What a jam-packed first full day of our journey of Costa Rica has been! I arrived with a few of my classmates early on the 7th, giving us the chance to meet our tour guide for the trip, Adriana, and even explore the capital, San Jose, as we awaited for our hotel room at the Park Inn by the Raddison to be ready for us! Though we were tired from our long and delayed flight, being able to venture in the busy city with my classmates that I didn’t know so well gave us the opportunity to get to know one another and we all hit it off right away! The capital was busy with vendors and citizens walking the streets selling an array of items, food, and souvenirs! I found it most interesting that the people selling trinkets and other unnecessary products in the middle of the street quickly and instantaneously pack up there merchandise when sight of cops came around! obviously not supposed to be selling there, but of course they must have to do what they can to get by!
As the first full day started promptly at 6:30AM, I surely wasn’t prepared for all that I learned and took in in just this first day! We took a 2 hour bus ride from the capital to BLANK and got to see how quickly the weather conditions changed from one place to another! for most of the ride it was POURING rain, more than I’ve ever seen in one day! It made sense to me at that point why the drains on all the streets were so dangerously deep, this country takes in insane amounts of rainfall! When we first arrived to EARTH University in BLANK, we were sat for an informational video of the school and met our main guide for our stay, David. The university is nothing like I’ve ever even imagined a college being like; looking for leaders in rual and under-developed countries looking to make positive changes in their communities with the help and knowledge of agriculture. The University is called “the Harvard of Latin America” with an acceptance rate of only 8-10% and only 400 total students enrolled. We learned how the campus utilizes its waste magement by reducing, reusing, recycling, and making all efforts to have as little waste as possible. I found it amazing how the campus aims to teach students how to do this and give back to the earth in any way they can and how rigorous the classes and schedules were. Students spend 50% of their time in the class room and 50% out in the 8,000+ acres the school lives on, producing goods in amazing and extremely green ways.
We then got to have a round table discussion on the influence of agriculture among different countries including the US, Kenya, Ghana, and BLANK. it was most interesting and eye opening for me to hear how important or relevant agriculture is among the different countries, going from being over 50% of Ghana’s GDP compared to merely a hobby in BLANK.
I am so stunned and in awe at all of the sustainable practices that that campus upholds on a daily basis and it gets me really excited to bring back these ideas and techniques back home to campus, the sustainability club, and the garden! Very tried, but VERY excited to see what is in store for the rest of the trip, i can’t believe its only the first day!