SFS Costa Rica: Biodiversity and Sustainable Food Systems (Summer I)

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Using coffee and chocolate as case studies, explore the relationships between food systems, ecology, conservation, and sustainability. Learn how different agricultural techniques have the potential to restore biodiversity and combat climate change. Study the sociocultural history of coffee and cacao, from Indigenous histories to modern production and exports.

SFS students live and study at the Center for Sustainable Development Studies. The Center is an active organic farm overlooking the vibrant Central Valley, where green is the predominant color as far as the eye can see. Dorms and classrooms intermingle with orchards and gardens, while Center dog Hera keeps watch over it all. The friendly town of Atenas is a 10-minute cab ride away, offering restaurants, shops, parks, and cultural events.

  • Visit La Iguana Chocolate Farm, where you’ll harvest cacao by hand and learn about permaculture, sustainable living, and local methods of chocolate processing.
  • Build core skills including: GIS, biodiversity assessment, songbird mist-netting, forest soundscape survey, basic Spanish language, research design and implementation, data collection and analysis, research presentation

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