Monday, March 09, 2009

Texas A&M opens center in Costa Rica

Texas A&M has continued its efforts to expand internationally with the completion of the Soltis Research and Education Center in Costa Rica. The facility is designed to provide students with an international experience while protecting the unique ecological environment of the region. It was conceived by Charles W. Soltis, Class of '55, who approached the University with the idea in 2005.

The Soltis family donated 40 acres of rainforest land to build the center, along with 250 acres adjoining the building near the town of San Isidro, Costa Rica. The center will provide students with opportunities for study abroad, internships and community service activities in various fields of study including environmental conservation, education, architecture, engineering and natural sciences.

"Texas A&M University was very hands-on with the Center from the beginning," said Maria Claudia Alves, director for the Office of Latin American Programs. "We coordinated the different aspects of the project, starting from how the building will look to the research collaborations with various Costa Rican universities."

The Soltis Research and Education Center facilities were designed to be modern while staying true to the Center's eco-friendly mission.

"The Center includes state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, and provides bungalows to accommodate up to 60 people," Alves said. "The vision for the Soltis Center was to be ecologically stable while providing up to date education and equipment."

An eco-friendly cafeteria, for example, uses modern techniques to air-condition the room without using machinery that could cause damage to the surrounding natural environment.

The Center will provide programs benefitting the residents of the San Isidro area, including teaching English to local residents and water management.

1 comment:

Sicilian said...

Wow! A&M is not very far from my neck of the woods.
I would love to take a Costa Rica Class at A&M
Ciao

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