Post #8

Favorite guest lecture…

I enjoyed the guest lecture from Sherry A. Mariea on Women’s Rights and Equality. I thought it was interesting learning about the women’s role and everyday life in another country. More statistics were given and very powerful to show the discrimination that has been against women for years. The gender wage gap is 21.4% which hurts women. It sends the message that the work women do is not as valuable as men.


In India, it is dangerous to be pregnant with a baby girl. Not because of the child, but because of the dowries that the family and parents must pay (to the husband’s family) when she grows older and is married. India is a country that is very traditional, and while there are laws against dowries, they are still very common occurrences. Women pregnant with girls are often taken to get a highly illegal and unsafe abortion. It is mainly used by the rich due to the steep prices for the illegal practices. India is already seeing a decrease in women population. It has become increasingly difficult for men to marry due to the shortage of women. Families of the men are now not receiving dowries or anyone to continue the family name. It is very backfiring, because now the women should be in control but they aren’t shown that way. One would think a country with a woman as president would have more respect for women, especially after seeing what great potential they have. This gender discrimination causes 2 million girls to disappear each year, let alone the thousands if not millions of women who aren’t even born. Putting such a financial burden on families is continuing this terrible pattern.


She also talked about the issues of sex trafficking and slavery. The average age of girls who enter sex trafficking are around 12-14 years old. They are often lured by the promise of something as simple as attention or being able to buy nice things. The victims are treated poorly even in the legal system. They don’t hold the actual propitiator accountable in court. The make the women shoulder the blame of all of the terrible things that happened to them instead of the people creating the sex traffic.


I thought it was very interesting and rather odd that Sherry Mariea admitted she wasn’t a feminist. Being a feminist does not mean that one thinks females are better than everyone else. Instead, it asks for females to be treated equal to men. It asks for same pay, removable of glass ceilings, and fair treatment, which was exactly what the lecturer was asking for. There is a bad connotation around the world, which is terrible, because it makes women feel like there are unable to stand up for themselves. If they aren’t able to help themselves, how are they every going to be able to help others who need equality as well?


What I gained from researching Costa Rica…


Costa Rica is a beautiful country; I hope to one day visit. Through my research, I found out a lot more of the average Costa Rican’s life that doesn’t involve giving tours to their billion tourists each year. The average Costa Rican farms, sells handmade goods and fishes. I learned about the deforestation and how many groups are fighting against the major corporations to keep the air fresh, and the forests abundantly green. The natural forests is what makes the visitors flock to Costa Rica. They provide a beautiful paradise with a great climate.


The climate allows for a plentiful farming to provide a majority of the local’s jobs. The country is very self-sufficient with the number of crops it provides and is able to sell to the tourists. This creates a sustainable income. It is also something they must be careful not to take for granted, and take care on their ecosystem to make sure that it will be around and clean for years to come.


I learned a lot about the terrible effects that come along with the tourism industry. An increase in vacation human trafficking with taking or luring victims and finding buyers. Also, the impacts tourism has on the environment. Visitors using airplanes to travel all the way to Costa Rica from various starting points. It causes a big impact on the amount of air pollution. There is also a lot of gas being used to show them the island in helicopters, buses, and cars.


But visiting other countries isn’t all bad. It helps spread the understanding of other cultures, and works to create a more accepting society. Learning other cultures helps to clear up any misunderstandings about other cultures, especially by traveling and being submersed in the culture.




Costa Rica. (n.d.). In Four Seasons. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from


Post #7

Human Trafficking is a common issue being faced in Costa Rica. Mostly it is forced upon the victims to participate in the underground deals. With the tourist population double the native population of Costa Rica, there is a large population that are interested in using or could be potential victims of human trafficking. It is difficult to prove how big of an issue it is due to the difficulty to get adequate data. But hot spots for tourism tend to have higher probability and population that are participating in human trafficking. The graphic below shows how much money the trafficking industry makes and how many lives it affects each year. Even women (42% of recruiters) are helping to recruit new victims everyday. They are luring children into a terrible industry with very few ways of ever getting out safely.

