Costa Rica: Sustainable Development

CFANS 3501White Water Rafting

January 3 - 17, 2015

Application Deadline:
October 15, 2014

From steamy, humid coasts to hot, dry lowlands and cool mountain cloud forests, Costa Rica is famous for its unique biodiversity and natural resources. Here, you'll immerse yourself in understanding the global trend of sustainable development and its implications for business and governance by focusing on key development strategies and activities within Costa Rica. The oldest and most stable democracy in Latin America, Costa Rica has a progressive social investment policy with one of the most advanced environmental protection systems of any country in the world. The country protects 27 percent of its land in national parks, wildlife refuges and more than 100 private reserves. Through field trips and hands-on exposure to various approaches to tourism, agricultural production, energy generation and urbanization, you'll explore the synergies and tension between economic, social and environmental impact – positive and negative. You'll see how organizations and communities can maximize benefits associated with the demand for sustainable development as you explore, among other things, tourism, renewable energy and urbanization.

For complete information, see the syllabus.

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Additional Application Instructions

Personal Essay: please write a one page essay responding to the following question: "What attracts you to this class and what do you hope to gain from participating in this class?"


Students with an interest in sustainable development, ecotourism, and the environment




Cynthia Messer is an Extension Professor with the University of Minnesota Tourism Center who specializes in areas of community tourism development, sustainable tourism and quality customer service.