Costa Rica & Nicaragua: May 2015

The Passion and Art of Futbol

Soccer, or futbol, is a gateway for connecting people from diverse backgrounds. It serves as a lens for discerning cultural identity, appreciating difference, and growing from intercultural sharing. This cross-cultural seminar invites students to experience the passion and art of futbol while learning from the people of Costa Rica and Nicaragua. We will attend a professional soccer match and play formal matches against local club and professional reserve teams. We will also play “friendly matches” and direct clinics for local youth using soccer, beach, and street soccer as a medium for reaching out to our host communities. We will enjoy lasting relationships formed through sport.

Students will participate in many aspects of contemporary Central American culture. We will tour a coffee farm, volcanoes, rainforest, and engage in service projects to explore social justice, environmental issues, and sustainability efforts. We will compare and contrast the different cultures and influences of Nicaragua and Costa Rica as we engage with families, churches, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), and serve in outreach. In Costa Rica we will explore various regions from the capital city (San Jose), to the rural highlands, the Caribbean coast, and the Osa Peninsula (on the Pacific). In Nicaragua we will stay in Managua and relate directly with the Santa Rosa congregation and MCC workers, and tour the cities of both Grenada and Masaya. We will bring this learning back to the local community in Harrisonburg to continue thoughtful reflection and analysis of cultural contexts.

Estimated Cost: $3900 (subject to change)
Seminar Leader Roger Mast, Physical Ed. & Recreation Dept.
Dates: April 30 – May 21, 2015
Course: CCSSC 201 Cross-cultural Social Science (3 SH)


Malaria risk in Costa Rica: Limon province, but not in Limon city (Puerto Limon). Rare cases in Puntarenas, Alajuela, Guanacaste, and Heredia provinces.
Malaria risk in Nicaragua: low. Present in districts of Chinandega, Leon, Managua, Matagalpa, Región Autónoma Atlántico Norte (RAAN), and Región Autónoma Atlántico Sur (RAAS). Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, chloroquine, doxycycline, mefloquine, or primaquine.

Immunizations and prescriptions may be obtained at the EMU Health Center by appointment.
Immunizations may also be obtained from your local health department or primary care provider.