Laureate Costa Rica Employees Clean Up Their Rails and Connect to Their Community

The Universidad Latina’s (ULatina) two campuses in San José, Costa Rica both sit directly on the city’s rail system, separated by many kilometers but connected by the same train. In mid-October as part of Laureate’s 2016 Global Days of Service, more than 300 employees of ULatina and the Universidad Americana (UAM) in Costa Rica came together to do a clean-up of these tracks, providing a much-needed service to the community and ultimately, cleaning up the railway that connects them all.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to come together for a common goal: to provide a positive impact on the community,” said Lourdes Brizuela, Director of University Extension and Social Responsibility at ULatina. “In the spirit of being Here for Good, we wanted to show the kind of collective impact we can have through the efforts of our employees.”

In just three hours of work, the group was able to collect more than 150 kilograms of recyclable waste and 100 kilograms of standard waste. The initiative started with a workshop to educate participants on how to correctly recycle different materials, both during this project and in their daily lives. After collection of the recyclable materials, they were sold in order to be properly disposed of and recycled, and the profits from these sales were donated to Sueña en Colores (Dream in Color), a Costa Rican non-profit that offers psychological support to vulnerable youth.

“This was a very rewarding experience that gave us the chance to play a small part in raising awareness about the issue of waste in our city,” said Giovanni Gutiérrez de la O, Academic Vice-rector at ULatina. “And of course, the camaraderie and teamwork that this took was great to see.”

ULatina and UAM students, faculty and staff play an active role in their communities, giving over 1.6 million hours a year in service, and engaging in activities that have benefitted more than 260 community organizations to date.