A three-week service learning project will be a highlight of ACM’s Costa Rica: Language, Society, & the Environment program beginning this fall. The project will be a key part of the program’s rural stay in the middle of the semester.
“In this photo, I am helping my host mom, an environmental educator, with one of her lessons. We worked with the high school students to paint trash cans and turn them into recycling bins. This was part of a recycling program supported by the Red Quercus, the environmental organization through which the environmental educators worked. The writing on the cans lets students know about the program and how it is supported.”
Text and photo courtesy of Natalie Talbert, Fall 2008 Costa Rica program participant
During the rural stay, which is being expanded from two to three weeks, students live with families in the countryside and experience aspects of Costa Rican life that differ from the students’ usual daily routine in the city of San José.
The students will have a variety of service learning opportunities, which may include projects such as teaching English or environmental education to school children, working with women’s cooperatives, volunteering in national parks, and working on organic farms.
In the first part of the semester, students will work with the program’s service learning supervisor to select a project and write a proposal for their service experience. As they are engaged in the project, the students will keep written journals and conduct interviews with Costa Ricans to gather material for a report on the project that they will write following the rural stay.
The service learning project and expanded rural stay are key components of the program’s three sets of learning goals for students:
- To develop Spanish language proficiency to the advanced level;
- To develop broad understanding of Latin American society and intercultural literacy through cultural immersion; and
- To deepen knowledge of Latin American development, environmental, and cultural issues through coursework, first-hand experience, and field inquiry.
- ACM Costa Rica: Language, Society, & the Environment (fall semester)
- ACM Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, & Humanities (spring semester)