July 7th, 2010
Ashley, of the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, came to EARTH to help professors and students better understand the context and effects of rural underdevelopment in Costa Rica. She is exploring how to promote micro-enterprises and entrepreneurship and to learn about rural producers and markets with Professor Julieta Mazzola and Audy Vargas, of the Community Development Program (PDC).
So far, she has been working with a producer of coconut fiber, an association of farmers marketing an eco-agro-tourism business in Las Delicias, and the Asociación de Las Mujeres of La Florita, to find out what exactly each potential business needs and how to execute their goals.
She also will be studying the overall theory of sustainable agricultural development in rural communities and conducting personal interviews, in order to better engage with these micro businesses.