Biodigesters and Baby Tarantulas: In Focus Costa Rica

Zach Beek ‘15 wrote to us from Costa Rica, where he took “Exploring Sustainability and Development in Costa Rica” with professors Diane Beres and Soren Hauge. Zach is a business management major with a minor in Leadership Studies.

When we showed up at the University of Georgia – Costa Rica (UGACR) they welcomed us with open arms. They brought us in and told us what we could expect to see and hear while we are visiting. On the UGACR grounds they have their own cows, pigs, and a tree nursery.

They also have a biodigester that separates solid waste from liquid waste. In the end of this process methane and cleaner water are produced. The methane is used in the kitchen to save UGACR money, and they use that money to find different ways to keep saving money and be more sustainable.

The next morning a group of us went on a hike in the Cordillera de Tilaran which is along the continental divide. This hike was a short seven miles which was finished in a heavy rain. A few really cool things that we saw on the hike were coati with their young and nine toucans in one tree. It was breathtaking. While one group was on a hike the other group went on a water sampling project where they sampled two different rivers to see what bugs were in it to check the quality of the water.

The final morning we were at UGACR we were about to eat breakfast when someone pulled out the bench to sit down and found a juvenile tarantula on the leg of the table. This caused everyone to run over to get a look at this beautiful spider. Once everyone was done looking they put the tarantula in a container and returned it to the wild.

Pura Vida.

To learn more about the Liberal Arts In Focus program at Ripon College, click here.

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