UT Tyler

Tyler Sister City: Liberia, Costa Rica

UT Tyler Annual Service Learning Program

Purpose

The primary goal of the Costa Rica Service Learning Program is to provide an international service-oriented experience that unites students from the University of Texas at Tyler and Tyler Junior College while strengthening student commitment to community service and international engagement.

Collaborating with Tyler Sister Cities, the program introduces students to Tyler’s sister city of Liberia, Costa Rica, and provides opportunities for students to work together with community leaders on local projects benefiting their primary and secondary schools. Students also engage in service activities organized by Earth University, a non-profit university working to contribute to sustainable development in the tropics, in addition to meeting government officials in Liberia and visiting La Universidad Nacional and La Universidad Técnica Nacional.

Information on the 2017 Costa Rica Service Learning experience is available here

History

UT Tyler and TJC have collaborated on this service learning travel study trip benefiting communities in Liberia, Costa Rica since 2009. Service projects have included:

  • Distributing educational materials to students in PreK-12 schools;
  • Teaching English as a second language;
  • Providing health seminars on first aid and the dangers of tobacco;
  • Building additional classrooms and restroom facilities;
  • Painting school buildings and play ground areas;
  • Creating a soccer field and playground area for primary school students; and
  • Planting trees on school grounds as a part of the community reforestation project.

Student Experiences

Student: Olivia

Major: Masters in Public Administration

Experience: "Traveling to Liberia, Costa Rica was an adventure I will never forget. This was my first trip out of the country and from this trip I gained a new confidence in traveling and meeting new people. Every minute of the trip was planned out perfectly and we were able to experience so much in only ten days. We visited all of the country's beautiful ecosystems from the canopy of the rainforest to the beaches of Playa Flamingo and Playa del Coco. The most rewarding portion was serving local schools and communities in cleaning up a park, painting a playground, and most importantly, spending time with the students. i will be forever grateful for this experience."

UT Tyler