WHAT WE DO
Tucked in the botanical garden of the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) campus also known as CATIE. We are more broadly located in the city of Turrialba, in the Central Valley of Costa Rica.
CATIE is Latin America’s oldest graduate school, founded in 1942. From its founding it has been dedicated to tropical agriculture research as well as the management, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. Its members include Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela, alongside the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the State of Acre in Brazil.
Known as Casa Sostenible (Sustainability House), this magical spot is run by Professor Eliécer Vargas who is the coordinator of the Maestría Internacional en Turismo Sostenible (Masters of Sustainable Tourism). Professor Vargas operates the space for both local and global learning, hosting students every year from University of Texas in the sustainable tourism program (MIST) as well as local high-school students and many more. Every Thursday the house is also transformed into a working space for a local women’s collective which has been formed as a 5-year pilot project to encourage the maintenance and growth of localized eco-tourist businesses.
Casa Sostenible itself - is a symbol of sustainability - having avoided countless demolition attempts - it is the oldest building on CATIE’s campus. It is a space for people to come and garden, explore thousands of plants, learn how to make compost, or how to operate an aquaponic systems. Its also the best place to have your morning coffee and catch an afternoon nap in the hammock!