Graduating students reflect on their time at EARTH

Filed Under: EARTH Stories
Date: December 6th, 2012

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Why did you decide to come to EARTH and did it fulfill your expectations?

I decided to come to EARTH when I was very young. I heard about the University and I really liked the University’s approach. From that moment on, I started working very hard to be accepted to attend here, and thankfully I was given the opportunity. The University definitely met with the expectations I had, and I’m so glad I studied here.

Tell us briefly about your Graduation Project. What did you learn?

My graduation project had to do with growing squash. I used bio-insect repellants to control a larva that affects production by piercing and damaging the quality. I learned that there are natural alternatives that benefit the environment and you have the opportunity to not use insecticides, or synthetic chemicals, for pest control.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience at EARTH?

I want to thank my donor, because without the resources he gave me, it would not have been possible for me to study here at the University. I think the foundation that gave me the scholarship, Fundación Progreso Guanacaste, has a nice approach, because they provide resources to students, or young people, who want to be professionals and be successful in life. They trust us and thanks to them we can study and succeed.

What are your plans for after graduation?

I want to work in integrated insect pest management.

During the graduation ceremony, the University awarded Jorge the 2012 EARTH Prize in recognition of his academic excellence, values, and social and environmental commitment.

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Tell us briefly about your Graduation Project. What did you learn?

My graduation project was to design a learning model based on gardens. Learning that is based on gardens is experiential learning—using a garden, or school garden, as a laboratory in primary schools. I think the most important thing I learned is that when you’re a child you connect with nature in a special way. That’s why learning based on gardens is a tool we should be using in all schools.

Why do you think a University like EARTH is so important?

I think the focus and influence the University has had towards the community is very important, and I think we ourselves, as EARTH students, understand that really well. We understand that it goes beyond the technical, it goes beyond the agronomic facts, and is about relating to people. The better we handle it, the more helpful we can be in the future.

What does your family think of the opportunity you had to study at EARTH?

My dad is happy! Every weekend, when I visit him, he puts on a t-shirt that says EARTH. He tells all his friends that I’m going to graduate from EARTH. I’ve been able to change a lot of things at home. Now we recycle, we sort, we use organic soaps, and sometimes we grow our own vegetables. Not just at home, either, but with my neighbors too, and that’s something that has positively affected my family, and we’ve grown together.

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What do you think is the value of EARTH’s experimental approach?

Hands-on-learning is important. Besides applying the theoretical concepts you are given, it is important to go to the field and put them into practice, and realize, through personal experience, that you can apply the theoretical concepts you learn.

What is the best advice you received from a professor at EARTH?

Every professor has a past experience and, in each course, they share their experiences and you learn through those experiences they’ve had. You place yourself in the moment they lived them. Each one of those experiences is advice that you take, and they are always supporting you to keep going, to be willing to put your best effort into every task you carry out. I think it’s the best education I have received from them.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience at EARTH?

In these four years I have learned a lot at this University. I have learned the value of hard work, dedication, commitment, and I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity that the University has given me. I sincerely carry it in my heart, and I will always be grateful.

What are your plans for after graduation?

Next year, I will be in the training program at Azucarera Grupo Pantaleón, at the [sugar cane processing] company’s office in Choluteca, Honduras. I also want to look into starting business feasibility studies to start my own company.

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