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Students Travel Abroad to Costa Rica

A service-learning class at Indiana University East traveled to Costa Rica to research and gather information, studying the effects of Fair Trade versus Free Trade in Central America, as well as the effects international corporations have on environmental systems. They visited several women’s organizations, a locally owned coffee cooperative, and an area that is being heavily developed for international tourism. Research included socio-economic and ecological impacts that these groups have on local and global economies and environments. The class is now developing a service learning project which will benefit both the local Richmond community and the communities in Costa Rica. The goal of the project is to become self-sustaining so it can last beyond the duration of the students’ time at the university. The short term effects will be the foundation for long term benefits.

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Taken in March 2010