Human Trafficking is the umbrella term for multiple different types of enslavement. There are also multiple reasons for why someone is a part of human trafficking. Some are voluntary because of promises of a better life or a way to make money, people who care and gifts given by the one’s in charge of recruiting. Some victims were just at the wrong place at the wrong time and get kidnapped while enjoying vacation. Human Trafficking has many different branches. Not all victims are used for sex. Some are forced into working jobs with high difficulty of labor for a profit given to the person in charge. Women and young girls are also brought into the country from nearby countries. They are “granted legal status through sham marriages or other means” (Dyer, 2014) in order to stay and “work” in Costa Rica. Most of the girls and women are very young when they start, especially in sex slavery. The average age ranges from 12-14. This is sometimes due to their youthfulness, or perceived safeness with less chance to have any previous sexually transmitted diseases. The urgency for the issue needs to increase.

There has been a large increase of organizations with focuses on preventing human trafficking, especially in low income areas. The increased number of organizations over the past years have been able to help make more noise to help spread awareness especially in the media. Yet, other organizations are still becoming more popular in terms of fundraising and awareness. This may be for many different reasons. One could be the idea of trafficking is sad to think of, so people rather act as if it isn’t occurring. Also some people may not be affected by trafficking, so feel less inclined to donate because they do not understand the complexity and range of it. Countries do not want to promote that it is an issue so they work hard to keep the issue under the rug, so to speak. But by putting the issue out there to the public, each country would be able to help prevent the issue by spreading awareness.

In the article Born Free, Sarah Mendelson explains the issues that many groups have with adding anything about human trafficking into their philanthropies. Even the United Nations Millennial Development Goals (also known as MGDs) had to add it in after 2015. They were called the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and working toward helping stop human trafficking around the world. The new additions were voted and accepted in 2016. Change is being made, but unfortunately much too slow from what is should be.

That’s a lot of negative facts along with a very disheartening issue, so how can we fix the problem? Adding security in areas of common kidnappings. Making sure everyone in every country has a birth certificate so the governments can keep track of everyone and find information about them if they are taken to help track them. This would be a difficult process getting every country to follow along, but for the better good it could really help. Too many people are taken without any records of them having every existed due to numerous different reasons. Also making sure that people feel comfortable reporting any potential issues so they can be investigated, will really help. Also, making sure there is resources for people who are visiting Costa Rica, or any country in fact, to have help finding locations or getting advice on different places to safely visit. Hotels should follow in the steps of the Hilton and Carlson by training their staff to recognize trafficked victims. More money should be spent for each company to educate their employees to know the signs of those who are being trafficked in efforts to stop it in its tracks.


Dyer, Z. 2014. Sex Tourism a Driver for Human Trafficking in Costa Rica, says Foundation. Received on November 3, 2016, from

Mendelson, S. 2014. Born Free: How to Prevent Human Trafficking. PDF. Retrieved on November 1, 2016.

Sex Trafficking Statistics. (n.d.). In Fear in Writing, Fear in Life. Retrieved from

Post #6

NGOs are nongovernment organizations that focus on one main topic and raise money that goes toward combating the causes and helping those in need of help. There is many different types of NGOs such as MANGOs, TANGOs and many others. Each specialize in helping a certain cause. They are only a recognized organization if accepted by the United Nations. Most NGOs receive millions of dollars and get away without any second thought from donors. The donors feel good for using their money to help a great cause and get to write it off on their taxes. Win-win, right? But Linda Polman raises concerns about the truth of some of the NGOs, the level of helpfulness of NGOs during time of war and where the ethical issues that arise from the organizations.

