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Spring 2018

News

EXPERIMENTAL AFRICAN PALM LABORATORY (LAPA) ENTERS A NEW PHASE

After three years of planting, grafting, maintaining (and revamping following the impact of extreme weather) LAPA’s experimental plantations, we are now actively moving into a new two-pronged phase: i) collecting critical information about the performance of the enriched plantations, compared to the traditional monoculture plantations, and ii) open it as a platform for research and education on the part of interested partners. 

A central objective of LAPA is to examine oil palm productivity in diversified plantations, compared to traditional monocultures, and to place such productivity in the context of the additional benefits of diversified plantations. 

It is well known that oil palm requires plenty of sunlight to maximize production. Therefore, there is no appetite to mix it with other crops. This however, runs the risks typical of monocultures, such as the emergence of devastating pests and diseases—in addition to biodiversity impoverishment. LAPA’s innovation consists of... [read more]

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SELAL: JULY 2018

This July students took advantage of their two weeks of vacation to improve their English, meet local entrepreneurs, and foster a deeper appreciation for their communities during SELAL. It was the third time we ran the program in Uvita and the seventh in Puerto Jiménez. Participants in Uvita are in 9th or 10th grade, while in Puerto Jiménez they are in 10th- 12th grade. Since its inception over 100 students have participated in the program.

Each morning began with an English lesson with a focus on students becoming comfortable speaking while recognizing and accepting the importance of making mistakes. After English, students received lectures and workshops from community leaders and made visits to their businesses. Local coordinators Ericka Sibaja in Uvita and Arlet Quirós Calvo in Puerto Jiménez took the lead on organizing July’s program. In addition to building on January’s SELAL program themes of leadership, teamwork, and other vital skills for entering the work force, July’s programming focused on local conservation efforts and their environmental impacts. Through all of the activities, students ...[read more]

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