Friday, March 25, 2011

University of Costa Rica - Getting Plugged In

This weekend is the UCR Expo, three days of "getting to know your local University!"  It's something like a combination of a fiesta, feria, and open house - there are dozens of food and craft booths, sellers of all things Costa Rican, many workshops and information centers, and half a dozen stages presenting music, dancing, martial arts demonstrations, and work-out regimes.

This morning, we strolled the few blocks from our house and wandered around.  We had a few things in mind that we wanted to see, but pretty quickly found much more to do.  We had walked through the campus many times (it makes a nice short-cut to many places we go), but hadn't really stopped to find out more than a smattering of what was there.  This time, the only real purpose was to do just that - discover what the campus had to offer.

Some snapshots:
  • posters touting studying science abroad (a lot of opportunities in Italy!)
  • a new-to-us cafeteria (near the music building, and so we saw some musicians hanging out, playing)
  • an even better short-cut :-)
  • a lively soccer game
  • even more sculptures
We also stopped at a few information stations.  One of these was about the Costa Rican folkloric music, and what they are doing to archive it.  While the music is not (yet?) available online, you can request digitized copies by email. (

UCR is using and promoting a lot of free software, including using it as part of the coursework.  There was a room full of demonstrations, and the first one we encountered was a CD burner for Ubuntu!  Rick quickly got passed to the experts in video and audio editing, and got a nice demonstration of the free-ware available. He came away with a *lot* of information, and was *very* encouraged! (

Well.... Since Rick had such luck, I finally screwed up my courage and approached an expositionista in the pottery/ceramics tent.  She was *lovely!*  We talked about the School of Art - what types of art are taught (painting, ceramics, wood sculpture, etc!), and - most importantly, how I could join a class here and there without being a full-time student on a career path!  I had heard that people 56 years and older could audit classes (no placement exams, could be part-time), and I knew several full-time "regular" students, but I had never heard how someone in the middle (like me) could attend a class or two.  Opportunities for getting involved at UCR is one of the main attractions for living where we do!  So, now I'm a step closer :-)

Of course, no open-house is complete without *food!*  We got  a nice big chunk of 100% pure cocoa from a woman who made it herself, on her Finca Loroco in Talamanca.  Then we got a jar of cas pulp from the executive chef of Ay, Que Rico! from Heredia.  He had several other pulps and sauces, and we had a nice foodie moment talking about how to use them :-).  Earlier, I had seen interesting items like pejibaye flour - I'll probably go back for that...

------- contact info --------
Free software sites:

Escuela Artes Plásticas
Lilliana (for info on matriculation, session dates, what to do, etc)

Finca Loroco:
Dirección 300 m hacia Carretera a las Cataratas, Volio, Talamanca.  Familia Moreno Vargas
fax:  506.2751.0283

Ay, Que Rico!
Luis Mathieu M.
Chef Ejecutivo
8829.3464, 2262.2744
Urb. Boruca 1, Mercedes Norte, Heredia

No comments: