Costa Rica…Finally

Hi, my name is David Muscarella and I am going to Costa Rica in the summer of 2018. Next year I will be a sophomore in chemical engineering. I am also, tentatively, minoring in bio-engineering.  I love the outdoors and I’ve spent the majority of my life hiking, fishing, hunting, and doing anything I can to spend my time outside. Coffee and I have developed a love-hate relationship over the years and this program in Costa Rica will show me the ins and outs of running a coffee plantation and what goes into making it run smoothly. Hopefully, this program will show me how to be an efficient international student and the professionalism it takes to run a plant on an international level. Also it’s gonna be pretty fun.

As an outsider looking in, Costa Rica’s efforts to achieve sustainability were, at first, surprising to me. Costa Rica, having a largely agriculture and tourism based economy, has a surprising number of initiatives to increase sustainability and reduce their environmental impact. For example: having a supply of mainly green energy, dedication to being carbon neutral by 2025, and saving areas of environmental importance. Costa Rica manages to sustain an enormous agricultural industry while being environmentally friendly: an impressive feat. Honestly I view Costa Rica as a progressive and interesting country that I am ecstatic to be visiting. As someone that has grown to love the outdoors, the idea of an entire country working towards environmental sustainability is something I respect and wish more countries, like our own, would strive for. The topic of my engineering conference paper was on a technology with the potential to move electricity producing plants towards environmental sustainability. Sustainability is something on my mind all the time, and being able to go somewhere where it is a reality is a unique opportunity for me.

I hope to learn more about the fundamentals of sustainability efforts in Costa Rica while I am there. My interests in chemistry, biology, and the outdoors will be brought together while learning about their means of national sustainability in Costa Rica. Now on a tangent, here is why I’m excited to be visiting the country.

First of all, I’m excited to see, first-hand, how an entire country works towards being globally ranked in environmental sustainability. Secondly, Costa Rica is frankly one of the most beautiful places in the world and being able to see landscapes and environments that look like they have been pulled from a piece of art is another reason I’m excited. Another reason is that I’m so excited to be immersed in an entirely new culture that will show me how different people function in a place so different than my own home. Also, I can’t wait to just relax and have a good time with the people I’m going with and the people I will meet there. Lastly, I am beyond excited to simply be going away from home. While I love my home in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, being able to live like a true Tico is a gift that I am excited to be able to experience.

Next time I write in this will be from Costa Rica! Until then, cheers.

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