Now in its fifth year in Costa Rica, the EY-Earthwatch Ambassadors program sent Pamela Mizuno and her fellow volunteers to Santa María de Dota and San Marcos de Tarrazú in the country’s Tarrazú/Los Santos coffee region.
The 10 ambassadors worked with a 2,600-member coffee farming cooperative, conducting field research and collecting data to help understand the practices that lead to optimum and sustainable coffee production.
“One of my concentrations within international relations was international political economy,” Mizuno, a 2010 University of Southern California graduate, said in an interview with USC Dornsife. “This gave me a framework to understand and appreciate how the co-op strategically implemented practices related to supply and demand and fair trade. It was a real life case study for me.”