The question of whether free markets and economic development are positive or negative for mankind are deeply relevant today, and in particular will be very present in the minds of students on this voyage of Semester at Sea with its stops in seven Latin American ports. This course will explore the meaning of economic development and how it is linked to human welfare and poverty reduction. It will delve into both the effects of higher levels of economic development and the forces that cause development to take place. It will also tackle some of the key economic questions of our day, including whether aid helps or hinders economic development, what the role of wider trade and globalization might be in reducing poverty in regions such as Africa, how governments and institutions affect the development process, whether resources are a blessing or a curse, and whether there are “clean” development models that could help emerging nations to avoid some of the mistakes and negative side effects of growth as experienced by the world´s richest economies.
Field ClassCountry: Costa Rica
Students will be taken on a visit of Tortuguero National Park, one of Costa Rica´s most popular. Tortuguero is a wilderness area with a rich variety of wildlife and 11 different, defined habitats, including high rainforest, littoral woodland, slope forest, swamp forest and herbaceous swamps and lagoons. Tortuguero is most famous for its coastal and marine areas, where strong currents from the Caribbean provide a long expanse of beach that is a nesting ground for sea turtles. In this area, the world´s largest sea turtle, the Leatherback, nests from February to July. Besides viewing the park, the turtles and other animals, students will meet with a park official who will explain how innovative types of financing have helped Tortuguero to expand and preserve some of Costa Rica´s most valuable natural spaces.