This hands-on course is designed to give students experience of learning about leadership in a collaborative fashion and in an international context within Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Situated within the frameworks of the Social Change Model of Leadership and Adaptive Leadership, the course prepares students to be effective agents of social change through self-examination and self exploration; effective teamwork and collaboration; and examination of social issues and social responsibility in a global context. Through field experiences students will learn first-hand about social issues affecting the region and leadership efforts addressing these issues. The social issues discussed in the course are in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Field ClassCountry: Costa Rica
The mission of Veragua Rainforest Research and Adventure Park is "to offer each visitor the best tropical rainforest experience in the Caribbean Basin, with the highest quality of service, along with a firm commitment to support the development of the local communities and to promote education, research, and respect for the environment." This facility is an example of ecotourism through conservation and demonstrates how businesses may earn a profit while caring for the natural environment and the people around it. This will be an action-packed full-day visit to an excellent example of for-profit ecobusiness. The tour includes interactive live exhibits of snakes, frogs (probably the only inverted cycle frog house in the world), and butterflies in an unparalleled set-up, walking trails, an open aerial tram ride through the rainforest canopy, a spectacular waterfall, and a real science station where you can see researchers discovering new species. Students will have the opportunity to try a zipline journey OR aerial tram journey, both of which provide an opportunity to appreciate the views of La Amistad International Park and Chirripó Reserve, in a unique and unforgettable fashion. Before completing the tours, students will meet with Marti Jimenez, Co-founder and CEO - Veragua Rainforest for a presentation and open discussion regarding the socioeconomic and environmental background of the location, the company's business plan, the challenges that had to be overcome during four years, and the capital structuring raising of $7M+ with 100 percent Costa Rican equity investors and loans from The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International and a local bank. Prior to the meeting with Marti Jumenez the students will complete an on-ship case study of Veragua Rainforest.