In chapter 3 of Linda Polman’s book, Crisis Caravan, she talks about MANGOs and the financial responsibility of Nongovernment Organizations. She starts her story by explaining how the top executives of various NGOs are at a resort that most of the locals would be unable to get in, let alone afford. The only people of color at the resort were the wait staff.  At dinner, they are all having the most expensive items on the menu. The food is of course all paid for on the NGOs dime, so none of them are concerned when the check comes. When people donate to an organization, they do not want their money going towards a steak dinner for the workers. Instead they want it going towards making a difference in the lives of others, following the message that they heard in the advertisements that trick them into donating. I believe that organizations need to be honest about the portion of funding and where every penny goes to. Some organizations are great at how they responsibly spent the money that was granted and gifted to them. But many “aid organizations are businesses dressed up like Mother Teresa” (p.177). When Linda Polman says this she means that many aim to do well and that helps bring in the donations, but they are really only out there to help themselves more than those needing the money and where the money is supposed to go. Being able to travel on someone else’s dime, eating and not having to pay for the buildings rent because millions of other people are donating money to cover it. But really they are being fooled into paying for greedy peoples’ things.

She also goes on to question if NGO’s actually help in times of conflict or prolongs wars. While it is great having people so selfless that they are willing to put themselves on dangerous territory to save many lives, they may also be putting many lives in danger by doing so. They stitch people up from both sides so they can get back out on the battle field and injure, if not kill, more people on the other side. This keeps the war going because people who are injured are able to get back out there, when they should be sitting out and healing. It is great that organizations like the Red Cross can be so neutral that they can help both sides, they are also helping oppress the already oppressed side by helping the people doing the oppressing. It is important to remember both sides are human, and in time of need many would want to help those no matter their background. It is a great feature of humanity and caring for every life. But in the circumstance when they are going to pick up their gun after getting healed, is it the right thing to do? If they would stay out of the crossfire once they got injured, the answer would always be yes. But since they are going back to harm others instead of help, it complicates the situation.

There are many overall ethical issues that arise from the conflicts that NGOs try to help and also cause. Should they be able to help both sides of a war? Should the money from donors be able to go towards their personal expenses? Would it be acceptable if the donor was knowledge about where their money went and was spent on? Who has the power to make these rules followed and keep NGOs in check? There are many questions that the topics of NGOs bring up and unfortunately most are in grey areas of what is right and wrong. I believe that organizations need to have an overseeing body that they must report their financial spending reports to. They will keep them honest. They should also have to reapply every few years. If their reports are poor in previous years, they have time to fix it before their application is reviewed. The goal is to keep the money going to the places it is supposed to. Unfortunately, people need supervision to make sure that happens.


Polman, L. (2003). Crisis Caravan. London: Viking

Post #5

Climate change is effecting many of the social norms we are used to. It can completely change a culture and the way their heritage is passed down generation after generation.


Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey knew someone who predicted that the world would be in trouble when the group would forget who they were and the details of their culture. Stories would help them remember who they are, but the stories run the risk of not lasting for multiple generations. They are afraid to lose who they are, by getting swept up in the modern world and losing their unique culture.


People are losing the fertile growing lands that provide them to be self-sufficient due to climate change. They have two options. They have to buy seeds from major corporations, or move to find better land. There is already minimal amount of prime farming land and almost all is currently used. The fertilizing products can be helpful in the short run, but terrible in the overall scheme. The products have many harmful side effects when it rinses out and gets into large bodies of water. Spreading plants all over where they shouldn’t be, fighting native plants off and over fertilizing and ruining soil.


The fertilizers are also filled with large amounts of harmful chemicals that make living in the farming areas dangerous. Expensive gear needs to be worn in order to not breathe in the chemicals. Adding on to the already large expense already faced (The True Cost, 2015).


Buying seeds can cause many troubles for the farmers. With the prices for seeds being extremely high, small farmers are having a difficult time keeping up with the payments to the major companies. The companies also have many loopholes of not being able to use the offspring the plants provide. Many farmers all over the world have been struggling to make ends meet with the increase in demand, the increase in prices and constant amount of farming land.


Deforestation is one of the biggest, most pressing issues of Costa Rica. Laws have been “too lenient on land that is not deemed national territory, and recent amendments to forestry laws makes it easier to obtain logging permits” (Deforestation, 2016). Deforestation can cause issues with flooding, land erosion, loss of wildlife and a change in the aesthetic of the overall land. Destroying millions of trees takes away from the diverse animal population that is so unique to Costa Rica. It takes away their homes, shelter and food sources.


