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Post Trip Review

After 10 quite eventful days, we have finally ventured back state side!  I've learned many things in my experiences roaming around the country of Costa Rica.  Some minor but notable lessons and some that made an actual impact on my view of the world.  

Upon our arrival, I immediately learned that considering myself an American is obviously offensive due to the fact that we're still in the Americas!  Being the egotistical American that I am, I had never even considered the fact that these people were only in Central American and that they are in fact American's as well.  This would only be one of many instances that I found out just how careless American's are to their land and their neighboring countries. 

Costa Rica was such an interesting country to venture around.  They're sense of their surroundings is so rich in the way they care for their piece of the Earth.  They are heavy into the agriculture industry and practice various ways of being sustainable.  They use …

Day 7: Preserving Local Culture & Its Effect on the Economy

There are many different examples of businesses and organizations that work to protect Louisiana's culture. One of which being Randol's Seafood Restaurant located in Lafayette, Louisiana.  For 35 years, they've been providing an inside look into the life of our Cajun ancestors.  The cuisine offered is custonary to the Cajun culture which runs deep in the Acadiana area.  The restaurant also offers live entertainment that displays  the music that's been the sound of the Cajun culture for generations and generations.  They value added to the local economy by this restaurant is the fact that the restaurant had created jobs for the surrounding locals as well as the booking of the local talent.  The restaurant brings in tourists as well as providing jobs which helps stimulate the economy in itself.
Another example of a business trying to preserve our local culture is Acadian Village.  What they've done is replicated a Cajun community through the use of the old houses disp…

Day 6: Essential Costa Rica

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The country's largest export of pineapples fits into the overall country brand of "essential Costa Rica" by showing off their work with the Earth And land of Costa Rica to produce such a premium product of fruit which ultimately displays their love of sustainability.  I feel it showcases and makes the point that they're willing to put in the time into cultivating the land to be able to grow such large amounts of fruit which of course shows their willingness to be sustainable with their resources. It also shows the industrial side of Costa Rica rather than their tourism side.  They're more than just beach resorts and mountains, they do also produce product from the land that is sold and distributed within the CAFTA-DR trade agreement. 

I find that Costa Rica's largest export both is and is not consistent with the model of sustainability. It's consistent in the way that they get to reuse the crown of the pineapple to replant for the next crop the following y…

Day 5: Free Trade Zone and Sustainability

The free trade zone fits into Costa Rica's sustainable development by doing a number of things.  The trade agreement gives a minimum employment level as well as a minimum required investment level to companies trying to apply for the Free Trade Zone status.  They also require the company to make a 1% Environmental Guarantee Deposit of their total investment in the company's Costa Rican location.  

As you can see, the Costa Rican government might not collect taxes from these companies, but they do see some sort of income that can be used towards their environmental practices.  The fact that they require companies to hire so many local Costa Riacans to work in these free zone companies also benefits in the sustainability fight by giving its people the chance to make a decent living and afford better sustainability practices all while keeping the cash flow generation within the company via sales taxes paid.  Since the people of these nice new jobs can afford more, they'll more…

Day 4: Country Branding

When two countries are negotiating a trade agreement having a well developed and well perceived country brand can be of significant importance.  Knowing what I know now about Costa Rica, it will definitely influence my decision on product selection in the future consumer purchases. If the brand is able to become fully developed into, almost a household name, and is perceived by everyone the same way we perceive it, this will ultimately increase sales on Costa Rica products which will of course increase the amount of importing the other country will have to participate in. Furthermore, this type of information would definitely come into play when negotiating a trade agreement with other countries. If a brand is strong enough, it very well could make a significant impact on trade agreement negotiations to be settled or passed over.

If i were to develop a state brand for Louisiana, it would be Louisiana Lagniappe!  Aside from a lack of white sand beaches, Louisiana can offer a tourist e…

Day 2 - Monteverde

So today we made our way to Monteverde! After one, entirely too long bus ride and 20 kilometers of  steep gravel roads, we arrived at the UGA Costa Rican campus. After lunch, our group made our way to the business headquarters of La Bella Tica Coffee and Monteverde Natural Cosmetics. These sustainable and organic businesses had many similarities as well as many differences in the way approach the business side of things. Monteverde is more aggressive in the way they handle their marketing side of things. They are actually distributing their products on Amazon verses La Bella Tica who only sells to San Luis and relying on word of mouth to be able to ship to customers outside of their area. Monteverde's initiative gets seen by many more ppl that La Bella's products.  They're both similar in the way that they're sustainable. They both use Human Resources from costa rica to help the economy in their surrounding communities when making the raw materials for their products. …

Costa Rica Arrival

Our flight into Costa Rica was a bit of an adventure to say the least.  After being delayed for plane maintenance, we finally make it to CR but only to be denied touchdown for an additional half hour.  On the bright side the pilot was forced to circle San Jose, giving us quite the tour of the beautiful land.  I learned just what to expect upon our arrival from our laps made from a bird's eye view.  We also experienced first hand Costa Rica traffic and their substandard road conditions.  After almost 12 hours of travel we finally made it to our destination! πŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