Back in the States my life felt individual and separate. I woke up on my own, made breakfast for myself and often worked alone. There were always people around me, but they too were living their individual lives with their individual plans. The world seems to be doing much of the same. Additional import tariffs, dismissal of other countries and the barring of immigration are all examples of how the United States, specifically, has started to build up a barrier of individuality. Now, instead of working together, I see companies, countries and people compete against each other, keeping their work private and their solutions to issues their own treasured secret.

At SFS Costa Rica my life is part of a system. Most mornings I wake up to an alarm three doors down as it echoes through the screened window tops. Breakfast is prepared in alternating groups, everyone working to cut the fruit, squeeze the orange juice and wash the dishes. My work is done with others- in ever-changing groups for classes and research projects. And while it has taken me a while to adjust to this new way of life, I have seen the endless benefits that this brings. When an issue arises each person offers their own unique solution and are prepared to see it through. Projects are easily divided between those who have strength in writing or drawing or implementing. And the challenges of living with others has simulated the reality of life; how important it is to be truthful and accepting and flexible.


The morning chore team helps set up breakfast

This is why SFS is so important in this time of separation and exclusion. We need to learn to work as a whole in order to come up with universal and lasting solutions to the great issues facing our environment and society.


Group camping in Santa Rosa National Park

→ Sustainable Development Studies in Costa Rica