Many company owned plantations were once multiple smaller plantations that were forced out of their land. While visiting Puerto Rico, I heard of governments increasing the price needed to pay and the interest rates, bankrupting the poor small plantation owners so they are forced to sell the land from .10 to .50 cents on the $1. While this didn’t happen in Costa Rica per say, it is a very common occurrence and practiced by many with greed around the world.


In Farish Noor’s, Beyond Eurocentrism, he brings up the points that many cultures are connected today than ever before. While there are many positives of having a better connected world that specializes in different products and trade is a great option, it also causes many issues and creates tension. The comparison of standards of living and human rights have caused some blurred lines of how far should you go to “help” other counties create the same type of standard as the United States has.


The United States have a way of increasing the spread of the ideas, technology and especially language to other countries all over the world. We need to be careful to not think that the Western ideas are the best ideas in comparison to other countries and cultures. When a nation imposes their cultures and values on another, it is hypocritical and a form of “culture domination” that should not be allowed. I do think that if a nation’s people are being suppressed and are asking for help, then help should be given. Cultures should be there to offer opinions, but only when it is asked for. Eurocentrism is when others view the world around them, from the perspective of their own culture, and viewing everything else inferior. Cultures need to figure out how to work together simultaneously while having different values and views.


Farish Noor wants people to go beyond eurocentrism. This means they see the viewpoint of another culture from that cultures viewpoint. It isn’t enough to compare, but it is needed to fully understand the culture, especially the differences before trying to implement change. This will help bring understanding and calm the kayos that is occurring so often it seems quite normal in this day and age. Climate change has been affecting many things, and has a large impact on human and environmental issues.



Deforestation. (2016). Retrieved October 6, 2016, from

Ross, M. (Producer), Siegle, L. (Executive Producer), Firth, L. (Executive Producer) & Morgan, A.

(Director). (2015). The True Cost [Motion Picture]. North America: Untold Creative, LLC.

Post #4

Image resultEveryone has a responsibility and moral obligation to take care of the beautiful planet we live on. There is no back up location we can go, if/once Earth becomes an unlivable environment. We need to set aside any current issue, to focus on fixing this problem. It is more crucial than anything else, because it decides the fate of our future and if we even have a future. This is because if we don’t have land or fresh water, the entire human race will quickly dwindle if not diminish. People are losing their homes and land already because of the increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and floods.

But too many people, powerful people, are not doing anything to help. They are choosing current profits over the lives of future generations. We have the technology and the ability to stop using coal mines and transfer to a renewable source such as wind mills and nuclear plants. The government is not allowing the transfer to occur, due to the large amount of money it would take to exchange the machines and the jobs it would take away. While those are both negative factors, it is worth it if we are able to have longer healthier lives. Especially because most American’s have no idea that a cleaner technology is available to use! So they naïvely follow, not looking for changes that could and should be made because they don’t know that they are options. If they do know they options, they most likely do not have the opportunity to voice their opinions, on a large enough platform to be heard by many.

Other countries are already dealing with the negative effects, but we are privileged to stay in oblivion of what other countries are actually dealing with. We simply send disaster care and money their way, hoping it will make it up. But it won’t. The issues will continue to rise until action is finally taken. Unfortunately, it will most likely be too late. The golden time to react would have been at least ten years ago. It is better to start making the changes now, rather than later. If no changes are made now, it will be too late to make a difference for the future. There comes a point that no matter how much you try to fix, if it was already damaged, you cannot undo all the wrongs of the past.
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Costa Rica is not involved with, but they have many nonprofit organizations that are keeping a watchful eye on the land and environment, while educating others on how important it is to maintain the parks and the land. One is called Osa Conservation. They specifically focus on the Osa Peninsula because it “harbors 2.5% of the biodiversity of the entire planet in less than a thousandth of a percent of its total surface area” (Osa). That is a major amount of wildlife, and nature in such a small amount of space. It is held very near and dear to Costa Rica, as it should be. There is also SINAC which stands for National System of Conservation Areas committed to building a healthy environment and ecologically balanced. There is also OTS which stands for Organization for Tropical Studies. They are focused on researching the “responsible use of natural resources in the tropics” (OTS). They also have educational study abroad programs to educate the upcoming generations to keep them informed and leaders in the upcoming future years. OTS has multiple chapters for different countries in the tropical counties. Fundacion Keto conserved the marine and coastal resources and make sure any tourism is done in the most conservative ways without ruining or polluting the habitats of many rare wildlife. The Monteverde Conservation League is a very well-known organization in Costa Rica, working for reforestation, research, protection, monitoring, and sustainable development. They recently have formed the “largest private reserve in Costa Rica: The Children’s Eternal Rainforest” protecting the rainforest forever. Allowing generations after generations to be able to view, learn and continue to protect. They hope that this will spark interest in children to get jobs in the environmental industry, or if they pursue other industries, to keep nature in mind as they battle ethical decisions.

