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Canadore College announces new partnership and project in Costa Rica

Mar 10, 2023 | Cindy Males, Public Relations and Communications Specialist

A small delegation of Canadore College students has returned from a unique learning experience in Costa Rica. With the support of the Global Skills Opportunity Fund through Colleges and Institutes Canada, Canadore sent nine students and two chaperones to the Central America country to complete a Business and Cultural Experience micro-credential through Castra Carazo University.

“When I first heard of this opportunity last fall, I felt in my heart that I needed to be a part of this amazing learning experience,” said Jody Kennedy, a second-year student in the Mental Health and Addictions Worker program, whose spirit name is Red Hawk Woman.  “My connection to my culture came later in life. School or in-class learning is a very Western concept, and our ancestors knew that to truly learn and teach, one must explore, play, and experience. These were my first thoughts upon learning of my acceptance to join the team heading to Costa Rica.”

The group’s week-long trip included visits to San Jose to learn about the Costa Rica culture and history, the Nicoya Peninsula’s Blue Zone, considered a place where the healthiest people live and boasts the second highest concentration of male centenarians, and to Guatuzo to participate in the Maleku Indigenous cultural experience.  One of the smallest tribes in Costa Rica, the Maleku are passionate about preserving their cultural identity and sharing their wisdom.

“When I first heard about the opportunity, I was in disbelief because it was just a great chance to see and experience another culture,” said Wendy Lickers-Lapierre, a second-year practical nursing student from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.  “I was also excited because I thought that I could learn so much from this by talking to the elders about how things were done a long time ago. I believe that we can learn and heal various ailments using the old ways. It will be interesting to try to combine modern and traditional medicines.”

“This is truly a one-of-a-kind experience, and our partners in Costa Rica are exceptional people,” said Jesse Russell, Sustainable Project Development Leader.  “We look forward to the next steps and further opportunities to collaborate.”

The group traveled to Ecological Park to volunteer with the CO2 Carbon Footprint Project which helps to protect the rainforest.  They visited the region of Dota to visit Green Communities, an organization that hosts volunteer groups from around the world to engage in sustainable development projects with residents in the Los Santos region of Costa Rica.  Green Communities specializes in converting conventional coffee farms into organic, ecological farms to protect the rain forest.  Today, Canadore College and Twiggs Coffee Roasters announced a new partnership to sell Green Communities’ coffee.

“The relationship that is evolving in Costa Rica is rooted in many years of friendship and leadership, including that of team members from Canadore who have moved on to different roles in different organizations, and we thank them,” said Shawn Chorney, Vice President Strategic Infrastructure, Indigenous and Learner Services.  “This connection reflects the foundational elements of the projects we are working on, and will ensure that the outcomes of our efforts are truly rooted in supporting generational change, leaving a lasting and sustainable positive impact on people and the environment.”

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