The School of the Earth offers a joint summer program. Courses allow the students to spend from three to six weeks learning about ecology, society, and culture, living in the multicultural, socially diverse community of Longo Mai, in the South Pacific valley of Costa Rica. A group of international and Costa Rican teachers provide guidance and insights to become capable of understanding and interacting significantly with local persons and groups.

Schedule of Courses Summer 2018 REGISTRATION FORM

First Session: June 18-July 6

CN5000 Ecology and Society in Costa Rica (4 credit hours)

CS5000 Culture and Society in Costa Rica (4 credit hours)

Second Session: July 9-27

CN5100 Introduction to Nature Conservation, Alternative Agriculture, Permaculture (4 credit hours)

CS5100 Latin American Culture and Art: Historical Perspectives (4 credit hours)

Registration costs (including official grade report): US$1140 per course of 4 credit hours (US$285 per credit hour); plus US$550 for a 19 days home stay with individual room and shared bathroom, three meals a day included. Total cost per course with 4 credit hours: US$1690. Round trip transportation,  San José Intl Airport to Longo Mai (200 Km each way): US$30-80 depending on transportation used. 

CN5000 Ecology and Society in Costa Rica: This class introduces the student to the relationships between the natural environment as a whole (ecology) and the society inhabiting and transforming Costa Rica’s geography, focusing on the large valley along the Pacific coast and the General
and Terraba rivers’ basins. The class studies and characterizes the Mesoamerican and Costa Rican neo-tropics and societies; the crucial and growing issues emerging from the control and use of water resources; and the logic and consequences of industrialized agriculture, its use of agrochemicals, peasants displacement, local and international migrations, and threats to the indigenous societies and territories. Discussions in class emphasize practical examples that help understand conflict and cooperation between environmental and social actors.

CS5000 Culture and Society in Costa Rica
This class introduces the undergraduate student to Costa Ric
a´s cultural characteristics, tendencies, products and authors. Several topics are considered, including: The ways to understand cultures; Costa Rica’s Southern Pacific geographical and social characteristics; Native heritages and current struggles; Voices and lives of migrants; and Explorations of local and regional cultural creativity. Interviews with artists and artisans are included, and field trips (walking) to the petroglyphs and the biological reserve around Longo Mai. This class has been designed for undergraduate students coming from any discipline or professional advocacy. This course meets multicultural graduation requirement.

CN5100 Introduction to Nature Conservation, Altern
ative Agriculture and Permaculture: This Applied Seminar with Workshop studies and undertakes practices concerning the wildlife, traditional agricultural practices, and experimental and permacult
ure cultivation, embedded in the society of local communities in the South Pacific Region of Costa Rica. This class allows the student to acquire theoretical foundations, methodological and applied techniques, on observation, collection, and conservation of wildlife, and on the alternatives offered by traditional peasant agriculture and of contemporary Permaculture. The pedagogical approach combines classroom and internet learning with practical activities with local farmers and at the Campo Grande Farm and the Biological Reserve of the Escuela de la Tierra (School of the Earth) of Longo Mai.

CS5100 Latin American Culture and Art: Historical Perspectives: This class discusses cultural and artistic trends and characteristics of Latin American societies throughout their history. The natural history and landscapes first received migrants during the last Pleistocene and especially during the Holocene (since about 10.000/8.000 Before the Common Era -BCE). These societies evolved and expanded all over the continent, Costa Rica becoming one of the principal migration routes and receiving influences from North and South lands, and from both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. These indigenous societies had many types of social organizations and rich and complex cultural forms and practices, including empires with large cities already during the first millennium CE (Common Era) and until the European invasion during the XV century CE. The colonial conquest and domination by Spain and Portugal (Brazil)(XV-XIX centuries) represented an effort to destroy and replace the multiple cultural variations and diversity characteristic of the indigenous societies, by counter reformist and inquisitorial Catholi
cism. Thus, during the colonial times culture was centered on the Church and on the arts it required. To an important extent, though, popular and indigenous cultures were incorporated by the characteristic syncretism of that regime. The Republican era still alive today, began during the first three decades of the XIX century and has adopted several social, cultural, and political forms, alternating oligarchic, dictatorial and democratic regimes. European influence was very strong during the XIX century while the cultural influences arising from the United States have been dominant during the XX and XXI centuries. During the Republican era, especially after 1900, the region has generated worldwide influential art and culture, including Modernist poetry, Mural painting, popular and folk Music, Novel and Poetry. Latin America has strongly influenced European and American cultures. In this class, emphases are put on Literature, Painting, Music, Architecture, and on recent discussions on culture, mass media and internet influences and trends.