Costa Rica has many other amazing organizations who are working to fix and protect the land. They are a very environmentally focused country which brings me a lot of joy. It gives me hope that many more will follow in their footsteps. The people of these organizations work should not be over looked because of its deep importance to our future. They deserve more funding and credit for their hard work and great progress. It is crucial for these groups to be formed and have dedicated members, to keep the beautiful and natural land safe from greedy and ruthless people.


About Us. (2016). Retrieved September 28, 2016, from

Our Projects. (2016). Retrieved September 28, 2016, from

Toucan [Photograph found in Costa Rica]. (n.d.). In Costa Rica. Retrieved November 29,
Waterfall [Photograph found in Costa Rica]. (n.d.). In Thinking About Moving to Costa Rica? 5 Questions and Answers You Need to Know!. Retrieved November 29,
2016, from

Post #3


Nationalism is when one country is very proud of its own accomplishments and highly patriotic towards their beliefs and culture. The country believes it is superior to the other countries. There are a few extreme cases of nationalism. Zakaria is worried about the rise of Nationalism, due to the increased difficulty to come to a harmonious agreement. By everyone being stubborn in their ways, changing to please others would not be an easy feat. The challenge is “to stop the forces of global growth from turning into forces of global disorder and disintegration” (Zakaria, 34). By becoming so confident and not looking to others for opinions, the time to make crucial decisions will become too long and difficult of a process.

Costa Rica has only 3% of its country’s people living as immigrants in another country. Most Costa Ricans, or Ticos, tend to stay in the country instead of emigrating. A large portion of the population is immigrants (10% to be exact) from Nicaragua, Columbia, United States and El Salvador. They come over looking for the growth in jobs that neighboring countries do not seem to have. The jobs tend to be in low paying tourist jobs, but that is better than the “huge Manila garbage dump known as Smokey Mountain” in the example from Anne Tyler. The Mountain symbolized the poverty in many surrounding areas, and how the poor would gather from the piles of rubbish to find anything to help them survive the next day. Costa Rica offers them a better opportunity, even if it is at a low hour per wage ratio. It is a whole lot better than the alternative of having nothing.

There are 8 major indigenous ethnic groups of Costa Rica making up only 2% of the population. This caused a lot of issues with the indigenous tribes of Costa Rica, because the other percentage of the Costa Rican population keep taking more and more land that was not theirs.  It wasn’t until 1977, when the Indigenous Law creates preserves to allow native Ticos to preserve their land. In 1994, the indigenous people were given the right to vote. There is not harmony yet with the natives and nonnatives, but steps are slowly being made to make it right.

Conflict on what is right is blurred for the two opposing groups. While there seems to be calm waters currently, that could easily change at any moment.


When it comes to inequality, Costa Rica has a lot to learn and improve on. In 2014, “the top 10 percent of Costa Ricans make 24.8 times as much as the poorest 10 percent” (Dyer).  Wealth inequality has been increasing ever since 1994, at a very rapid pace. Even with Costa Rica’s 44 public programs to help those in poverty, it is not getting any better.



On top of that, the government has placed tariffs on goods such as rice and bread. These are basic food items that the poor eat for a staple meal. This makes eating into a luxury that most are not unable to afford. Families are going to have a majority of their income going to overpriced staple products and few other products. Since they are basic products, the purchases will still be made, but there is a cost. Fewer products will be purchased along with the staples, lowering the turnover rate for many products.

