EARTH students take learning into their own hands

Filed Under: EARTH Stories
Date: May 8th, 2014

Whether it’s running a business, taming a buffalo or inspiring a community, EARTH students have found that the best way to learn how to do things is by ACTUALLY doing them. The experiential learning emphasis at EARTH is one of the most important ways in which the University prepares leaders of change that are capable of creating a more just and prosperous society.

The following images were submitted by current students who captured some of the many different ways that learning comes alive at EARTH.

Alejandro Fernandez MorenoJulio Morales Batres

( ’14, Mexico)

Photo by: Alejandro Fernandez Moreno

Click photo to enlarge

Alejandro captured this photo of a classmate practice surveying on EARTH’s expansive lawn during Topography class. “I had never taken a topography course before, but now I think it’s a really important skill for an agronomist to master. If you aren’t familiar with your parcel of land and you don’t know anything about your soil, you are going to have some big problems.”

“Basically, you can get your hands dirty anywhere on campus: in class, in the field, graduation projects, or even just helping out your friends. Right now for example, I’m learning really interesting things about chinampas (floating gardens that were once used by the ancient Aztecs) because I’m assisting a classmate with her research on the reservoir on campus.”

Lucía Fernández Jauregui

(’16, Bolivia)

Photo by: Lucía Fernández Jauregui

Click photo to enlarge

Lucia took this photo during a volunteer trip to the Tanagra community, in the coastal province of Limon. The community is small and isolated: they live on land that once belonged to a banana plantation, but was destroyed by a devastating flood a few years ago, leaving many members of the community unemployed. “The community leaders decided they would like to have a place for the children to play, so we constructed a playground using recycled materials. We made monkey bars out of bamboo and you can see in the picture that we are painting some old tires that we buried halfway into the ground to make tunnels. The kids absolutely loved helping us; it was a truly rewarding experience.”

“For me, this photo reflects an important part of agricultural that a lot of people don’t get to see: our contact with people in communities. There are so many EARTH students that go above and beyond to organize volunteer activities simply because they care.”

Antonio Bressani CórdovaAntonio Bressani Córdova

(’16, Guatemala)

Photo by: Antonio Bressani Córdova

Click photo to enlarge

Second-year student Antonio recently became an entrepreneur with Hemagua S.A., a company that he and fellow classmates created as part of the Entrepreneurial Projects Program at EARTH. Their goal is to “tame young adult water buffalos and train them to pull carts and ploughs,” and later selling them to local farmers.

“Water buffalos love playing in water; it relaxes them and makes them calmer and easier to train. We also pet them and take them on walks so they get used to being handled by people. I have worked with cows before, but water buffaloes behave totally differently so it was kind of like starting the learning process all over again. “

One Comment

  1. Rosemary says:

    Without a doubt the most unique and impactful aspect of the EARTH education, “aprender haciendo!” I never would have fallen in love with agriculture and development without EARTH’s experiencias de trabajo! So happy to see the new generation of students is just as enthralled.

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