EARTH Clubs: Encouraging Mental and Physical Health

Filed Under: EARTH Stories
Date: February 12th, 2024

Have you ever wondered what EARTH University’s Guácimo Campus is like, the place where more than 400 students from over 35 countries live? Do you wonder what life is like on campus, or how students live in the middle of a lush rainforest in the humid tropics? What do they do when they have free time?

Every student who comes to our university makes our beautiful, tropical campus home for four years. They greet their classmates in the hallways, eat and converse in the cafeteria, and play soccer, Frisbee, volleyball, and other sports at the Sports Complex. They create collective memories, and EARTH is full of their stories. The Student Affairs and Academic Affairs Offices work jointly to make life rewarding, educational, and fun. At EARTH, the physical and mental health of students, faculty, and staff is always a priority.

One of the first-year courses in the Academic Program is called Health and Physical Fitness and is designed to provide students with the necessary tools to maintain a healthy lifestyle. According to the developer of the course, Cecilia Gonzalez, various clubs have been created to generate interest in physical activity among students. They can participate regularly in the clubs of their choice and progress in their abilities while they improve their health. In addition, there are clubs focused on arts and culture. Students can select from more than a dozen options, including activities like yoga, fitness, drawing, swimming, and basketball.

“Health has always been a priority in the curriculum and in our Activities Program. But EARTH also has among its objectives the formation of well-rounded people, and the clubs fulfill that goal because they are spaces that promote values such as honesty and respect,” says Cecilia, adding that in these different settings, students can practice leadership and teamwork and feel a sense of community.

The clubs are taught by people specialized in the sport or activity, sometimes even by students with specific knowledge in the field. For example, student Mariana Chiriboga (Class of 2024, Honduras), who is in her last year at EARTH and has a black belt in Taekwondo, teaches the martial arts club.

The clubs are only mandatory for first-year students. At the end of the term, they must have eight stamps demonstrating their involvement. However, students from other academic years also regularly participate in the clubs, often joined by staff and professors who live on campus. In addition, the University organizes other recreational activities to encourage physical activity, such as different tournaments, races, and walks.

The campus is often alive with activity. For example, if you happen to be here on a Wednesday afternoon you may see and hear a group dancing Zumba to Latin and African rhythms in the gymnasium. You might see two teams enthusiastically playing soccer on the field or find students challenging their strength in the weight room. And you might see another group learning to draw in the Expression Room.

Above all, we want the EARTH community to feel fulfilled when they live at our University, which is also a home for hundreds of people.