College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Landscape Architecture

¡Pura vida! LARC student spends summer in Costa Rica

LARC- Costa Rica: Sustainable Futures

"Working directly with the community through charrettes and site
visits taught us much about the client’s needs and values."

"Living in the Cloud Forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica for about three months this past summer has changed my definition of sustainability in countless ways. As a landscape architect living and learning in Central America, I was fully emerged in the culture, language, and built environment of the Ticos. Other than traveling around the beautiful and diverse country of Costa Rica and eating a lot of Gallopinto (rice and beans), I was there to work in a community based design studio at the Monteverde Institute. The students involved in this program were 2 landscape architects from the University of Maryland, and 5 architecture students from the University at Buffalo. Our scope of work while abroad dealt with water systems, water management, and water consumption, including rain, grey, black, and stormwater. We worked with Costa Rica’s National AYA Aqueduct Company on 2 projects, including living wall designs for the region’s water storage tanks and a new sustainable single family home which will serve as a model of sustainable stewardship for the surrounding area once built. We also worked heavily on a campus master plan specializing in water systems and campus identity for The International Cloud Forest School (Centro de Educación Creativa) in Monteverde, CR. Working directly with the community through charrettes and site visits taught us much about the client’s needs and values as well as sustainable construction techniques used in Costa Rica. We were fortunate to have clients who were so open minded and excited about innovative and sustainable design ideas.

I simply fell in love with Costa Rica’s people, culture, futbol, food, and landscapes and am waiting anxiously to go back soon!  

¡Pura Vida!"

-Dorsa Afsharjavan, 4th year BLA student

Interested in going with Landscape Architecture to Costa Rica?

You can find more information on the Education Abroad Office website. Learn more about Costa Rica: Sustainable Futures!

Read other students' experiences too: Ryan Brown (New Zealand) | Julia Yu (Italy)

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