A Source of Happiness

Over the past two weeks, I have been researching the industry, culture, and environment in Costa Rica and seen first hand how it has impacted Costa Rican coffee trade. Our group specialized in sourcing. Sourcing involves buying the best raw products for each step in the business to ensure a high quality, profitable final product….

Lets Cooperate!

Cooperatives work differently from other organizations by allowing smaller participants to pool resources and expertise to increase their presence in the market. Some advantages of this include more diverse and plentiful products and inclusion of smaller farmers. Since there are over 900 coffee producers, they can each put the careful work into their specific crop…

Bio, Chem and Café

ICAFE spends a lot of effort on research and development of new coffee varieties that are fungus resistant, have increased yield, and provide better quality coffee. They also look at innovative ways to recycle coffee byproducts, such as pulp and parchment, and appropriate use of fertilizers and pest control. Some examples of their cutting edge…

Ecotourism or Global Warming

The preservation of the cloud forest depends on the efforts of the Quakers who arrived here in the 50s, and their descendants, who have been working in and educating themselves about the area since. Their work negatively impacted Monteverde because they cut forests for lumber and cattle farming. This was important for development at the…

Now we’re cookin’!

Don Guillermo is a Costa Rican coffee farmer that was born on Montiverde. Since he is so connected to the community, after living here his whole life, Don is very well-equipped to make the farm as sustainable and interconnected as possible. Life on the farm is different from life in the states. The houses are…

Differences in the Pura Vida

As I traveled from the city to the rainforest mountains, I was primarily blown away by the beauty of the topography and wildlife.  A difference I noticed, that is opposite of what I see typically in the US, is in the distribution of poverty. In cities like Heredia, the land is all accounted for, so…

San Jose is Bananas!

An influence I saw from the coffee and banana trade is the railroad. The railroad was very important to the trade. It took 20 years to build a railroad that connects San Jose to the Caribbean coast because of the topography. This railroad was funded by Minor Cooper Keith, who agreed to pay for the…

Sourcing Success

Tourist love Café Brit but most ticos don’t drink it. This is because they market very well in areas like airports and hotels, and they sell things as souvenirs. They use local artisans and well-informed designers that work for café brit to design the stores and products. Brit uses products from each country to make…

Preguntas Sobre la Pura Vida

Why is education increasing in government budgeting priority? Education and literacy are very important when a country is developing. It is important for accommodating the shift from service careers to technology careers. As Juan Diego said, a large majority of Costa Rican jobs are in service and commerce. In developed country, the majority of workers…

Heredia Tranquila

I am very excited to be in Costa Rica. Having a host family is a great experience and it is really pushing my boundaries with my Spanish language skills. Our host mom has not spoken a word of English to us. I took Spanish casually in high school but haven’t brushed up on it in…

The Espresso Train to Sustainability

I am a rising sophomore civil engineering student in the Swanson School at Pitt. As an avid coffee drinker, and overall food snob, I care a lot about the drink that’s in my cup. I already feel like coffee is very much a part of my life, so it will be exciting to have the…

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…