April 10, 2019. Since 2012 the National Leadership Development and Extension Program (NELD) of the United States visits CATIE (Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza) as part of its annual tour to Costa Rica, which aims to help participants deepen their leadership skills.
According to Tobias Spanier, NELD facilitator and professor at the University of Minnesota, the objective of the tour is to learn, apply and reflect on effective leadership, strengthen decision-making skills and improve the effectiveness of the program at the local, state and national levels.
NELD participants are diverse career professionals from 12 Midwest states from universities in Kansas, Purdue, Michigan, Iowa, among others. The program includes four sessions in Chicago, Costa Rica, Washington, and Minnesota.
Spanier mentioned that the importance of this tour in Costa Rica, and specifically to CATIE, is to learn how people work in the communities, how leaders are and how gender equity is managed.
On the other hand, Spanier explained that after nine years at the head of the NELD program this will be the last year for the University of Minnesota; being the Extension Training Institute of the University of Missouri who will be in charge from 2020.
In this regard, Dewwy Thompson, director of this institute, said: "This is my first year at CATIE and I have loved the experience, I appreciate the attention I have been given and I think that the presentation given by Muhammad Ibrahim, director of CATIE on the institution was very useful to have a broader picture of the work being done here," said Thompson.
As part of the CATIE tour they visited the Botanical Garden, the Seed Bank, the coffee and cocoa collections, the Commercial Farm, the Livestock and Environmental Management Unit (GAMMA) and the Forests, Biodiversity and Climate Change program. In addition, they carried out some tourist activities in the area such as rafting, canopy and visited the Guayabo National Monument, Tapantí National Park, etc.
Priscilla Brenes Angulo
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