Costa Rica is a beautiful Central American country known for its rich agricultural land, beautiful beaches and lush tropical rain forests. Since the late 19th Century only two brief periods of violence have interrupted its development as a democracy. Much of the land is under agricultural production with coffee, bananas and pineapple being harvested in vast amounts. The countries infrastructure has been able to support growth in technology and tourism which has aided in the development of this Central American country.
Spanish is the national language however there are small pockets of indigenous people who have kept their native language.
Overwhelmed by tropical mountains and white sand beaches, the Dominican Republic is a beautiful country making up the eastern two-thirds of the island Hispaniola. Haiti occupies the other third of this Caribbean island about 600 miles southeast of Florida.
During much of its history the Dominican Republic has been ruled by dictators and by other countries. However, the free elections of the last four decades have contributed to the recent economic growth of the country. Farming is the main industry on this mountainous island. Coffee and cacao (used to make chocolate) grow in the mountains while sugar cane, bananas, tobacco, and avocados grow on the plains.
Columbus landed on Hispaniola in 1492 and Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, is not only the first European city founded in the Western Hemisphere, but it is also home to the oldest university, the University of Santo Domingo. Spanish culture still plays a large role in the Dominican Republic along with a strong African influence, provided chiefly from Haiti.
Once known as the notorious "Cannibal Islands" Fiji is now a favorite destination and crossroads in the South Pacific. Fiji is comprised of 320 islands; only 105 of them are inhabited. The population is approximately 850,000 made up of a vibrant mix of indigenous Melanesians, Micronesians, East Indians, Polynesians, Chinese, and Europeans; each with a unique culture and cuisine of their own. In addition to being culturally diverse, Fiji is not only a warm and beautiful place to visit but also a visitor-friendly country fluent in English which makes it easy to build relationships with the "friendliest people in the world"
Students International is doing community development in the city of Lautoka, Fiji, working with Indo-Fijian families who come from a predominately Hindu background. We are in partnership with the local church in Lautoka as well as the schools and prison ministry.
A beautiful land of mountains, volcanoes and lakes, Guatemala is known for its colorfully dressed people, Mayan ruins, and coffee production.
Suffering from the aftermath of a civil war that lasted more than three decades, Guatemala now must address the needs of the poor while at the same time preserving its natural resources (especially the tropical forests that cover its northern half). For more than a century the nation has been controlled by its army and a small number of wealthy families. On the bottom are the indigenous Mayans, who work Guatemala's famous coffee plantations and make up more than half the population. Most still speak their native language though Spanish is dominant.
Founded on March 10th 1543, Antigua was at one time the capital of all of Central America.
Guatemala is home to more than 30 volcanoes, three of which surround the valley Panchoy in which Antigua sits. Fuego, the tallest at 14,000 feet, is the only one of the three that is still active.
Nicaragua is bordered on the north by Honduras, on the south by Costa Rica, on the east by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. It is a rich green tropical land of mountains, lots of volcanoes, huge lakes, fabulous rivers, magic lagoons, lush rain forests, old colonial towns, archeological treasures, natural wonders, and broad sun swept beaches. Nicaragua, about the size of Iowa, is the largest country in Central America and covers an area of 130,000 Sq. Km. with a population of 5.1 million. Nicaragua is the most urban country in Central America. Agriculture employs about 45% of the work force and accounts for about one fourth of the gross national product. Lake Nicaragua is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Central America and borders the Pacific Ocean. Low mountains and hills covered with pines separate the populated west from the eastern half of the country. The east is covered with woodlands and tropical rain forests. In fact, one third of the country is forested.
International Service Center
Students International Service Center located in Visalia, California, provides leadership, supervision and service in the areas of funds development, human resources, information technology, finance and administration, ministry and program development, and organizational marketing.