Friday, July 10, 2009

Voted the Happiest Place

Recently, The New Economics Foundation (an independent British research team) did a study of 143 nations on this planet (comprising 99% of the world's population) to find just what populations are the most content.

The winner?

HINT: This country won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for trying to help end civil wars in several Central American countries.

HINT: This country has the highest life satisfaction.

HINT: This country has the 2nd highest average life expectancy (behind Candada).

HINT: This country produces 82% of its electricity through hydropower (water-generated).

(drumroll, please...)

Costa Rica.

Most tourists come down here to relax on beautiful beaches, or test their nerves in an outdoor adventure, or take a picture of an exotic animal. For CRROBS students, they come here to do these things as WELL as improve themselves (their minds, leadership, and whole self). But most people do not think: "I'm going to Costa Rica to learn contentment from the local families."

What part of course do students report to have liked most while on course? What's the activity students most want to spend additional time doing? Homestays. Homestays. Homestays.

It is at the homestays where students see how happy a simple life can be. To quote one of our Service Challenge students, Becky Balk:

"I learned that life is so much more than just material things, and how truly insignificant things that I consider necessary are to my life"

To read more about the Happy Planet Index, see:
-CNN's article: "Costa Rica tops list of 'happiest' nations"
-NEF's official study: The Happy Planet Index
-La Nacion's article (San Jose, Costa Rica newspaper): "Costa Rica es el país más feliz del mundo" (Costa Rica is the happiest country in the world"

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