A memorable ‘tertulia’ for students and donors

Filed Under: EARTH News
Date: December 18th, 2020

In Spanish, tertulia is a word that describes people coming together to engage in an intimate, unfiltered discussion about an important topic. At the end of November, EARTH University gathered donors, staff, students, and more for an online tertulia. The enriching conversation was facilitated by Meridith Rentz, EARTH’s Vice President of Global Development.

The students talking about their experience at EARTH.

The students talking about their experience at EARTH.

“This tertulia was a wonderful way to connect virtually with our friends, donors, and partners,” Rentz says, “and to provide them with a little Costa Rican warmth and a lot of EARTH energy and inspiration from our extraordinary students.”

After listening to EARTH students passionately explain their social-impact projects and future plans, people often report feeling optimistic – that the world’s biggest challenges will be met with innovative solutions. During the tertulia, Arnold Katende (’21, Uganda), Grace Amponsah (’21, Ghana), Melanie Pérez (’20, Costa Rica), Peter Onyango (’20, Uganda), and Carmen de León (’20, Guatemala) shared personal stories about their main motivations, experiences on campus, next steps in life, and more – each a testament to our students’ ingenuity and strength.

Melanie at the pre-pandemic Thank-a-thon, another space for communication between students and donors.

Melanie at the pre-pandemic Thank-a-thon, another space for communication between students and donors.

“Spaces like these allow us to show donors and partners everything we accomplish day to day thanks to their contributions, while also enabling us to form a close, familiar relationship with each of them,” says Carmen, who recently graduated with honors.

During the past year, our Academic Program has been adapting to unexpected and ever-changing global conditions. Thanks to the EARTH community’s ability to responsibly react and proact to COVID-19, our students continued studying and putting their knowledge into practice – without any interruption.

“Sometimes the issues of climate change and food insecurity, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, can be completely overwhelming,” Rentz adds. “These EARTH students help you remember that we have an amazing generation of young, innovative leaders who can help us navigate these challenges.”

Mil gracias to all who participated!