During Fall Reading Week, a group of students led by Odette School of Business professor Kent Walker embarked on a study abroad trip to Costa Rica.
The trip enhanced the group’s studies on social entrepreneurship and eco-tourism, which Dr. Walker says is developed in Costa Rica better than anywhere else.
“This industry of social enterprises seeks to preserve their main source of income and competitive advantage, the natural environment, combined with cultural roots with a deep connection to nature.”
Throughout the semester, students worked with and visited three Costa Rican social enterprises: an animal rescue centre, a bee business that uses the local stingless honeybee, and an former cattle ranch turned into a wellness center.
Student Joe Francis said, “The chance to work with these local businesses in Costa Rica and positively impact them was an opportunity I never imagined I’d have.”
Trip activities also included rainforest hikes, swimming at a waterfall, and a visit to Pos Volcano National Park.
The trip was profoundly transformative, said student Molly Hearn: “It extended my perspective, raised my knowledge of environmental problems, and gave me a stronger sense of obligation to take care of the environment and keep exploring it.”