My name is Mark, I am an International Studies Major with a Minor in Management. Growing up, I always knew the world was a great big place that was meant to be explored. I’ve always had the desire to step outside of the all too familiar and comfortable Orange County bubble, and it was always my mission to develop a true understanding of the world. As a participant of the UCI Costa Rica Program, this is the first time I’ve been a part of a sustainability focused organization. I’ve always been exposed to the idea of sustainability but never truly grasped what it meant to incorporate sustainable practices into my everyday life. I’m ready to soak up as much knowledge as I can which I can use to maintain a lifestyle that is both beneficial to my health and the health of the earth. Throughout this journey, I plan on being a source of optimism and encouragement to the team. I’m excited to create lasting memories with everyone, meet the people of Mastatal, and further develop my research about the Costa Rican economy. I’m also really looking forward to being in the rainforest and hopefully spotting some sloths! Aside from this program, I’m on the Academic Senate with ASUCI. In my spare time, I like to rock climb, run, and hang out with my chocolate lab, Kona. This program has already proven to be one of the greatest opportunities I’ve been a part of at UCI, and I’m thrilled to be a witness to the wonders of Costa Rica and experience the adventures we’ll surely find ourselves in!