Costa Rica: It’s Bean Good

I will never look at a cup of coffee the same way after these last two weeks. I think that I have gained a deeper understanding of the hard work and expertise that goes into each individual cup. Something that really surprised me was how sustainable the coffee farming process is. It is a zero…

Coopedota in the Community

Today we visited Coopedota, a cooperative of local coffee farmers. Coopedota helps small farmers by selling their unprocessed coffee. For smaller companies, a cooperative is helpful because it helps them be competitive in a market against the larger coffee farms. It also gives the smaller farms benefits when they produce higher quality coffee. Coopedota has…

I(love)café

Today we visited two different sites: Icafé and 1820. We learned a lot about the research and development happening in the coffee industry and also the local coffee market. Icafé is extremely interesting because they work a lot on the research and development of coffee plants. Right now, for example, they are working on building…

Foreign Influences in Costa Rica

Hola from Costa Rica! Today, we took a guided walk in the cloud forests of Monteverde. It was so beautiful, and we got to see so many species of plants, birds, and bugs. Two days ago, we heard a talk from Don Ricardo, a descendant from the Quakers who settled in Monteverde in the past…

Sustainability: A Way of Life

Today, we visited Life Monteverde, a sustainable coffee farm in the mountains of Costa Rica. From this trip, we got to hear about the lifestyle of a Tico farmer, learned about the history of sustainability in Monteverde, and looked at some of the modern farming practices implemented by the company. Tico farmers, like all farmers,…

Monteverd-YAY!

  Today we left Heredia for Monteverde. The drive was very scenic; I got to see a lot of different parts of Costa Rica that were very different from Heredia. Firstly, the geography of Monteverde is incredibly different—there are more mountains and a lot more trees. Much of the drive here was spent climbing up…

A Beautiful Day in San José

Hola! Today we saw the beautiful city of San José, Costa Rica’s capital. San José started as a rural community, but grew fast because of the influences of the coffee and banana trades. You can still see some of its rural history in the city. For example, there are no formal street addresses. Instead, to…

Pitt is “it”, but is Café Britt?

Hola! Today was a very exciting day in Costa Rica! We got to tour two different coffee producers: Doka Estate and Café Britt. We learned a lot about growing and processing coffee. Ticos do not tend to drink coffee produced by Café Britt. Though I cannot say for sure why this is, I think that…

The “whys” of Costa Rica

Today we got the chance to listen to a lecture by Dr. José Sánchez. We learned a lot about the Costa Rican economy. These are a few questions that were answered by today’s lecture: Why is education becoming more important in Costa Rica? As Dr. Sanchez noted in his lecture, the Costa Rican economy is…

A Warm Welcome to Costa Rica!

After the long journey to Costa Rica, all the students on the trip were greeted by their host parents at the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica. It was all hugs and smiles as we got off the bus to finally meet our Tico families. When my roommate and I arrived at the homestay, our host…

Costa Rica: An Adventure’s Brewing

    Hola! My name is Mary Cumpston, and I am a rising sophomore civil engineering student at the University of Pittsburgh. I am a native Pittsburgher myself, and in my free time I enjoy taking walks in Frick Park, going to cultural events downtown, and cooking new foods. At school, I am a member…

Meet Plus3 Costa Rica 2018!

Welcome to the Costa Rica Plus3 Study Abroad Program! Professor Ryan Teeter and Laura Caroll, Academic Advisor, are traveling to the Costa Rican Central Valley, Monteverde, and Tarrazu with 24 College of Business Administration and Swanson School of Engineering students from May 5 – May 19. In addition to numerous cultural experiences, the trip will…