Name: Caitlin Chesnut
School: Ohio Wesleyan University
Program: Applied Research Techniques & Strategies Towards Sustainability, Costa Rica
Upon returning from our trip to Cerro de la Muerte, we jumped right into our next field experience. This time we investigated the influence of socio-economics on resource usage by community members. Students divided into groups and went into the local neighborhood in Atenas to conduct surveys. The people of Atenas welcomed us into their homes and showed us amazing hospitality. We returned home with offers to participate in ATV races, tree-planting, and Sunday dinner.
It was a very eye-opening experience to see poverty right across the street from fairly rich families. My Directed Research project for the next few weeks will give me the opportunity to continue looking into the values, income, and education of the local people and see how we can help them to find sustainable ways to use water and facilitate trash elimination and recycling. I’m excited to improve my Spanish-speaking skills and help develop policies for maintaining a cleaner environment, particularly in the local Mathias River.