Costa Rica Pro Bono Trip

July 13, 2014

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“Around the globe, nature is dying, and the prices of her rarest works are going up.”
—    Bryan Christy, National Geographic

Texas A&M University law students will venture to Costa Rica for the law school’s first wildlife law pro bono trip July 13-18, led by Vice Dean Aric Short. They will be working with the Proyecto Asis Wild Animal Shelter Center in the Arenal Volcano area.

Costa Rica is internationally known for its vast wildlife, but with the rise of human development, the safety of these animals becomes increasingly at risk to being exploited through wildlife trafficking and the Black Market.

Proyecto Asis is committed to the rescue and restoration of Costa Rican wildlife. As animal crime and trafficking continue to rise, they know that lack of awareness is the first roadblock to finding solutions. The Asis staff has asked that the law students focus their efforts on ways to bring the knowledge and experiences they gain in Costa Rica back to America for exposure.

Asis and the Monteverde Conservation League will spend the first day with the students in an orientation, educating them on each animal they house — their diets, their habitats and their threats. Two days will be spent focusing on wildlife law and educating the center’s visitors, including a group of about 60 American high school students. The last day will consist of hands-on work at the center, assisting with animal maintenance, building cages and other labor.

The group will be staying at Texas A&M University’s Soltis Center for Research and Education in San Isidro. The center’s mission is “to serve as the official institutional representation of Texas A&M University in Costa Rica and to assist in the internationalization of education, research and outreach programs in support of the university’s goals.”

Students will also get the opportunity to participate in a guided rainforest tour, zip lining and a hike to Arenal Volcano. Despite the recreational activities, Short has made the mission very clear: the students will come home with solutions to one of the world’s most overseen and lucrative criminal trades.

The Costa Rica pro bono trip will serve as the pilot to our Texas A&M University School of Law Service Blog, launched July 11. Get daily updates of what our students are doing in Costa Rica.

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