via Facebook and other social networks.
Our 2014 Admission process is underway already. If you or someone you know wants to become a leader for positive change in your community, apply today!
8. EARTH combatted climate change on Germany’s DW-TV. Deutsche Welle TV (DW-TV)’s GLOBAL IDEAS reporters are visiting the imaginative people, ideas and projects dedicated to climate protection and adaptation. For a feature that aired in late November, reporter Marion Huetter visited EARTH University. The segment features EARTH professor Bert Kohlmann and highlights EARTH’s work in solid waste management, carbon neutrality, renewable energy, soil conservation, sustainable banana farming and animal traction. Climate: Costa Rica\’s EARTH University
9. Alumni received amazing accolades. To name a few: Johanny Arilexis Pérez (‘10, Dominican Republic) gave a TEDxBled talk, in Bled, Slovenia, called “From Simple Ideas to Big Transformation,” on her graduation project at EARTH; Juan Ramón Alvarado (‘99, Costa Rica) broke a record selling his Brumas del Zurquí coffee at the second-highest price for Latin American coffee ever; José Antonio Pacheco Tzul (‘94, Guatemala) was named “Exporter of the Year” in Guatemala; Gustavo Manrique and José Javier Guarderas (‘96, Ecuador) broke a Guinness World Record for recycling; and Manfred Kopper Castro and Joaquín Víquez Arias (‘07, Costa Rica) were named in Costa Rican magazine El Financiero’s “40 Under 40” for their innovative work.
10. Graduates also gave back, raising $15,000 in response to the renewed “Hijos de la Tierra” campaign. “We have witnessed our graduates’ care and commitment to the University, because you all have each searched for ways to show us,” EARTH president Dr. José Zaglul commented. “Without a doubt, a very concrete way has been the support you’ve offered us. Many thanks to all for your support, but beyond that, thank you for the effort you make each day to make EARTH’s mission a reality through your work and commitment.”