Climate Justice Program

Costa Rica
Longo Mai
Climate Justice Program
  • Apply Now
Dates, Deadlines, and Costs
TermApp DeadlineStart DateEnd DateCost
SummerFebruary 25mid Maymid JuneBudget
Program Information
  • GPA
  • 2.5
  • Language of Instruction
  • English, Spanish
  • Foreign Language Requirement
  • No
  • Class Eligibility
  • Graduate, Junior, Senior, Sophomore
  • Program Open To
  • UA and Non-UA Students
  • Credit Type
  • UA Direct Credit
  • Level of Study
  • Graduate, Undergraduate
  • Housing Options
  • Homestay
  • Program Type
  • UA Faculty-led
Program Overview

At this historic moment when fierce debates over our planet’s natural resources are occurring everywhere, this program—which takes place in Tucson and in Costa Rica--focuses on how personal and community resilience are created in a time of climate change.  

The Climate Justice program has three parts: 1) exploring the character traits and skills necessary to bring about the cross-sector movement building, or resilience work, taking shape around the world as the climate quickly shifts; 2) a review of the rapidly changing documentation about this movement; 3) stories shared by movement leaders, some of whom are stepping into leadership roles for the first time:  indigenous youth, women, farmers,  members of diverse faith traditions, artists, those who are incarcerated, among others.  Students will spend their days in a combination of community-based work (planting trees, installing water systems, gathering data about rivers), site visits, class discussion, and time by rivers to sit and reflect.


Tentative 2019 dates: May 17 (Tucson training), May 20 - June 19 (Abroad)

Costa Rica Climate Justice Program is a collaboration among the UA Study Abroad, School of Natural Resources and Environment, community groups in Tucson focused on building resiliency, the community of Longo Mai, and Movimiento Rios Vivos, a national grass-roots coalition promoting the protection of rivers and water sources in the South-Pacific of Costa Rica. The program is designed for students from any field or background interested in working in multi-disciplinary teams with an open spirit, curiosity and trust to create resiliency in regions they care about.   Program directors take pride in working closely with individual students to provide them the nurturing and space they need to grow.

Participants will:

  • Examine the relationship between energy, water, and health in a globalized economy increasingly threatened by global warming
  • Study the skills necessary to translate complex science into sound
  • Enhance their Spanish language communication skills
  • Understand the structure and function of the community-level units of the Costa Rican primary health care system, and how this system is preparing for climate change
  • Develop intercultural competence in preparation to live and work in a multicultural society.

Students will earn 6 units fo credit during this four-week program in the following:

RNR 495/595 Climate Justice (6 units)

Note: A wide range of Spanish-language abilities is allowed, with the understanding that those who speak little Spanish may have to try harder and depend on others to help them.


Oscar Beita, a Costa Rican physician and UA faculty member

Madeline Kiser, a Tucson poet and water activist

Supporting Staff

Jiri Spendlingwimmer, a founding member of Movimiento Rios Vivos

UA water professionals and Tucson NGOs will also participate


Longo, Mai

The village of Longo Mai was created on the shared notions of harmonious living, agricultural self-sufficiency, and environmental protection. The soothing sounds of the local rivers and forests are the classrooms where students get to reflect, analyze, learn freely... and make homemade chocolate with locals.  


Students will live with a Costa Rican host family in the community of Longo Mai. Each student will be assigned to live in a home where they will be provided a private bedroom with access to a shared bathroom. Families will provide students with three meals per day as well as laundry service.  Students will be asked to find (and reflect on) small ways to nurture these families each week—cooking a meal, sharing a poem, helping with gardening, and other ways!

Links of Interest

More information the village of Longo Mai, Tucson partners and other Costa Rica partners:

Organizations to Follow

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