Ecological Awareness and Sustainable Agriculture
As part of our global strategy to expand volunteer travel locations, Via International is excited to open an 8-day travel program in Costa Rica. Via’s Costa Rica travel program is a collaborative learning platform that offers students the opportunity for the exchange of knowledge at small-scale farming cooperatives in a familial setting. By participating in ongoing development projects focused on improving the quality of life in rural communities, students gain an increased ecological awareness around nutrition, family health, and sustainable ecology. Costa Rica provides one of the most biodiverse topological landscapes for community-based travel and the richness of people, culture, and natural landscape is unparalleled.
Participating in this adventure, you will be able to increase your own ecological awareness by learning through what Via calls sustainable literacy – a unique hands-on approach to development and agricultural learning from small-scale farming cooperatives.
What can you learn from the Costa Rican food forests?
Your adventure will begin in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose and will quickly move southeast towards the Pacific Ocean and coastal area of Limon, known for its gorgeous beaches, laid-back atmosphere and Caribbean inspired cuisine. Along the way, students will visit various small scale farming cooperatives, staying to work and experience life on a Costa Rican farm, learning about the agroforestry movement, and sustainable tropical crop management and experience some of the sustainable tourism activities Costa Rica is known for. This may include river rafting, zip lining or boating with endangered pacific turtles! A visit to the rainforest and lots of animal sightings are guaranteed!
Through our local food forest partners, Via offers groups a unique glimpse of some solutions for the issues of climate change, food insecurity and poverty. Groups will follow a path to various local farms, learning particularly about how breadfruit can be a solution to food insecurity in many regions of the globe. The group will visit various farms and learn about renewable energy, food forest production, and approaches to resolving global issues. All along the way we will taste the famous products of Costa Rica including coffee and chocolate.
Participants will engage with environmental programs including turtle rescue and will visit the wonders of the cloud forests usually seeing many endangered animals and birds. The itinerary includes some beach fun and river rafting!
Loyola University Maryland
"l highly recommend Via International as a great host agency for meaningful immersion programs, both domestic and international. They are rooted in the community with years of experience and relationships, organized and offer great educational input for the participants. They have everything you need fora comprehensive experience.
Andrea Coicochea, Assistant Director International Immersions
The experience of an immersion program impacts post-travel
Discover the historical, political, and religious constructions of community within Costa Rica and develop a global lens for comparison to other Central American countries.
Analyze the development of large scale monoculture farming and its effects on environmental health, human health and society.
Understand how leadership is demonstrated, honored and respected at the community level, through community-based programs.
Learn the issues surrounding agriculture, international vs. locally owned farming and explore the roots of the environmental movement in Costa Rica.
Learn about the local response to the negative impacts of monoculture through a shift toward permaculture, agro-forestry and sustainable agricultural practices.
Participate in community-defined service projects supporting agroforestry and local community agriculture.