July 19th, 2010
The Office of International Academic Programs welcomes intern, Asmaa Abdel-Azim, who is studying Biosystems Engineering at Michigan State University. Her goal while at EARTH is to convert the practices of a local town, El Carmen, to be more sustainable. She will use ideas from her Biosystems Engineering classes and from what she learns through visiting EARTH’s peri-urban farm to create a community garden in El Carmen.
Right now, El Carmen is divided by the north and south sides, which rarely interact. People are even isolated within each neighborhood, since they don’t feel safe enough to leave their houses to visit neighbors. Asmaa believes that by working together in a safe environment to harvest practical crops that they actually will use, the people of El Carmen will share a sense of unity with their neighbors.
Another part of Asmaa’s project is to research the lifestyles of rural Costa Ricans in order to figure out ways to improve their living conditions. While spending time daily with the people of El Carmen, she will ask about their form of income, how they spend their money, what they do on a daily basis, and what they hope for El Carmen in the future.
We are happy to have you here and know that you will succeed in aiding these communities!