IIP Placements in Costa Rica
Location: Turrialba, Costa Rica
Bioversity International undertakes, encourages, and supports research and other activities on the use and conservation of agricultural biodiversity, especially genetic resources, to create more productive, resilient, and sustainable harvests. Its aim is to promote the greater well-being of people, particularly poor people in developing countries, by helping them to achieve food security, improve their health and nutrition, boost their incomes, and conserve the natural resources on which they depend. One placement in Costa Rica has been created for an International Internship Program (IIP) intern. See description below for specifics.
- Plant health through soil health management: reducing disease losses caused by Fusarium wilt in banana: The Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region experienced one of the most devastating plant disease epidemics in history. In the 1950s, Fusarium wilt (FW) of banana, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), wiped out large production areas of Gros Michel, the initial export banana from LAC. Foc is particularly devastating because it remains in the soil for decades. The race of Foc affecting Gros Michel became known as Race 1 (R1) and also affects other cultivars such as Apple, Prata and Isla. The industry circumvented the problem by a shift to R1-resistant Cavendish cultivars. However, a new highly virulent strain of Foc (tropical race 4-TR4), is now affecting Cavendish plantations in Asia, threatening the banana industry globally. TR4 also threatens millions of smallholders worldwide because, unlike R1 and R2, it affects most banana cultivars used. While preventing the spread of TR4 should be the first strategy, disease management must be strengthened in parallel. In LAC millions of smallholders depend on R1 and R2-susceptible varieties. The ongoing spread of FW in these smallholder plantations increases the risks for food security and income. Integrated management practices based on epidemiology and soil health strategies are urgently needed to reduce the current losses caused by FW in LAC and as a preparedness strategy for an eventual entrance of TR4. The objective of this project is to generate knowledge at laboratory, greenhouse, and field levels on the use of biological control agents against Foc as part of an integrated approach to reduce current yield losses caused by Fusarium wilt in bananas in Costa Rica. The IIP intern for this placement will isolate, multiply and store microorganisms; support experiments on biological control, at greenhouses and in the field; organize and analyze databases from greenhouse and field experiments; conduct a literature review on the use of organic amendments and biological control against Fusarium wilt. IIP candidates with interest in biology, agricultural sciences, soil microbiology, and/or plant pathology are encouraged to apply.
El Nino y la Bola **NEW**
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
El Nino y la Bola (Boy with a Ball) is a grassroots organization whose mission is to build and send out teams to reach young people and their families, drawing them into mentoring relationships and small group communities through which they can be equipped not only to thrive, but also to turn and reach others. IIP placements are available in English teaching and communications. IIP interns who focus on English teaching will be in charge of preparing the lessons provided by the English academy and making them understandable and interesting for the age groups receiving them; preparing materials and activities outside the class for the students to immerse themselves in the context of what they are learning (e.g., how to behave in a restaurant: go to an actual restaurant where they will be forced to speak English); preparing the tutors on the lessons twice a week; supervising the lessons given by the tutors; creating an evaluation system for the lessons; participating in the tutoring centers by helping English students do their school homework, making sure they understand their lessons, and helping them study for their tests; developing and recommending teaching techniques to be used for each student in the tutoring center and in the English classes. IIP interns focusing on communications will take pictures of the programs, edit and communicate the organization's work to donors, volunteers, personnel, and anyone interested in their work; manage all social media; design publicity, pamphlets, pictures, adds, etc. needed for current and coming campaigns; contact national media to promote volunteering and individual donations; and help the department in any situation as needed. IIP candidates with interests in teaching and/or communications are encouraged to apply. Basic Spanish would be an asset but is not required. Graphic design skills would also be an asset for the IIP placement in communications. Two placements have been created for International Internship Program (IIP) interns.