LEAD Group 40 | Costa Rica, Colombia & Panama Study & Travel Seminar
January 5-18, 2023
LEAD Group 40 is traveling to Costa Rica, Colombia & Panama to learn about international trade, foreign policy, cross-cultural understanding and geopolitics. Daily email updates regarding the classes travels will be available only during the class.
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Day 13 - Tuesday, January 17
As Nebraska LEAD Class 40 wraps up its International Travel Seminar, the authors of this blog would like to thank each and every one of you for following along with us as we made our ways through Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama. We thoroughly enjoyed our experiences and learned a great deal about international agriculture and explored different cultures.
Nebraska LEAD Class 40 would like to say a special “thank you” to the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council, IANR Vice Chancellor Mike Boehm and the IANR Media team which consisted of Jason Cooper, Tim Svoboda and Becky Aiken. Each one of you played a vital role in the success of the seminar. Additionally, we’re appreciative to all of those who support the Nebraska LEAD Program in various ways. We thank those who made financial contributions, as well as those who share their time and talent in making Nebraska LEAD the best program of its kind. Finally, a special thanks to our friends and family for all of your support through our LEAD journey!
As we close our travels, the authors of this blog would like to take you through each of our top three favorite photos from our international travel experience. We hope you enjoyed following along with us!
Austin, Kurtis, Rachel and Stephanie
This photo was taken as the group toured the historical city of Bogota once we landed in the country. The Plaza de Bolívar is where the core of Colombia’s government is located. This cathedral was constructed in 1539.”
The hike to the bottom of a waterfall in Costa Rica was one of the most memorable experiences of the LEAD 40 seminar. It was a fairly grueling hike after a full day of learning about coffee production within the country. The finale was worth it, however, as the views were spectacular.
During our stay at CATIE in Costa Rica, the group took part in a night hike and wildlife exploration in the botanical gardens. The group had an enjoyable time looking for frogs, snakes, insects and other creatures that only come out during the nighttime hours. I particularly like this photo due to its colors and detail.
Community and culture have pressed indelible symbolism across Latin America. Roman Catholic influence is pervasive from rural mountain communities like Aquieres, Costa Rica (above) to the sprawling cityscapes of Bogota, Colombia and the throughout the barrios of Panamá.
The Hacienda Venecia is a prime example of how the coffee industry of Colombia is transforming to provide not only some of the worlds most premium beans, but also world class Agro-tourism.
The engineers at the Celsius hydroelectric power plant ensure efficient production of power high above the town above Calima in the Andes mountains.
Best dessert of the travel seminar; homemade ice cream topped with blackberries and a wafer straw.
Abe Smith peer pressures Tee Bush into enjoying ice cream after dinner in Costa Rica.
LEAD Ladies piled in for a ride up the hill from the Normando cattle ranch.
International adventures are exciting, but after 13 days on the road, seeing a sea of pumpkin and watermelon plants brought a much appreciated feeling of home.
Seeing the beautiful views at coffee farms, learning about the industry, and the caffeinated conversations held after delicious tasting sessions.
Watching leaf cutter ants on their highways connected us with our inner child and brought joyful smiles to the group in Costa Rica and Colombia.
Previous Day's Entries
Departing Bogota, Colombia on a sunny Sunday morning. The Andes mountains splint into three fingers. As we ascend, the trepidation for the unknown has been replaced with a fondness for the ancient and the new we have experienced across Colombia.
Day-11 is another early travel day on the heals of a late night of travel. Comradery is a critical component of the International Study/Travel Seminar.
LEAD 40 learns about coffee research, extension, and genetic production at CINECAFE.
On Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, Nebraska LEAD 40 fellows visited and stayed at Hacienda Venecia, a working coffee farm and hotel. Hacienda Venecia is located between Salento and Medellín, Colombia.
Nebraska LEAD 40 visited a hydroelectric plant while in Colombia. This site was built in the 1960s and produces about 5% of power for the country.
The midpoint of IS/TS began with an early morning. After three slammed days of culture, industry, and education in Bogota the seminar moved to Cali.
Juan Ramon Giraldo Arciniegas shares the history, philosophy, and management of his family’s Normando cow/calf operation. They graze, milk, and manage a herd of approximately 400 head in the central Colombian highlands where elevations range from 2200 meters to nearly 3000 meters above sea level.
LEAD 40 spent most of the day in meetings following the wet-market tour. Hearing presentations from diplomatic and commodity officials related to efforts to market US products in Colombia and across Latin America.
The schedule shift from Ecuador to Costa Rica served to provide an ideal landing spot to condition our otherwise comfortable selves to Latin America; to cushion the change in language, customs and diet and acclimate the team to better function in unfamiliar territory.
In our final full day in Costa Rica, Nebraska LEAD 40 fellows visited a coffee farm and hiked to the bottom of a waterfall. Additionally, fellows revisited the CATIE Botanical Garden for a nighttime wildlife experience.
Nebraska LEAD Class 40 spent their first full day in Costa Rica visiting the Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE).
Departure day: January 5, 2023. Rendezvous Eppley Airfield OMA 5:00 am. Wheels up 7:05 am. Destination: Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama.