Spanish Honors Project Defense By Maggie Fellows ’13

On Thursday May 9th, Maggie Fellows defended her Honors Project titled: "El río y sus fronteras entre Nicaragua y Costa Rica"

Below is a description of the project written by Maggie:

Costa Rica is often considered to be an environmentally friendly country, whereas its neighbor to the north, Nicaragua, is frequently construed as a country where poor people destroy the rainforests. These stereotypes hardly tell the whole story, however. Agriculture and tourism in Costa Rica have wreaked havoc on the environment, whereas Nicaragua has progressive legislation and a certain level of environmental conscious-ness. On the other hand, Costa Rica has a well-developed national park system, and Nicaragua struggles with balancing the demands of development with protecting the environment. The two countries share a water basin for the San Juan River and this joint responsibility has generated tensions in the border region.  Regardless of stereotypes, I argue that both countries have a mixture of conservation movements and environmental issues that have not yet been resolved.  Perhaps Nicaragua and Costa Rica should treat nature as a force to unite them, through conservation efforts, instead of destroying the environment in order to demonstrate ownership and control. I attempt to show that if the countries are in support of sustainability and environmental protection for future generations, their efforts should not stop at their own borders, because nature certainly does not recognize political boundaries. In order to show this, I take a multi-disciplinary approach, using art, literature, and environmental studies to express this point of view.