EARTH Futures was created in 2018 as part of the University’s new strategic plan, and seeks to increase the impact EARTH can have to build more prosperous and sustainable rural communities. The projects are focused on Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, where most of the students come from. The team includes ten graduates of our University. All of them are characterized by their commitment to community development and their determination to find affordable solutions to the main problems that rural areas have to face. In addition, they work together with professionals graduated from other institutions who are highly qualified and who bring to the team diverse points of view and a total commitment to each project.
A few weeks ago, Javier Artiñano (‘11, Costa Rica) was named the new Director of Solutions Development at EARTH Futures. Together with him, Karina Poveda (‘13, Costa Rica), Melanie Pérez (‘20, Costa Rica) and Javier Fallas (08’ Costa Rica) lead projects linked to the CRUSA Foundation, such as the Parismina Biological Corridor and the Potrero Caimital Biological Corridor; Jennifer Torres (‘19, Costa Rica) and Ana Laura Jiménez (‘20, Costa Rica) are in charge of the Cacao Caribe Platform; Manuela Gil (‘13, Costa Rica) is the Market Access Coordinator and Pamela Metadjer (‘19, Guatemala) is the Sub-Coordinator of the project carrying out with the Walmart Foundation in Costa Rica and Guatemala; while Gabriel Mora (’00) leads the Caribbean Agroindustrial Cluster, with the support of Ana Laura. From Africa, graduate Julius Mbuga (‘05, Uganda), is part of the second branch of EARTH Futures: Education for Leadership, in which a fellowship program was developed with the support of the Mastercard Foundation.
“I believe that the participation and contribution of alumni in EARTH Futures speaks about the importance and credibility of the Academic Program, because if as professionals we are working within the institution and generating projects that have extremely positive results for the communities, we become an example that the education we received is giving fruits,” says Javier Artiñano.
He says that for him, working at EARTH Futures is an opportunity to give back a little of what EARTH gave him, from the institution he got the tools and a comprehensive preparation, with values that are part of his professional DNA, such as social and environmental awareness, sustainability and the democratization of knowledge and technology.
“It gives me great satisfaction to work with other graduates, to know that we have a similar approach to do things; to see how we all adapt to the circumstances depending on the producer or the crop; to be aware that if there is something we all share, it is that because of our training we can visualize and analyze situations and problems in a very comprehensive way, always assuming that what we want is to generate greater welfare for producers. I am very proud that we can go and present ourselves in a community or any type of institution as a group of EARTHianos”, he says.
At the University, we are proud of the team’s work: thousands of people have been positively impacted by their efforts.
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