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EARTH University: Students Alleviating Poverty

EARTH University
Escuela de Agricultura de la Región Tropical Húmeda, otherwise known by its acronym EARTH University,
is located in the Limon province of Costa Rica. Situated in the middle of beautiful, sprawling jungles, the university focuses on teaching sustainable development and entrepreneurship for students to apply in their communities. EARTH University’s vision statement reads: “Our actions are mission-driven to alleviate poverty, promote social justice and build a future where our communities achieve sustainable and shared prosperity.” Their aim is to alleviate global poverty one person at a time. Below are 5 facts about EARTH University, the work they do and the innovative students changing the world.

5 Facts About EARTH University

  1. The university offers a large selection of scholarship opportunities for students from rural communities across the world. The student body is composed of less than 500 students, and 70 percent of the students have received full scholarships. This allows their outreach to impact and lay the groundwork in disadvantaged communities, as well as create ways to alleviate poverty without relying on charity and donations. This leads to a more independent way of sustainability.
  2. Due to their focus on agriculture, location amidst fertile jungle soil and the inheritance of a banana plantation, EARTH University is able to sustain development through profits from these sources. Grown in eco-friendly and sustainable ways, the university’s bananas are known as some of the best in the world and are distributed in Whole Food locations across the United States and Canada. 
  3. EARTH focuses on a hands-on education backed by the notion of “learning by doing.” Students are encouraged to work with their hands and are all responsible for the continued thriving of the university and its resources. For example, the student cafeteria is stocked with sustainable meat and produce grown by students on EARTH University farms.
  4. Due to the level of dedication committed by each student and faculty member, students are able to pinpoint where the agricultural sector is lacking and how to improve upon its structures. More importantly, students are able to apply this skill in their home communities and create a more efficient type of agriculture suited to their environment.
  5. The structure of EARTH University is one that is unique and efficient. Universities around the world are beginning to create similar structures that place a higher focus on social and environmental sustainability. Furthermore, study abroad and internship opportunities are offered to anyone interested in the field. Students and interns who take advantage of such an experience will be able to apply new ideas to the world of environmental entrepreneurship.

EARTH University is responsible for creating a new generation of environmental entrepreneurs who are able to apply their new skills where needed. When students are able to implement their skills in their own communities, whether these communities are disadvantaged or not, prosperity is created. Through their students, EARTH University is contributing to the downsizing of poverty. This type of structure has been proven time and again as students’ innovative ideas and skills spread, decreasing poverty.  

– Trelawny Robinson
Photo: Flickr