From South Africa to Costa Rica: Fulfilling a dream

Filed Under: EARTH Stories
Date: January 31st, 2022

At the age of nine, Adam Vorster (’25, South Africa) became aware of the importance of agriculture for humanity’s food security. Back then, his family was not going through a stable economic situation. As a result, with his parents and sister, they began growing food for self-consumption. Adam had the ultimate epiphany from then on: agronomy would always be an essential part of his life.

Portrait of Adam.

When graduated high school, he considered studying other careers in his country. But thanks to a conversation with a friend’s mother, he found out about EARTH, and there was no turning back. Adam was determined to be part of the Class of 2022-2025. He was resolute to travel halfway around the world, learn a new language, do whatever it took to become a change agent fighting for food security, and lead others to find real and lasting solutions in agriculture to improve their quality of life.

Opening of the school year.

After the admissions process and impatiently waiting for the results, Adam finally received the news that changed his life forever. “First, I received an email announcing that I was accepted. It was unbelievable! I spent the entire day with a smile plastered on my face. I told everyone that I was going to study agronomy in Costa Rica. I have no doubts that day I was the happiest person in the world!” recalls Adam, full of joy. “A few days later, we received a call from Ariel Sánchez, Director of the Admissions Office, who confirmed that I had received a partial scholarship and that meant my place at EARTH was fully guaranteed. From then on, I couldn’t stop dreaming, and I couldn’t stop imagining what the whole experience was going to be like.”

Adam and his family, his greatest support.

Adam relies on the support of friends and family to finance the percentage of tuition that he pays to the University. This assistance motivates him to give his best to achieve academic and personal excellence and give back a little through positive actions to those who support his education. His commitment is present in every step he takes. He started studying Spanish on his own even before knowing he had been accepted. When he traveled in October to be part of the Spanish and Intercultural Induction Program, Adam could already understand a little of the language.

Unlike in 2020, the non-Spanish-speaking students of the Class of 2025 traveled to Costa Rica in 2021. Like before the pandemic, they had the opportunity to live with a Costa Rican family neighboring the Guácimo Campus in Limón.

Adam, Betty and Jorge.

“I have the best family in all of Costa Rica. My tico parents are Betty Barahona and Jorge Delgado, and they really are my family now. I feel like their house is my home. I had some problems at the beginning with the bank and other things, but they helped me with everything. Mainly, they helped me with my Spanish. In addition, professors Emilia Villalobos and Azalea Morales are outstanding. Now, I have classes entirely in Spanish, thanks to all their support,” emphasizes Adam.

Every day, Adam wakes up early and eats gallo pinto for breakfast in a cafeteria full of people from all over the world. He is getting used to the accents of his classmates, and he allows himself to dream big, imagining himself learning as much as possible in every class to become an example to others. He sees himself bringing new knowledge back to his country and promoting sustainable practices for the food security of his people and the entire world.

We wish him the best of luck in this new adventure!