In Search of Answers from Latin America: The 2nd KU-Latin America Global Leadership Lecture
As a follow-up to the KU-Latin America Program, KU holds monthly in-depth lecture series with the aim to nurture creative and professional experts on Latin America.
This month, the series presents the lecture “Costa Rica: The land of peace with no artificial additives.”
On Wednesday, April 24, at 7 pm, KU held its second lecture in the KU-Latin America Global Leadership Lecture Series under the theme “In Search of Answers from Latin America” in Veritas Hall located in the first basement floor of the CJ Law Hall. The KU Global Leadership Center started the KU-Latin Global Leadership Series this year with special attention on economics and business in Latin America. With its first successful lecture conducted in March, the remaining lecture series will be held once a month as follow-ups to the KU-Latin America Program in an effort to cultivate KU experts on Latin America.
As the emerging market of Latin America gains momentum, there is an increasing demand for skilled regional experts due to the growth of relevant organizations and local corporations in the region. Since 2016, KU has been sending thirty KU students, whose majors are not Latin America-related, to the National University of Costa Rica each year to allow those students to study the Spanish language and the Latin American culture in order to foster them as future Latin America regional experts through the KU-Latin America Global Leadership Program.
The lecture series is an in-depth follow-up to the KU-Latin America Global Leadership Program. It invites field experts on Latin America from home and abroad as guest lecturers to help KU students gain better understanding of Latin America. The first lecture was delivered by Dae-Sung Oh, Director of KU’s International Development and Cooperation Institute and former ambassador to both Spain and El Salvador, on March 30 under the title “Ideal and Reality of Latin America.”
The second lecture was delivered by Ministers David Li Fand and Sofia Salas Monge from the Embassy of Costa Rica in Korea. The title of their lecture was “Costa Rica: The land of peace with no artificial additives.”
Rodolfo Solano Quiros, Costa Rican Ambassador to Korea, who was not able to attend the lecture due to unpredicted circumstances, conveyed his greeting on video. He said, “I wanted to tell you a lot about Costa Rica in person. But, due to unfortunate circumstances, the two ministers will introduce Costa Rica in my stead. If you visit Costa Rica in the future, I can promise you that Costa Rica will offer you opportunities to change your life through various experiences.”
Ms. Sofia Salas Monge, Minister Counsellor, who led the first part of the lecture started off by saying, “There are not many people who have been to Costa Rica. I hope everyone here learns a lot about Costa Rica through this lecture.” She explained the geographic features and the language of Costa Rica. She then emphasized that the fact that 8% of the GDP is spent on education. She said, “As mentioned by Dr. Henning Jensen Pennington, President of the National University of Costa Rica, when he made his visit to KU last year, Costa Rica invests a large proportion in educating its people. Costa Rica and Korea are good partners when it comes to education and have a positive impact on each other.”
She then went on to explain that Costa Rica has not had any military activity since 1968. She further said that Costa Rica is putting a lot of effort in investing in democracy, human rights, and social justice. By citing the words of the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, she mentioned that Costa Rica has been a world-class example in regard to not spending unnecessary military expenses over the last few decades in order to represent the peace of Costa Rica. She explained that Costa Rica is putting much effort into preserving its nature, relying on over 98% renewable energy and that it is proud to have been chosen as one of the happiest countries with a high happiness index.
Mr. David Li Fang, Minister Counsellor & Deputy Head of Mission, led the second half of the lecture. He began his lecture by mentioning national brands. He said, “Korean brands such as Naver and Kakao Talk are national brands. Costa Rica has put a lot of effort in creating national brands.” He mentioned that the main features of Costa Rica are its small size, small population, regional advantages being located in Central America, biodiversity, and renewable energy. He further stated, “Costa Rica has intellectuals equipped with advanced technology who stand as our competitive edge in the global market. Moreover, thanks to its outstanding educational environment, Costa Rica has excellent human resources.”
Through the lecture series, the KU Global Leadership Center is committed to fostering talented individuals with academic knowledge and understanding by delivering professional and authentic knowledge of Latin America to those who are interested in Latin America. The lecture series is open to students of any major who are interested in becoming future experts on Latin America.