General Description

Thank you for your interest in helping individuals in Costa Rica in January 2018!

In the US students interact with environmental health issues everyday, often without recognition of the fact. Traditional environmental health courses help students recognize their impact on the environment and how the social, cultural and political environments shape environmental issues in the US.  This travel study will provide you with the opportunity to experience environmental health and examine the social, cultural and political aspects of environmental health in an international setting.  You will also have the opportunity to interact with locals to compare and contrast issues and solutions to problems.

Dr. Randy Pembrook, Chancellor of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, has been taking college students to Costa Rica for more than a decade with an organization known as C.A.M.P (Central America Mission Projects).  This organization has sponsored projects to help build education centers, gyms, churches, Habitat for Humanity houses, and children’s camp facilities.  In addition to these construction projects, programs also have provided an opportunity to distribute food and clothing to needy people in Costa Rica, see the beauty of the central valley, appreciate the unique ecology of the region, and interact with local Costa Rican citizens (a.k.a. Ticos).   Costa Rica offers a wonderful climate year-round with temperatures ranging from 65 degrees at night to the mid-80s during the day.

In the past nursing students from other universities working with C.A.M.P. have worked to (a) deliver health care screenings, (b) tour selected healthcare facilities (c) participate in construction and food/clothing distribution projects and (d) develop Spanish language skills to promote health for those living in Costa Rica.  In 2018, Public Health and other SIUE students will join C.A.M.P. for some of their program in Costa Rica.

The program begins with a relaxed weekend and exploration of the surrounding ecology and culture.  During the week, students will accomplish the work previously described as well as visit local sites, meet Costa Rican adults and children, attend indigenous events and sample Costa Rican cuisine. The group alternates between evening meals together and free evenings where individuals can choose their own restaurants. Breakfast is served each morning at the hotel (combining all student groups from SIUE) and lunch is served at the work sites or we will eat together if touring facilities. 

w© Michelle Cathorall 2013