Hi There! My name is Lynne Corvaglia and I am a student in the International Development Specialist Co-op program. I was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Scholarship which is allowing me to embark on a 12-month co-op placement with ‘The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center’ (CATIE). Located in the Central Valley of Costa Rica, CATIE is Latin America’s oldest graduate school, dating back to 1942. Having spent 2 months last year, I am excited to be returning to work in the Botanical Garden of CATIE’s campus at the Casa Sostenible or Sustainability House, run by Professor Eliécer Vargas who is the coordinator of the Masters of Sustainable Tourism at CATIE. Home to over 4,000 different plants across 45 hectares - there there are many different tours to explore - one in which will let you glimpse at the 95 different species of trees we have.
Professor Vargas currently operates the Sustainability House as a space for both local and global learning, hosting students every year from around the world as well as local high-school students on a monthly basis. Every Thursday the house is also transformed into a working space for a local women’s collective which has been formed as a 5-year pilot project to encourage the maintenance and growth of localized eco-tourist businesses. During my time there I will be working as the ‘Resident Manager’ of the house, which includes tasks such as hosting various guest, maintaining and teaching other others about our sustainable and organic garden systems, continually developing maintenance plans and innovative solutions for the upkeep and operation of the ‘Eco-lodge’ according to Costa Rican ecotourism standards and much more. It it also my job to continue to collaborate with various student groups and local networks to continue to decrease waste and give back to our environments.
With my background experience being in countries such as India, Kenya, Ghana, Arizona, Mexico, and Dominican Republic I feel so lucky to have an opportunity to work in a country with such a rich history of environmental activism. With climate change emerging as one of, if not the biggest issue of our time, I believe it is becoming increasingly important for us to critically engage in disciplines that seek to mitigate it. So follow us at @casasostenible or at https://casasosteniblecati.wixsite.com/mysite/about!