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Rainforest Alliance Certified

The SFS Center for Sustainable Development Studies

Costa Rica

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"Centro de Estudios sobre Desarrollo Sostenible"

In 1991, The SFS Center for Sustainable Development Studies became the fifth permanent SFS center, first stationed in Las Cruces, and, since 1993 located within the fertile Central Valley region in the town of Atenas. The Center sits on a hillside with spectacular views overlooking the Rio Grande River in the fertile Central Valley. The field station includes a large house, an outdoor classroom, a patio and pool. There is a classroom, small laboratory and a computer room with Internet access. The field station also is home to a farm which became a Rainforest Alliance Certified sustainable farm in the fall of 2011. The farm includes a moderately sized organic garden as well as banana, mango, and orange groves, a chicken coop, and untouched forest areas with trails. Students live in a dormitory (up to 4 to a room) with bathrooms. The field station is part of the small neighborhood of La Presa/Los Angeles. The friendly town of Atenas is a short walk from the field station while Costa Rica's tropical forests, beaches, mountains and volcanoes are within a day's travel.


  • Marvin Vargas Rodriguez, B.S.

    Marvin Vargas Rodriguez, B.S.

    Site Manager 

  • Gerardo Avalos, Ph.D.

    Gerardo Avalos, Ph.D.

    Center Director 

  • Mary Little, LL.M.

    Mary Little, LL.M.

    Resident Lecturer in Econ. & Ethical Issues in Sustainable Dev. 

  • Achim Häger, Dr. forest

    Achim Häger, Dr. forest

    Resident Lecturer in Principles of Natural Resources Management 

  • J. Edgardo Arévalo-Hernández, Ph.D.

    J. Edgardo Arévalo-Hernández, Ph.D.

    Professor in Tropical Ecology & Sustainable Development 

  • Travis Walker, B.A.

    Travis Walker, B.A.

    Student Affairs Manager 

  • Yendry Viquez Arguedas

    Yendry Viquez Arguedas

    Program & Accounting Coordinator 

  • Michele Howard, B.S.

    Michele Howard, B.S.

    Program Intern 

  • Peter Wedell, B.S., SFS Alum

    Peter Wedell, B.S., SFS Alum

    Program Intern