EARTH University, Costa Rica

Since 1990, EARTH University’s innovative educational approach has been preparing young people from Latin America, the Caribbean and other regions, including Africa and Asia, to contribute to the sustainable development of their countries and construct a prosperous and just society.  EARTH offers a rigorous four-year undergraduate program in agricultural sciences and natural resources management and a prestigious, international faculty, providing a world-class scientific and technological education that emphasizes values, ethical entrepreneurship and environmental and social commitment.

Kathleen Freis, from the Open Society Initiative, writes about Nurturing Young Social Entrepreneurs:

“Since 2009, we have awarded scholarships to young people from Haiti, Mozambique, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to study natural resource management and social entrepreneurship at EARTH.  Successful applicants have strong academic backgrounds and leadership qualities and have demonstrated a commitment to open society values such as respect for human and equal rights. Students vary in age; first year students range anywhere between 18 and 29 years old.  Their education may have been disrupted by years of civil war or their lives significantly altered due to natural disaster and loss of life.  While they come from different countries with different histories, they share some common, admirable threads.

“Another inspiration is the EARTH campus itself. Having spent a year of my life living and working in Costa Rica, I know firsthand how the power of the lush countryside can inspire a deep respect for preservation and the outdoors. The EARTH University campus is verdant and hosts a vibrant learning environment, a true wonderland for scientists of all kinds, as well as those who appreciate the natural world.  Students do field research on the grounds, which include organic gardens and animal farms.  They are also required to work in the surrounding rural community where poverty is visible and climates are intense. Students listen to and assess the needs of the local people, collaborating with them on projects that improve their lives.

“EARTH’s curriculum is visionary.  Students are encouraged to think critically and to work in partnership.  Students often work in small groups to problem-solve during class and on community projects.  After working with them myself, I noticed how they listened attentively and encouraged each other.  I was impressed by their collaborative spirit and the confidence they were gaining at EARTH.  The new knowledge and innovations they are testing show great promise to pioneer change back home.”

EARTH University’s Mission: Prepare leaders with ethical values to contribute to the sustainable development of the humid tropics and to construct a prosperous and just society.

The Vision: Our actions are directed toward building a future in which the humid tropics and its communities achieve social, economic and environmental well-being.

The Values: Human development, Academic excellence, Ethical behavior, Sustainable development, Social consciousness, The Search for knowledge and Biodiversity Conservation.

Check out the EARTH Fact Book.