Costa Rica

Each study abroad program fulfills one year (6 credits) of Honors credit requirements.

Registration works on a first come, first served basis!

Costa Rica: Biodiversity, Conservation and Sustainability

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
Costa Rica is determined to be the first carbon-neutral country in the world by 2022. On the summer trip students will focus on the country’s initiatives in social responsibility, sustainable development, biodiversity with an emphasis on tropical ecosystems, indigenous community, and the effects of global warming mitigation, as well as the relation people/nature. We will explore everything from chocolate and coffee tours to rainforest medicines, from volcanoes to beaches, from exotic birds to gulch-spanning ziplines, from crocodiles to frog ponds. At the Malecu Indigenous Reserve and the community of Uvita de Osa, students will work on service-research projects alongside local ecotourism directors, farmers and scientists who are working in cooperatives and research institutes that benefit both entrepreneurs and the local community.

View the video of the Cambodia & Vietnam / Costa Rica Study Abroad Honors Hour held on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

COURSE SYLLABUS:
2022 Syllabus

WHAT DOES IT COST?
Approximately $1,650 + airfare ($350 to $500)

WHAT IS INCLUDED?
– Accommodations
– Most meals
– Local Transportation
– Group visits, activities
– Museums, etc.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?
– Airfare
– $500 non-refundable Honors College administrative fee
– $195 Office of Study Abroad fee
– FIU tuition
– Passport, and other necessary documents
– Vaccinations if needed
– Personal expenses

WHEN WILL YOU TAKE THE PRE-TRIP CLASS?
Spring 2022: Fridays, 8:30AM to 11:20AM

WHEN WILL YOU GO ON THE TRIP?
Summer A: May 12 – June 2, 2022

LEVEL OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY:

4–Difficult

WHAT IS THE FOCUS?
Sustainability, culture, and biodiversity. The impact of economic, environmental, and social issues related to tourism and general business practices.

WHAT WILL YOU DO?
Activities: visiting National Parks, and Private Reserves. Working on cooperative farms, harvesting crops, visiting and talking with members of indigenous tribes and assisting local people in launching sustainable tourist facilities. Also, you will explore the rich and diverse ecological landscape through boat rides, bird watching, nature walks, snorkeling, swimming and zip-lining.

You will also perform approximately 20 hours of service work in at the Malecu Indigenous Reserve helping to improve the infrastructure of the local school.

WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?
Indigenous traditions, community tourism, conservation, sustainable medicinal plants, unique ecosystems, the cooperative model and its social/economic impact.

WHERE WILL YOU GO?
Destinations: Sarapiquí: Tirimbina Rainforest Reserve, CoopeSarapiquí Coffee Tour; La Fortuna: Arenal Volcano Observatory, Paradise Hotsprings, La Fortuna Waterfall; Monteverde: Curicancha Cloud Forest Reserve, Children Eternal Rainforest; North Pacific: Curú National Wildlife Refuge, Tortuga Island Tárcoles river, South Pacific: Marino Ballena National Park, Uvita Beach; San Gerardo de Dota: Los Quetzales National Park, Las Vueltas Reserve; San José de Costa Rica: Sarchí, Downtown San José.

WHO WILL BE INTERESTED?
Great for students with interests in environmental studies, biodiversity, economics, ecology, anthropology, sociology, agriculture, business, tourism, medicine, pharmacology, religious studies, engineering, biology… There is something for everyone!

HOW DOES IT WORK?
There is a Spring course component (3 credits.) Classes start Spring 2022. The trip is during Summer A (3 credits.) These 6 credits fulfill one year of Honors College requirements.

WHO ARE YOU GOING WITH?
Carlos Roberto Chavarria – cchavarr@fiu.edu

ABOUT THE PROGRAM DIRECTOR: Carlos Roberto Chavarria is a Forest Engineer with a master’s degree in Natural Tourism Management, specialized in protected areas management, development of economic activities based on the sustainable use of natural resources, agro-ecotourism, and sustainable tourism. He is one of the founders of “Reserva Biológica Tirimbina,” where he developed a model of financial sustainability that generates resources for the development of Environmental Education and Scientific Research programs. He has also developed a variety of activities on biological corridors’ management in Costa Rica and has worked with Coffee Farmers Cooperatives for the implementation of better environmental practices.

Professor Chavarria has contributed as a tutor in the Organization of American States’ Agro-ecotourism Program and has offered courses about Sustainability, Ecotourism and Climate Change for Ball State University, Indiana, Johnson & Wales University, Rhode Island, Purdue University, Indiana, Florida International University, and others. He collaborates with the Society for Conservation Biology, American Section’s Board of Directors since 2010. In 2012, he established Costa Rica Rainforest Experience, an organization dedicated to Academic and Educational Tourism. Since then, he has been developing programs in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama, connecting institutions dedicated to conservation and education with these countries’ culture, traditions, and scenic beauty.