OSU offers CR Summer Programs Enrolling now

Programs will take students to San José-Heredia or Earth University, Guapiles, Monteverde and Playa Grande

Faculty from Oregon State University are leading two groups of college students to Costa Rica this summer.  Both programs will offer opportunities to become immersed the local Tico culture.

The San José-Heredia program is scheduled for June 18-25, 2017.  Students will be organized so as to offer them the opportunity to participate in short-term service projects. The goal is to actively involve the students in service learning that will benefit communities served by an organization called CEDCAS, which is a center for health services and education in San Jose.

The focus of the longer term program, which is scheduled for 2 1/2 weeks in June and July, is the study of agriculture and its underlying sciences.  Contemporary issues, such as the movement towards exports of organic products, the certification processes and the use of GPS technologies in sustainable agriculture will be examined.  The program seeks to prepare students to graduate from OSU with enhanced global awareness and intercultural skills, which are necessary to excel in a globally competitive job market.   For more information, please contact Ron Reuter of OHSU Cascades in Bend at  541-322-3109.


Further information about both programs can also be found through the Office of Global Opportunities office.

Adult Cultural Exchange 2017; Fun in the Sun

Gabriella Ann Maertens, Laurie Benoit and other members of Oregon-Costa Rica Partners of the Americas are traveling on the Adult Cultural Exchange program this February.   So far they have had homestays in the Nicoya peninsula where they have enjoyed the beaches at Samara and Carillo, visited the hot springs near Lake Arenal and taken the ferry over to Puntarenas.

Gabriella has been kind enough to share some of her travel photos below.  It looks like they’re having lots of fun.


Panama Teacher Match: 2017 Summer Program Application Process is open

Although our chapter is matched at the state level with Costa Rica here in Oregon, we like to help as many of the people in South and Central America as we can.  With that spirit in mind, please note that there is a very good opportunity for Oregon teachers to travel to Panama this summer and work directly with Panamanian teachers and students.

As recently as 2015, Panama began to increase the numbers of teachers who are bilingual in its K-12 educational sector.  Rural schools are most acutely in need of sources of bilingual training for teachers. Partners of the Americas has contributed to this effort by sending American English teachers to Panama for five or six weeks during the summer for each of the last two years.  The current 2017 application can be accessed here.  The deadline is approaching quickly.  You must apply by 2/ 1/ 2017.

Since the start of the Panama Bilingue Initiative advanced by President Juan Carlos Varela, Panamanian teachers have increasingly adopted teaching strategies geared toward bilingualism.   If you are an American English teacher, you will be matched with a Panamanian public middle and high school English teacher in an effort to increase their English language capacity and provide you with a valuable professional development opportunity.  Please contact us through info@oregonpartners.net or smcclain@oregonpartners.net for further information.

Fundraiser provides relief funds to Costa Rican Red Cross

Patrons and fans of the Pura Vida Orquestra generously supported the cause of Hurricane Otto Relief on December 18, 2016.  We thank all those who participated and raised more than $400 for La Cruz Roja.   A video of the festivities will be developed in the near future.

Please consider making a donation directly to the Red Cross on behalf of the residents who suffered the loss of homes, jobs, businesses as well as peace of mind.

A Youtube video is presented below with some of the relief and some of damage that occurred in coastal Nicaragua and far Northeastern Costa Rica on November 23rd and 24th, 2016.


Please donate what you can!




HURRICANE OTTO Benefit Concert

Along the Caribbean coastline, residents of Tortuguero and Barra del Colorado were evacuated before the hurricane hit.  As a result of the organized evacuation, no injuries were reported but there was severe damage to homes and their contents.

According to our Costa Rican friends, the inland towns affected by the hurricane are:  Upala, Guayabo de Bagaces and Bijagua. In these locations, many houses were destroyed, and everything was lost.

This Thursday, December 1st, a disaster relief benefit for Costa Rica will be held at El Cubo de Cuba restaurant from 5-8pm.   Live performances will be provided by the bands Tierra Negra and the Pura Vida Orquestra.  All donations will go directly to the Costa Rican Red Cross to provide relief in the above Costa Rican towns.

Please join with us to donate to this project – and at the same time, enjoy fabulous live music in Portland.  The restaurant/bar is located at 3106 SE Hawthorne Blvd.  Saludos….

December 11, 2016 Portland Planning

We’ve set 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, December 11th as our 1st event planning meeting for when the Ticos come to Portland in 2017.  They are tentatively set to arrive at 11:30 a.m. by bus from Astoria/Cannon Beach on Sunday, September 10th, for a 6-7 day stay with families in the Portland/Metro area.  In 2015 there were 5 Tico visitors and in 2016 there were 12 Ticos; as yet, we don’t know how many will be traveling to Oregon in 2017 – but we need to have plans in place to welcome whomever arrives!  In the last week of September, 2016, our scheduled events included:

  • Both a Welcome Brunch and a Farewell Potluck Dinner (both included time for short speeches and presentation of gifts)
  • Tour of Washington Park and Japanese Gardens
  • Free time with hosts for family activities (shopping at Adidas, Nike, etc.)
  • Tour of Multnomah Falls
  • Tour of Downtown Portland, including recognition by City Council
  • Tour of the Railroad Museum
  • Classical music concert at 89.9FM radio station
  • A jet boat tour of the Willamette River bridges
  • A tour of Pittock Mansion and a visit to Elk Cove Winery and the town of Carlton
  • Small gatherings of hosts/Ticos in private homes (music, game night, etc.)

Please bring YOUR creative self and event ideas on December 11th, as we select our 2017 schedule!  We’ll also be looking for day trip leaders, people to identify/schedule overnight hosts, people to help with meal planning and transportation, etc.  There is lots to do!!  And this year we thought we’d make it even more fun by bringing along a wrapped half-dozen cookies to swap (and maybe a few to share at the meeting??!!).

Hope to see you and your ideas (and cookies!) on December 11th!  Saludos…….

Hurricane Otto creates a destructive path, donations requested


Several news organizations are reporting heavy damage in Bagaces and Upala, Costa Rica.  Our hope is that people will donate to reputable disaster relief agencies as reported in the Tico Times below.   Our thoughts and prayers are extended to our Tico familia.

Here’s how you can donate to Hurricane Otto relief in Costa Rica