Community Agroecology Network: Costa Rica Field Study

June 2012- July 2012

Agua Buena, Costa Rica


Community Agroecology Network

Community Agroecology Network (CAN) is an international organization actively working in eight regions of Mexico and Central America. We confront social, economic, and environmental injustice through research, education, and action. CAN partners with community-based organizations, farmers’ cooperatives, nonprofits, and universities to generate local approaches to sustainable development. Our programs promote:

  • Agroecological farming practices that produce healthy food and healthy environments
  • Food security to end seasonal hunger
  • Alternative trade models that foster direct relationships between producers and consumers ensuring a fair price for farmers
  • Youth empowerment so that the next generation has the knowledge, skills, and opportunity to reduce hunger
 CAN works in close affiliation with UCSC and it’s undergraduate students to achieve it’s program goals. Programs are range of local events at UCSC and internationally in their partner countries. All programs teach UCSC students about the social justice work their international partners are doing!

Costa Rica International Short Course

In the summer between my freshman and sophomore year I attended CAN’s international short course in Costa Rica. In this short course I was lucky enough to explore southern Costa Rica, live for two week  on a coffee farm, immerse myself in Costa Rican culture, and learn about the what CAN’s international partners in Costa Rica was doing. Working with and living with native Costa Rican made this short course truly memorable and near and dear to my heart.

In the two week course I learned:

  • Learned planting and maintenance techniques to grow sustainable, agroecological, and biodiverse coffee
  • Learned how to roast coffee right from the plant
  • Learned how complicated it is to define terms like ‘agroecological and biodiverse’, let alone grow it!

Here are a few images from the short course!

  • Community Garden Visit
    Community Garden Visit
  • The Coffee Bean in Each Stage Of Roasting
    The Coffee Bean in Each Stage Of Roasting
  • Home Garden visit
    Home Garden visit