For our third-year students the long drive from the humid tropics of Guacímo to the dry heat of Guanacaste—home of our EARTH-La Flor campus—is a rite of passage, marking the beginning of what is for most the first internship of their lives. For the next seven weeks, they will put their skills and knowledge to the test, working at local businesses while simultaneously performing community service in the small rural towns that will become their home for the weeks to come. The Third-Year Program at EARTH-La Flor gives students the unprecedented chance to lead long-term sustainable development projects, and to lay the ground work for their fellow classmates who come to replace them at the end of their stay.
To hear firsthand how EARTH is making a difference in Guanacaste, we invite you to read the following stories written by third-year students about their experience during the program. We are proud of our students for writing these stories in English, which is a second, third or even fourth language for all of them.
My name is Stephanie Andressol and I am a third-year student at EARTH University. At this moment, I am living in Nicoya City, Guanacaste. I am really happy being at La Flor because of the experience I am getting. I work at the National University (UNA) in the Nicoya headquarters branch. I live with a host family, where we share our cultures and traditional food recipes. I really feel that I am having great moments with this family.
Together with my classmate Lorena, we are working in two communities, Corral de Piedra and El Rosario, where we evaluate livestock farms by carrying out a diagnostic and then choosing between two farming models that will provide training to farmers in these communities. To me, it is a great experience interacting with farmers, and reminds me of my father. I also have the opportunity to see more beautiful places in Costa Rica and to appreciate the people, whom I consider to be so nice, hospitable and hardworking. I am also learning about animal nutrition, an important topic of animal production. In my opinion, La Flor is one of the best experiences in third year, so I want to use it to the fullest.
My name is Cipriano Martínez and I’m from Panama. I’m a third-year student at EARTH University and I’m working at the Nueva Zelandia farm, and also in the community.
For my work in the farm, I use GPS to measure the perimeter of the land where the cattle graze, and put the results on Google maps where people can see the farm by using the internet. Also, in the community, I work at the elementary and high school; I help fill the gaps or needs that they have, such as: giving classes in physical education and creating a vegetable garden. My works allows me to meet children and have knowledge of their dreams for the future. In the high school, I gave a training workshop about the importance of studying and give ideas about community work. All the work allows me to face the needs of the community and the farm. I learned to deal with people and understand their problems.
My name is Milton Rivas. I am Nicaraguan and currently in my third year studying Agronomy at EARTH University. I am working with a company known as CoopeGuanacaste in the northern zone of Costa Rica.
The company’s activities are geared towards the calculation of the amount of carbon that is fixed by the plots under cultivation in the community of Belen. As part of our community work, we are teaching the workers of CoopeGuanacaste about measures they can adopt in order to be carbon neutral. We are also giving workshops to the families in Filadelfia where we live, on the techniques of soap making using oil and also about periurban agriculture.
My name is Soulouque Monezine, I am a third-year student at EARTH University and I am from Haiti. Now I’m undertaking my work experience in Guanacaste, where I am currently working with a public institution called SENARA.
As part of my work, I take soil samples through a process known as land mapping to promote an efficient irrigation of land. This activity also helps obtain information about the texture, color and structure of each point sampled. As seen in the picture above, I am using an instrument known as TDR to measure the amount of humidity in the soil at each point of land.
Furthermore, I’m doing my community work experience in another public institution called FUNDARBOL where I am doing maintenance at a nursery and preparing workshops for schools in the community about environmental protection.
Hello my name is Elizabeth Zurdo from Panama. I am currently studying at EARTH University. As part of the professional training, I am participating in a field experience course at EARTH-La Flor Guanacaste.
I am living with Dineit Tenorio in Flamingo. Finding myself in this place, I feel lucky because Dineit is very loving and respectful and is always sharing with other people. I’m also working on a farm that belongs to the Hotel Flamingo Beach Resort. In this tourist farm, we have animals like peacocks, deer, goats, quail, and others; also we have different types of plants and vegetables such as lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. It is a good experience for me because it allows me to grow professionally and to become more accustomed to managing crops and animals and using all the resources. Despite it being in a very dry place, I have the interest and energy to apply different technique to achieve sustainability. This experience has expanded my knowledge of using various agriculture methods.
Hi! My name is Owell Torrez from Nicaragua. Currently I’m going through the work experience module in Guanacaste corresponding to the third-year curriculum of the Agronomy major at EARTH University.
The main goal of this module is to give students learning experiences by the active participation in in a business, a community and a Guanacastecan family where we have to apply our technical knowledge. For me this experience has strengthened my knowledge in periurban systems of sustainable agriculture, because I’m working on a periurban design for EARTH-La Flor, with the vision of it becoming part of the educational tourism program. I’m also offering hydroponic workshops to a group of people of the Pijije community in Guanacaste. For all of those facts I can say this has been a great experience because I realized that I can make an impact in a community with all the experience I’ve gained at EARTH University.
A donation to EARTH is a donation to sustainable development in rural communities in Costa Rica and around the world. Make your gift today.
You must be logged in to post a comment.