Costa Rica Ecotourism and Religion

All Augustana study abroad courses scheduled for the 2020-21 academic year have been cancelled due to COVID.

A person walking on the beach at sunsetCosta Rica is a global center for ecotourism. It is a country committed to carbon-neutrality and, because of its renowned biodiversity, is a popular destination for tourists who desire to travel responsibly for the benefit of local environment and inhabitants. While most of the focus on ecotourism has been on the impacts on Costa Rica's economy, land-use practices, and biodiversity, this course analyzes and evaluates an ecotour program by focusing on its impacts on participants. In other words, the course assesses how Costa Rica affects ecotourists

The project-based course begins by studying how ecotourism operates in part through the implicit construction of natural areas as sacred spaces. Students will learn not only the economic, political, and cultural history of ecotourism in general and in Costa Rica in particular, they will also investigate how ecotourism is a form of religious naturalism-the idea that nature gives meaning to human activities and that the experience of receiving this ultimate meaning is religious.


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