Tuesday 23 Oct, 2012

Oscar Arias Speaks at Green Tours Conference

Are you looking for a way to make a difference in the world? Come celebrate Earth Day 2013 in Costa Rica with EF Educational Tours! EF’s Green Tours give you the opportunity to learn about Costa Rica’s environmental initiatives and how you can put these ideas into practice back home.

One of the highlights of EF’s Green Tours is the two-day Earth Day Environmental Conference for Youth taking place in San José. The keynote speakers include Oscar Arias, Al Gore, and Severn Cullis-Suzuki, who will inspire students with their discussions of important environmental issues. For the next few weeks, I will post short biographies of each of our world-renowned speakers. For more information about EF’s Green Tours, read Going Green for Earth Day 2013

Oscar Arias

Oscar Arias was born in 1940 in the province of Heredia in Costa Rica. Dr. Arias briefly attended University in the United States, with the intention to study medicine. However, he soon returned to San José where he completed a degree in law and economics at the University of Costa Rica. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Essex in England in 1974. Dr. Arias has been awarded approximately 70 honorary doctorates from colleges around the world. He is also the author of a number of books and articles on political and historical subjects.

Dr. Arias began his political career in 1970 as an assistant to José Figueres, a former Costa Rican President who was seeking re-election. Oscar Arias was given a seat in the government as Minister of National Planning and Political Economy when Figueres was elected in 1972. Dr. Arias was appointed International Secretary in 1975 and General Secretary in 1979.

Dr. Arias was elected President of Costa Rica in 1986 and again in 2006. Dr. Arias drafted a peace plan that culminated in the signing of the Esquipulas II Accords and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his work for peace in Central America. Oscar Arias was integral in bringing democracy and peace to nearby countries, including Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Oscar Arias used the monetary award he received from his Nobel Peace Prize to create the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress. The purpose of this Foundation is to pursue global peace and humanitarian programs for Latin Americans. A champion for peace, democracy, and de-militarization, Dr. Arias brings unparalleled optimism for humanity and a global wisdom to the conference. His will be a lesson on international discourse that will resonate with students and educators alike.

Stay tuned for next week’s bio on Severn Cullis-Suzuki, another one of EF Green Tours’ keynote speakers!


Flickr photo via controlarms’