The World Food Prize Foundation

Costa Rica - EARTH University

EARTH University

The EARTH University in Limón, Costa Rica has hosted six high school interns since 2012.

Established in 1986, EARTH is preparing young people from Latin America, the Caribbean and other regions, including Africa and Asia, to contribute to the sustainable development of the tropics and to construct a prosperous and just society.

EARTH has extensive experience searching for innovative solutions to challenges in sustainable agriculture, environmental conservation and natural resource management.

Interns at EARTH University work alongside renowned international researchers and experts - like Dr. José Moro-Mendez, Dr. B.K. Singh, Nico Evers, Sofía Montero Vargas, Fabián Campos, Luis Carazo, Dr. Jorge Arce, Raul Botero, in the fields and villages near Limón and La Florita.

The students also have the opportunity to travel around Costa Rica with their host families and colleagues to see areas like the Talamanca region in the South Caribbean. As well, they might have the chance to carry out research and other activities related to critical environmental issues in certain indigenous Costa Rican communities that are conserving their local heritage and culture.

Images licensed by CC-BY-SA and GFDL (courtesy: )

Travel Information for Costa Rica

Suggested Travel Link 

Visa required: Tourist Visa Required if staying longer than 90 days. You must present return ticket if staying less than 90 days.

Passport: Required

Travelers Heath & Vaccinations: Visit the CDC website at

Embassies & Consulates Contact:

  • U.S. embassy San Jose - Calle 98 Via 104 pavas San Jose, Costa Rica

Telephone: +(506) 2519-2000

Emergency:+(506) 2220-3127

Geography: Refer back to "International Internship Sites"

Cellular apps (highly suggested to download prior to departure): US Embassy. Airlines the intern will be traveling through. Whatsapp.


Who will pick me up at the airport? Where exactly should I meet this person? Who would I contact and at what phone number if my flight is behind schedule and extremely late in arriving? 

A car and driver from the site will pick you up at the airport. 

What is the weather usually like during the period June through August?

EARTH is located near the rain forest, with year-round rainfall and minimal temperature variations.  Expect hot and humid conditions with average temperatures between 70°F and 90°F year-round.  Weather can change in an instant, and torrential downpours can come out of nowhere.  Bring an umbrella and a light-weight rain jacket or poncho and always carry them with you

Describe the range of attire required during the internship:

When you’re on campus, shorts, t-shirts, and sandals are acceptable.  Please note that mosquitoes and noseeums can be brutal in the fields—long pants and light-weight long-sleeve shirts are a must for field work (they’ll also keep you from getting sunburn).   Bring one sweatshirt, but you won’t need it very often except if you visit the volcanoes and mountains. 

Will there be a need for more formal clothing?

There will be no need for formal clothing.

Dorm-Style housing? Home-hosting with a family?

Dorm-style housing.

Individual or common bathrooms?

Common bathrooms.

Laundry facilities?

The laundry rooms are staffed by University employees during the mornings. 

You can do your laundry in the evenings or weekends.

Are towels and bedding provided?

No. You will need to bring your own.

Will I need an electrical adapter for my small appliances?

Costa Rica uses U.S. style standard voltage with the same style of plugs.  All standard U.S. electrical appliances work in Costa Rica without adapters.  That having been said, students are advised to use surge protectors when using ALL sensitive electronic equipment. You may want to purchase surge protectors in the U.S.

Where are meals taken? 

Meals are taken at the Cafeteria on Campus. The cafeteria offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and many of the meats, fruits, vegetables and dairy products on the menu are sustainably grown on EARTH University’s academic farms.  At breakfast, options include: gallo pinto (rice and beans mixed together), oatmeal, cereal, fresh fruit, yogurt and bread.  At lunch, which in Latin America is the largest meal of the day, options include: a side salad, two choices of meat or a vegetarian main course, rice, beans, vegetables, bread and fruit or dessert.  Dinner is similar to lunch with the exception that soup is offered and there is an option of a fruit plate.  Coffee, water, milk and fresh fruit juices and vegetarian options are available at every meal service.  


Monday to Saturday

Sunday and Holidays


5:30am - 7:30am

8:00am - 9:00am


11:00am - 1:00pm

12:00pm - 1:00pm


5:30pm - 7:00pm

5:00pm - 7:00pm

Will there be other high school or college students living and working there this summer?

Yes, there will be other students living and working on campus.

Is it advisable for me to bring a laptop computer with me? 

Yes. It is advisable to bring your laptop, as it will provide more independence to work on your projects.  But you will also have access to EARTH Computer Labs

Will I have access to a work computer?

There are three computer labs with high-speed internet. With access to Windows Office, skype or MSN messenger.  Wireless internet access is available almost everywhere in many points on the EARTH campus. 

Will I have Internet access at work? And in my living quarters?

The University provides free wireless internet at many points throughout the campus

Will I receive an orientation to local customs, where I should and should not go, wise safety practice for the area, etc.?  Would such guidance/mentoring throughout the summer come from a person other than my direct project supervisor?  If so, who is the person and how do I contact her/him?

Yes, you will receive orientation material and guidance from the International Academic Relations Office staff during the whole time of your internship.

Is the workweek Monday through Friday?  The typical workday consists of how many hours?

Yes, from Monday through Friday. The workday consists of 6 – 8 hours.  

What churches are available in the area of the research center?

There are churches available in the area.  This will be explained during orientation.

How can I access currency?  (Is there a bank near the center?)

There is a full-service bank on campus: BAC San José, which is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturdays from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. 

There is also a cash machine –ATM - opened 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Is it possible to know who will be my Supervisor?

Information on your Supervisor and summer project will be provided in due time.

In case of a medical need or emergency, is there a clinic or medical facility near the place I will be working?

EARTH’s health clinic offers an on-site doctor, nurse and a team of paramedics.  Non-emergency medical appointments can be scheduled Monday-Saturday by dialing ext. 4301.  For emergencies, dial ext. 1911.  Cases are evaluated and treated by the medical team or triaged to off-campus medical facilities.  Sofia Montero will provide full assistance in this regard.

What are the address and the phone number where I will live this summer? 

EARTH University

Mercedes de Guácimo


Costa Rica



Note: We encourage you to read and frequently visit both our website and Facebook sites, which will help you integrate right now and learn from our institution.

Will I have a workspace or desk where I can work or study?

Most of your activities (work plan) will be carried out in the field, at EARTH’s academic farms. When in need of workspace you will enjoy working at our Library or at the Office of International Academic Relations. Also, you will find and enjoy working at other specific areas where you will also have the chance to meet and share with EARTH students.

© 2024 The World Food Prize Foundation. All Rights Reserved.