No matter where we are in the world, we are all connected and share a common responsibility for the future of humanity and our planet. We know that the urgent challenges of our time—poverty, climate change, food insecurity, political instability—require leaders who can develop lasting solutions. In the 1980s a group of visionaries from U.S. Agency for International Development the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and from the academic, political and business sectors of Costa Rica asked themselves: What if these leaders could be developed from within the world’s most vulnerable communities? Twenty-five years after welcoming our first class of students, EARTH University has proven the power and potential of that vision. Education is the key. Today, we find our planet at a turning point, and EARTH’s mission to prepare leaders with ethical values to contribute to sustainable development and construct a prosperous and just society has never been more relevant. As we approach our 25th anniversary we also find our University at a turning point with opportunities to expand our impact so that more young people can develop the values and skills required to forge the path to global prosperity.
They have generated more than 6,500 jobs—that’s nearly four jobs created by each graduate—and have improved working conditions and living standards for thousands more. In the careers they have built, from agriculture to renewable
Your philanthropic support plays a crucial role in cultivating that future. Hereâ€™s why:
1. EARTH is a turning point for our students. For 25 years we have sought out extraordinary youth from disadvantaged communities with an admissions and scholarship program intentionally designed to reach young people who otherwise might never have a chance at a college education. Once they are at EARTH we invest mightily in ensuring the success of each and every student, knowing that by completing their EARTH education they are opening opportunities not just for themselves, but also for their families, their countries, and the countless people they will impact during their lifetime.
impact studies show that nearly 90% return to their home countries. More than 60% work in the private sector, with one in five running a personal or family business, double the U.S. national average of business ownership among college graduates. They have generated more than 6,500 jobs—that’s nearly four jobs created by each graduate—and have improved working conditions and living standards for thousands more. In the careers they have built, from agriculture to renewable energies, they have become responsible stewards of the land and hubs of economic activity in their communities.
2. EARTH is a place that transforms. From the warm “saludo” expressed by the banana train operator to the sheep that maintain the lawns, when you enter EARTH’s campus you know something different is happening here. Often described by visitors as an example of what the world could be, our tropical campus unites people from some 35 countries with diverse cultural, economic and educational backgrounds with a common mission—to effect positive change. Students don’t just study business, they run a real company. They work and live in the rural communities surrounding EARTH’s two campuses. Through these and other experiences both on and off campus, formal and informal, students develop the mindset required to change the course of history.
4. At 25 years old, EARTH is at a turning point. From our increased ability to recruit deserving young men and women from more countries around the globe, to the addition of Master’s programs and the development of our La Flor campus, EARTH is at a pivotal point in its history. We have embarked on a curriculum revision to improve our model, we are digging deeper to better quantify the impact of our alumni, and we are hiring a bright and committed new generation of faculty to lead the future of EARTH. Now is the chance to be an integral part of that future.
3. EARTH graduates are changing the world. Since our first class graduated in 1993, their numbers have grown to more than 1,800 alumni from 29 countries. Our
“I never imagined that Reynaldo would go on to study at a university. For me, it’s a wonder, a miracle,” reflects Marlene Contreras who left her native Colombia for the first time in her life to see her son, Jose Reynaldo, graduate from EARTH. For Marlene, who didn’t have the opportunity to finish elementary school, the difficulties and hard work she and her family faced were worth it when Reynaldo walked across the stage, diploma in hand. “As a mother, I want him to keep moving forward and preparing himself to be an even better and more important man.” Upon graduating, Reynaldo already had a job waiting for him back home in Colombia at the Catatumba Rubber Company, where he also did his third year internship. There he is providing training and support to farmers who have transitioned from coca farming to African oil palm and rubber tree production. He believes that his work will make his region more secure, “If there isn’t any coca, there won’t be any war.”