Costa Rica Chronicles, Day 2: EARTH University & Bananas

From June 13-21, finalists from the 2011 FFA national proficiency awards and American Star awards are participating in a travel seminar to Costa Rica. The seminar allows participants to develop a global perspective and become more culturally aware of the diversity in agriculture around the world.  Nearly each day, one team from the group will file a dispatch here about their travel.

June 14, 2012
8:33 PM CST (UTC−6)
Sarapiquí, Costa Rica

Hola!

Fresh from traveling yesterday for several hours (and over the Great Divide), we started our second day in Costa Rica at Hotel La Quinta with a traditional Costa Rican breakfast. Our planned activities included a trip to EARTH University and a banana plantation.

We left the hotel at 8 AM local time for our trip to EARTH University. There we got to learn about how they grow plants by using soda cans and bottles, as well as using banana compost as a fertilizer for organic produce. This university focuses on providing an education to students from other tropical humid counties. There, we also enjoyed an entertaining lunch that involved a student performance by a band that had a Caribbean and African influences.

After lunch we made a quick stop by the gift shop to make a few purchases for friends and family at home. The afternoon activity involved an entertaining presentation from a spokesperson from the Standard Fruit Company de Costa Rica S.A. banana plantation that explained the history of bananas in Costa Rica, how they are harvested and packaged. Standard Fruit exports to the United States under the Dole fruit brand name. Standard is recognized worldwide for its leadership in producing environmentally and socially sound production systems and is a pioneer in its employment of integrated pest management techniques, extensive worker environmental and safety training and operation of a broad range of programs and facilities for farm workers and their families.

Both of these stops today were very educational about how the agriculture in Costa Rica is conducted, and how EARTH is helping the farmers in the tropics use new ideas to grow their crops. Day three of our trip will include white water rafting and a trip to a pineapple plantation, as well as moving to a new hotel near the volcano.

Buenos Noches!

- Team “The Situations”

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