Las Nubes Student Association hosts events, silent auction Nov. 28 for Las Nubes EcoCampus

Each year, engaged, enthusiastic and committed volunteers at the Las Nubes Students Association (LNSA) work hard to raise funds for the communities that surround York University’s Las Nubes EcoCampus in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor (ASBC) in Costa Rica.

The Lillian Meighen Wright Centre
The Lillian Meighen Wright Centre is the heart of York University’s activities in Costa Rica

This year, as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES), the LNSA invites the York University community to learn more about the progress of the Las Nubes Project through a series of events on Nov. 28, including the 10th annual silent auction.

The Las Nubes Project was created by Professor Howard Daugherty from the Faculty of Environmental Studies, after a generous donation was made to York University in 1998 by Dr. Woody Fisher, a noted Toronto physician medical researcher and co-founder of the Canadian Liver Foundation. In 1999, FES created the Fisher Fund for Neotropical Conservation in honour of Fisher and to this day, the fund continues to have an impact on students, faculty, institutional partners and community members within the ASBC through experiential education, research opportunities, international collaboration and exchange, and community engagement that promotes social and environmental health and well-being.

Some of the latest developments include the Las Nubes Semester Abroad, with six courses, and the Las Nubes Reading Week Program taught by York faculty in Costa Rica; and Scott Library’s community learning center La Casita Azul serving communities in the heart of the biological corridor.

Inspired by the philanthropic legacy established by Howard Daugherty, Fisher and numerous other donors and friends of the Las Nubes Project, the LNSA works hard to raise funds each year in support of the growth and development of the project.

On Nov. 28, the LNSA will host a series of events:

• a daytime silent auction (Vari Hall, 9 a.m to 2 p.m.);
• a painting workshop with Costa Rican artist and current MES student Raquel Bolaños (HNES 109, 4 to 6 p.m.); and
• a culminating evening mixer and auction (New Student Centre, A2).

Both the daytime and evening auctions will have an array of items up for bid, including artwork and paintings, photographs taken by students who have participated in the semester abroad, jewelry and hand-made Boruca Masks from Costa Rica.

Raquel Bolaños
Raquel Bolaños

The painting workshop will be led by Raquel Bolaños, a Costa Rican visual artist an activist who has executed numerous participatory art installations and has worked with several cohorts of York University Students who have participated in the Semester Abroad in Costa Rica. Bolaños has developed a unique mixed-media art style including ink on paper, acrylic paint and digital design and illustration. Her passion for art is rooted in environmental and social challenges, taking her to unconventional places such as streets or rural communities where she executes participatory art projects such as murals that are intended to reflect on and heal society. The workshop will explore the birds of the Las Nubes Eco Campus.  Pre-registration for the workshop is required, and the workshop fee includes all supplies with complimentary admission to the evening mixer in the New Student Centre at 6:30 p.m.

The day will culminate in an evening reception hosted by the Las Nubes Alumni Network and the Las Nubes Students Association as an occasion to welcome back all the students and alumni who have taken field courses in Las Nubes since its inception. The event will include remarks from FES Dean Alice Hovorka, reflections from a recent Las Nubes alumnus and current York University psychology/music major Jose Miguel and will feature exciting live music.

Purchase a ticket to connect with current students, alumni and faculty members over food and drinks, and learn how to get involved with the project. All proceeds from this event including ticket sales will go towards the Las Nubes Project, and with a fundraising goal of $2,000, the LNSA will: support a community initiative led by the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Santa Elena (the closest town to the EcoCampus) by funding the creation of 500 calendars for community members to educate and increase awareness of the biodiversity of Santa Elena; the purchase of reusable containers for families within the ASBC to reduce use of disposables; and the donation of holiday food baskets to Costa Rican families in need. 

About the Las Nubes Student Association (LNSA)

The Las Nubes Student Association (LNSA) is an organized student group at York University that was initiated to promote sustainable ecological conservation and social sustainability practices in the biological corridor of the Las Nubes region of Costa Rica.The LNSA aims to create awareness about the Las Nubes project, and get students excited and involved in various activities and events.

The Las Nubes Alumni Network (LNAN) was established in 2011 after the passing of Professor Howard Daugherty, who created the Las Nubes Project. To honour his ideals and philosophy, students who had the opportunity to learn from Daugherty established a network of people who have worked, researched, or/and volunteered for Las Nubes. The LNAN aims to provide mentorship, social networking, and opportunities for professional development, by sharing common experiences and reconnecting with colleagues and friends who have been associated with the project.