Reflection Part II: The Pura Vida Effect

Upon arriving in country, we sat down with our host mom to sign a contract stating that we’d be respectful of the house, follow basic rules, etc. All was going smoothly until we reached the last bullet point.                 -Student must speak/communicate in Spanish and only Spanish. My…

Reflection Part I: American Girl in Tico Culture

In 11th grade, I took a writing course that focused on the power of storytelling. One of my classmates shared a story with the class about her experience travelling back to her family’s roots in India. She spoke of how excited she originally was to meet her people, however, her dream didn’t go quite as…

A Farewell to Plus3

I had my first cup of coffee sometime around 9th grade. I’d occasionally bring thermoses to my high school when I had extra time in the morning (rarely). I slowly amped up my intake during the summers leading up to college, as I worked every day and struggled with consistently waking up so early. It…

A Little Help from my Friends

Coppedota, located in the Terrazu region, is a cooperative composed of 900 families in the coffee producing business. The co-op is maintained by a board of directors made up of representatives from each family, who then select a general manager to make company decisions. Coppedota is a huge facility which includes processes for milling, roasting,…

The Hierarchy of Coffee

As Professor Lizano explained last week, the country of Costa Rica didn’t really appear on the map until the introduction of coffee into their economy. The introduction of this business has greatly benefitted Costa Rica by not only bringing a world-renowned reputation to the Ticos, but also bringing wealth and careful concern to the country….

From Monteverde, with Love

As mentioned in my previous post, Monteverde came from humble beginnings as an area of agriculture established by a group of Quakers in the 50’s. The community initially focused on forest preservation and the production of dairy; however, an increasingly large portion of the locals have since drifted from Monteverde’s roots, transitioning into the booming…

The Roots of Monteverde

Today we had the chance to speak with Marvin, a Quaker from Alabama who established Monteverde in 1951 after fleeing the militaristic state of the US. Marvin was 1 of 44 people among 11 families who made the trip down Central America. The families had nothing, as they came with very few belongings, yet managed…

Corazon Contenta

Upon arrival to Heredia, our families greeted us merrily at the gate of U-Latina. On our short drive home, we received a brief tour of the city. Both my roommate and I were surprised to find how developed the city around us was. There was chaotic traffic around us as cars whizzed by. In the…

Modernization of Coffee Processes

The democratization of technology is a rapidly growing idea, especially in the days of constant modernization during this 21st century era. It seems that nowadays, in the US, technology is the root of everything, with our lives simply revolving around computer devices. However, as I explore the history and importance of coffee in Costa Rica—production,…

The Art of Deception

Café Britt is known to many as the first company to begin roasting coffee in the same country of origin. The company is in the middle of the coffee supply chain, as they only roast coffee. This means they receive the beans from upstream suppliers, and sell to downstream suppliers, as well as directly to…

A Lecture with Prof. Lizano

This morning we had the pleasure of receiving a lecture from Professor Joaquin Lizano. He had so much to share, and such a curious and open mind. Following our conversation with him on the history of Costa Rica, I composed some resounding thoughts and questions: So why coffee? How did coffee become such an important part of…

My First Morning in Heredia

It’s 5:30 in the morning and suddenly I’m wide awake. The jet lag hasn’t quite worn off, and my internal clock is confused. There’s a constant murmur outside my window, drowned out by cars whizzing past, blowing their horns. Dishes clang in the kitchen as my host mom prepares breakfast. The room is warm; the smoggy air…

Waste not, Want not. 

Growing up in a working-class family, my parents seemed to incessantly preach about the conservation of our resources in order to save money. Whether it was finishing the food on my plate, shortening my shower, or ensuring I shut off the lights when I left a room–my parents had a lesson to share that always seemed to revolve…

Meet Plus3 Costa Rica 2017!

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 20 College of Business Administration and Swanson School of Engineering students from May 6 – May 20. In addition to numerous cultural experiences, the trip will include visits to…