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
  • Yes
  • 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 taking place everywhere, this program—which takes place in Tucson and in Costa Rica and is taught by climate justice leaders, water-, food- and energy experts, and local economy visionaries--focuses on how personal and community resiliency are created in a time of climate change, with compassion.   The program has three parts: 1) an overview of the personal and community character traits and skills necessary to bring about the cross-sector movement building, or resiliency work, taking shape around the world as the climate quickly shifts; 2) a review of the rapidly changing documentation—scientific, academic, artistic, testimonial--about this movement; 3) personal stories about the lived experience of building these movements from powerful leaders, many of them young.  Students will spend their days in a combination of community-based work (planting trees and gardens, installing water systems, gathering data about rivers), site visits, class discussion, and time by rivers to sit, meditate, and reflect.


Tentative 2018 dates: Tucson training on May 18, depart for Costa Rica May 21, return June 20. 

Costa Rica Climate Justice Program is a collaboration among the UA Arizona Center of Hispanic Excellence, 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 cross cultural competencies in preparation to live and work in a multicultural society.

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.

Undergraduate and graduate students will receive 6 upper-division credit units (RNR 495/595) for completing this four-week intense summer program.


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!


The program will be led by Oscar Beita, a Costa Rican physician and UA faculty member, and Madeline Kiser, a Tucson poet and water activist, with the support of Jiri Spendlingwimmer, a founding member of Movimiento Rios Vivos.  UA water professionals and Tucson NGOs will also participate. 

Links of Interest

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

Longo Mai

Rio Vivos Movement Facebook

Socio-ambientales Facebook

Video about Longo Mai

Another video about Longo Mai


<< Return to Search Results