This is because they focus to work on economy sectors such as tourism and exports instead of agriculture like it used to in the past. Not saying that agriculture is not worked on at all, because that is not true, but it is a smaller percent of the overview.

More talk has been about what is causing the drastic changes in the groups. Many believe it is due to the widening gap between those who are skilled and educated from those who are not. While skilled jobs have seen an increase, the unskilled jobs have not. Now according to Estado de la Nación, 60% of the labor force has not completed high school. And unfortunately, most of the new jobs being created are going to require having knowledge of certain learned skills.

Action has been in the talks about fixing this rapidly growing issue. The 2014 election was seen as very important to combat inequality. It was difficult for politicians to decide what the best step to take was due to the increasing growth at the same time as the divide between the classes increased. But even with the new changes, progress will take lots of time to see positive results. A time Costa Rica is eagerly waiting for.


Hidaglo, J. C. (2014). Growth without Poverty Reduction: The Case of Costa Rica. Retrieved September 18, 2016, from

Tyler, A. (1985). The Accidental Tourist. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Zakaria, F. (2011). The Post-American World: Release 2.0. New York: W.W. Norton.


Post #2

Post #2

Costa Rica’s state language is Spanish. It is very similar to the Spanish spoken in Spain but with a different accent and few different phrases. They have a strong Catholic influence on certain sayings that are commonly used. English is also spoken in Costa Rica due to the high population of tourists visiting every year. Most of the English speakers are descendants of Jamaica on the Caribbean side of the country. Around 10% of the country speaks it to keep up with the visitors. Along with English, French, Eastern Yiddish, and Portuguese is spoken. Another dialect is called Patua which is a combination of English, Spanish and French. Having so many different languages together makes it understandable for them to slightly overlap and have a mix of the languages.


In Costa Rica, there are several indigenous languages with only a few speakers left. For example, Boruca Indians only have a few of the elders left who speak Boruca fluently. Guatuso, Terible and Cabecar Indians have 500, 2,000, and 4,000 speakers respectively. The less “endangered” languages for Costa Rica are Bribri and Dorasque Indians with 10,000 speaking members each. These languages could potentially disappear, some more quicker than others. Each language holds deep roots for the culture of each group, and to lose a part of it would be devastating. While the languages can now be recorded to the internet, they still run the chance of being forgotten forever without native speakers keeping the language alive. But having multiple languages can also cause problems with communication and create divides between the cultures. It is difficult to trade or work together without having one language to communicate to each other with. But different organizations around the world are put in place to help create alliances and work with different countries to promote trade and financial support.


Costa Rica is a part of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organizations. The requirements for United Nations are as followed: “Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations. The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.” (Article 4, Chapter 2, United Nations Charter). Costa Rica was accepted to the United Nations on November 2, 1945. They have recently renewed their support, especially in the contribution to help promote human rights. Ms. Miranda, President of Costa Rica in 2010, spoke about how help was still needed all around the world. She wanted women to have equal rights, and to stop the wars happening all around the world. Luis Rivera, the President of Costa Rica in 2015, prepared a similar speech but focused on his Humanitarian Pledge. The Humanitarian Pledge which calls for weapons of mass destruction to be on probation and nuclear weapons to be on the same foot as other countries. He called for faster action by the Security Council, and for women to be truly considered for those top leadership roles.

Costa Rica also joined International Monetary Fund a few months after imfbeing first accepted into the United Nations. They joined on January 8th, 1946. Today there is 189 member countries working together to secure financial security around the world. The International Monetary Fund logo is put together with a shield, globe and olive branch. The shield symbolizes the secure financial stability of the member countries. The olive branch is for high employment and sustainable economic growth. The two sides of the globe are for all of the 189 countries who work together to make everything smoothly in the organization.

More recently, Costa Rica joined the World Trade Organization on January 1st, 1995. Being in these major world organizations help them with potential allies, financial safety, help with trade and much more. World Trade Organization helps make trade fair between different countries. Trade helps the global economy and other countries lack certain products or natural resources so this helps to everyone in the long run.