The First Costa Rica Night Fair


Outreach is an important part of the Costa Rica Program and one of the ways we share our learning with the campus community is through a collaboration with UCI Dining & Hospitality. This year that collaboration led to our first ever Costa Rica Night Fair and small lunch promotion.

Midday Event

A student poses with his ivy right after he finished adding soil to his potted plant.
A student poses with his ivy right after he finished adding soil to his potted plant.

We set up a scaled down version of the evening’s DIY booth along a busy pathway, during the lunchtime rush, to encourage students to come to our Night Fair. At this time students were given information about the program and were encouraged to plant water-friendly ivy. We aimed to show that beautiful fauna doesn’t have to be water intensive and that anyone can easily make a difference during our state’s drought. Students were encouraged to make a small pledge and attach it to their plant as a visual reminder of their commitment.

The Night Fair Proper

The event included UCI student groups such as Theta Psi (our nation’s first co-ed professional sustainability fraternity), Power Save, Climatepedia, and several others, along with vendors that focus on fair trade. Some of these include EcoGrounds Coffee, Endangered Species Chocolate, and Mamma Chia. We were also fortunate enough to connect with the Irvine Outdoor Education Center, with whom we had stayed for our retreat at the beginning of this year’s program. A representative came out to teach students about composting.


Junior Stacey Morales pledges to travel the world.
Junior Stacey Morales pledges to travel the world.

One of the highlights of the event was our DIY station where students had the opportunity to learn about succulents, make a pledge to become more environmentally friendly, and were able to plant their very own to take home. Over 500 plants were planted that day!

Our Night Fair committee also created a photo booth station to encourage students to make some difference in the world. They were prompted to pledge something, it didn’t matter what that something was as long as it made a positive difference in the world we all share.

Last, but not least, students who entered Pippin Commons for dinner that evening were given the rare opportunity to try a spin on a classic Costa Rican Dish—the Casado. This was also an opportunity for our participants to relive the experience one last time.

Keep in Touch!

As our school year comes to a close, so does our 2015 Costa Rica Program. We would like to encourage you to keep reading our blogs to see what our students experienced during their trip, to follow us on Instagram to see cool pictures of wildlife, nature, culture, and food, and to Like us on Facebook to stay up to date with our events – and receive notifications about the 2016 Applications!