Henry Sossa planted flowers in his yard with the sole purpose of attracting butterflies: he likes to relax and watch them flutter in the garden after a long day’s work. A former Costa Rican intelligence agent, Henry lives on EARTH University’s campus with his family and has worked as the head of security for three years. Beyond his responsibility for ensuring a safe environment for the EARTH community, he is committed to environmental conservation, most notably the protection of the many kinds of animals that live on campus. “EARTH changes people,” he explains.
For many staff members, including Henry, the University has come to be a source of knowledge and a mentor in the areas of sustainability and environmental protection. In addition, EARTH’s 8,342-acre tropical campus provides a natural space where people can appreciate and interact with a large variety of animals.
Yohana Zamora is an accountant and has worked for EARTH for 23 years. She has been active in community activities since childhood, and four years ago she joined the Pro-Defense of Natural Resources Association (APRENAC), an entity that oversees the care of water sources and the environment in Iroquois, Costa Rica. According to Yohana, EARTH has served as a source of information and assessment for her work with APRENAC and she also learned to recycle on campus, and has taught her children and husband how to do the same. “I feel that I am doing something not just for my region, but for the world. I’m happy to have fought so that our future generations will have drinking water and fresher air, like we have today,” says Yohana.
Like Yohana, Henry is concerned about the planet that his children and future generations will inherit, and he is determined to continue caring for the deer, otters, kinkajous, coatis and agoutis that live at EARTH and often fall prey to poachers. For Henry, being able to work for the good of both humans and animals is what he calls his “dream job.”
“I think my love for animals is something I learned when I arrived here. I lived in the city for many years and had never seen a deer or a coati. What really changed me was watching them walk freely throughout campus and realizing that no one bothered them. That sensitized me, and now I care for them,” says Henry.
Yohana and Henry are a clear example of how the principles of sustainability permeate the University community. Henry explains “When people come here, I feel proud to tell them about how EARTH protects the environment.”
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