During any given day on our beautiful tropical campus, dozens of languages can be heard on a walk through the hallways—Creole, Guarani, Luganda, Swahili, Rwandese, and French, to name a few. However, the official language of EARTH has always been Spanish, the language of its host country, Costa Rica.
With the increased number of non-Spanish speaking countries in Africa and the Caribbean in recent years, it became vital to develop a robust and relevant Spanish immersion program to prepare our students for life at EARTH. Gifts from donors like you allow us to give each and every one of our students the personalized, quality instruction that they deserve—read on to find out how your gift has made EARTH’s Spanish Language Program into a big success.
The Spanish Language Program began in 2011 with the first cohort of 27 students from 10 non-Spanish speaking countries. In those four years it has provided crucial language instruction for over 70 students.
Students live individually with host families, many of whom are EARTH staff or relatives of EARTH workers, in the rural communities that surround our campus. Every day they travel to and from the campus with their host family members for an intense day of learning.
In the morning, students take Spanish classes in small groups of no more than seven students per teacher. Afternoons are dedicated to workshops on such topics as intercultural learning, emotional intelligence, health, art and recreation, review of specific concepts in Spanish, learning and study skills, and computing. They also go on field trips, both on and off campus related to intercultural learning, Costa Rican culture and history, agriculture and natural resources, and institutional values.
More than just a language immersion program, EARTH’s Spanish Program has opened the possibility of an EARTH education to deserving young men and women the world over. It has resulted in an even more multicultural campus community and strengthened our intercultural competence. It has empowered our non-native Spanish-speaking students to be active participants in their education and thrive both academically and socially. Indeed, the program goes well beyond “hola.”
Without generous gifts like yours, our students wouldn’t have this incredible and necessary opportunity to learn another language in a holistic and support environment, giving them the tools they need to become leaders of change. Students like Fatumah Birungi from Uganda, who shares her experience with the program below:
“My Tica family contributed a lot to my Spanish. Nothing would make me happier than seeing that my mum was so worried about helping me learn Spanish. That is when I realized that, if I learn Spanish everyone will be happy for that. The Spanish Program for me was a time of happiness, relaxation, joy and education. My favorite part was the evening workshops with Jorge, because they opened my mind to what was going to happen when the school year started, so I was able to prepare. I am happy now and have a positive attitude because I had a good Spanish foundation.”—Fatumah Birungi (’17, Uganda)
Founded on April 22, 1970, Earth Day has had a significant role in raising public awareness for environmental issues. Likewise, at EARTH, fostering environmental consciousness in our students, staff, and in the surrounding communities has been at the core of our program since day one.
We are happy to celebrate Earth day with the very people who appreciate the importance of a healthy, sustainable environment--people like you and all those who invest in EARTH's transformational mission and the students who benefit.
Thank you for all you have done to help EARTH--our success is your success!
The EARTH Community
P.S. Have you been to Costa Rica? Visit your local Whole Foods Market for a chance to win a trip to EARTH. And while you’re there, pick up some of our delicious bananas!
How has YOUR gift help continue to bring the brightest young global leaders to study at EARTH?
Two months ago, 111 young men and women from 28 countries arrived in Costa Rica to start their new lives as EARTH University students and leaders of change. Over 60% of them are on full scholarships made possible because of donors like YOU!
Without your support, students like Jean Kerby (’17, Haiti), who is an exceptional example of a young leader in Haiti, wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to receive an EARTH education. Kerby is from the urban capital of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He was raised by two aunts, who work as seamstresses, and grew up with his cousins, who treated him like a brother. In his free time, Kerby likes meeting new friends and listening to music. His outgoing personality shines even while speaking in Spanish, which he has been studying for less than two.
He learned about EARTH through Haitian graduate Reginald Cean (Class of 2011) who came to his school and encouraged students interested in sciences and agriculture to apply. He relates that, “In my country, EARTH has a great reputation and I know that I can meet people here who will help me make my dreams come true.”
After graduating high school in 2011 Kerby taught computer classes to young children to earn money while he went through the admissions process for EARTH. He and two friends also started their own radio program called Motive Action, with the goal of encouraging kids to stay in school and value their education. When he found out that he had been accepted to EARTH and received a full scholarship, he remembers feeling “So grateful for this opportunity to develop as a professional and one day help my family and my country.”
When Kerby graduates from EARTH, he hopes to be able to improve access to portable water and help create a resource management system for the entire country. “My family lives in the mountains and they have problems getting enough water for the crops and just for drinking. In Haiti we also need a recycling system because people throw away an enormous amount of garbage that all ends up going into the ocean.”
Kerby is just one example of the hundreds of students studying at EARTH to take what they learn and make a difference to real life problems in their own countries. Imagine the possibilities for our world with over 100 students graduating from EARTH each year!
We value the trust you have placed in us with your gift. Thank you for supporting EARTH and helping to ensure it and our planet a promising future.
P.S. Kerby’s response to my request to share his story on GlobalGiving.com:
“EARTH opened the door for me to achieve success, and if I can help other young people to find the opportunity that I have today, I am 1000 times happy that my story can contribute. Thanks very much. ”
Your generous support through Global Giving has helped illuminate the dreams of students at EARTH University.
Illuminating these and many more dreams of our students and of disadvantaged communities around the globe is EARTH’s mission. In celebration of the holidays and in symbolic representation of this commitment, from November 21-22 we illuminated the iconic Jacaranda tree on our campus with our own energy. For 24 hours, some 600 students, professors, staff and friends of EARTH rode 10 bicycles connected to a generator to continually power 1,600 holiday lights, which symbolize the dreams of our students for 2014... which are made possible by supporters like YOU!
Join in and watch the celebration here! From Costa Rica and with much gratitude, we extend season’s greetings and our brightest wishes for a wonderful new year!
From our last update report, you got to know about the dreams of first-year EARTH students, Leonor (’16, Senegal) and Misael (’16, Belize). Now they want to personally thank you through a video message all the way from EARTH’s campus!
We hope you enjoy the attached video from Leonor and Misael, who send many thanks for your support in helping them study at EARTH.
We also invite you to view a live streaming of our upcoming Commencement activities on December 13 at 10 am Central Time through our website at http://www.earth.ac.cr/?lang=en.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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