ICADS and Northwestern University promote the Community Based Research Fellows Program (CBR)

ICADS30th Anniversary, Communities, Conservation, Costa Rica, Culture, Development, Education, Environment, Family planning, Health care system, Internship, Justice, Language, Latin America, Nature, Pollution, Research, rivers, Spanish, Study Abroad, Sustainability, Teenagers


The summer, about to come to an end, brought to ICADS many friends, including students and teachers from different American universities.

Together with Northwestern University’s Buffet Institute for Global Studies, ICADS hosted a cohort of the Community Based Research Fellows Program (CBR).  Through this partnership, we received three students, Natalie, Bethany and Sam, who developed a 9-week community-driven research project in the field.  Their projects were helpful not only to develop their own skills as researchers, but also for the Costa Rican communities with which they interacted.

Bethany’s presentation for the community

Natalie did her research at the September 15th Primary School, just to the south of San José.  She looked at student absence and its relationship with violence, both in the school and in the community.  Nathalie conducted interviews with students, mothers, school staff, and community members.

Nathalie’s poster about the education system in Costa Rica

Bethany went to Longo Mai community in the south of Costa Rica. With qualitative and quantitative methodologies, she quantified the health of some local rivers measuring aspects such as turbidity, PH levels, oxidation-reduction potential, conductivity, total dissolved solids, phosphates, and nitrates, and also interviewed community members regarding their perceptions of contamination caused by many pineapple plantations in the area.

Bethany’s research was conducted in partnership with The Earth School, which will share her results with the rest of the community.

Bethany presents her research results at ICADS

Finally, Sam investigated adolescent pregnancy in the canton of Upala in partnership with CENDEROS, an organization for the rights of migrants in Costa Rica. Upala, in the north of the country, is right on the border with Nicaragua, and has high adolescent pregnancy rates. Sam studied variables such as access to contraceptives and sex education, gender relations, and other factors that could influence those results.

Sam’s research was very useful for the community of Upala, and they hope to share his results with local youth groups.  One group hopes to start a drama club that would present issues such as teenage pregnancy to young people in a creative way.

Sam presents his research results at ICADS

At ICADS, we are honored to receive students like Nathalie, Bethany and Sam.  Their work has linked Costa Rican and American communities, and highlights local challenges we must face.

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