Peace’n out ✌?

Today we got to visit the University of Peace in San Jose. 40-50 countries are represented here living to their mission of promoting peace and tolerance among different groups. We toured the campus where we saw a field of figures of people that have contributed to peace including Gandhi and Rosa Parks. There are also places to fly flags of countries that have contributed to the university and those that are from these countries receive 30% off of their tuition off! When the school was being created the land was given for its use contingent that it remain a natural reserve because it is the last secondary and primary forests in the Central Valley! It has wonderful views being surrounded by 3 different volcanos. Something even more unique about the campus is that it is home to one of the 5 weather stations in the country, collecting data to give to surrounding institutions studying climate change here compared to the rest of the world. The values of the university are categorized into 3 pillars: peace and conflict, human rights, and sustainable development, offering 10 master programs in Environmental Science and development, peace and conflict, and international law! One program I found super interesting and in my personal preference of post graduate study is their masters program in Responsible Development; or as the dean of the university simply put it, Green Management! I really loved the model and mission of the university but I’m not sure I would be able to study so far away from home!
Then we got a real taste of the Costa Rican culture by visiting the community of San Antonio de Escazú. We were served a traditional lunch of arroz con pollo while listening to music played on a xylophone looking instrument. Then we were taken to a family that produces sugar cane products and we got to see the process of getting the liquid out of the plant! Then we met a local with a love for making traditional paper maché masks of characters he makes up with his imagination. He didn’t speak any English but you could see his passion and love for this hobby and how excited he was to share with us.
It’s bittersweet knowing it’s our last night here in Costa Rica but I am so grateful for the time I had here and the experiences I had! Looking forward to my next study abroad opportunity

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