Colorado State Works Closely With Todos Santos

With projects in sustainability, veterinary science, and marine biology
BY: AMANDA BRUNO

Colorado State University built a nice new building in Todos Santos in 2015 with a learning center for students to conduct research and get hands-on experience in their fields of study. The main areas of focus are veterinary medicine, sustainable agriculture, conservation biology, marine biology, human development and family studies, and outreach and service learning projects. This is their first international center, and CSU chose Todos Santos because of the close ties between the United States and Mexico and their interest in educational exchange between the United States and Latin America.

Since its inception, CSU has offered English education to over 100 residents of Baja California Sur, both kids and adults. They have also partnered with the University of Alaska to host fish necropsy workshops (this is where thy dissect dead fish) to understand how marine life is affected by the current health of our oceans. During their fish autopsies, CSU students and staff were able to exchange insight and information about fishing and marine biology.

Additionally, they’ve taken steps to promote recycling and sustainability, and they’ve hosted veterinary clinics.

Their veterinary clinics give fourth year veterinary students a chance to gain hands-on experience in their field. There are two full-time professors permanently on staff at the Todos Santos Center, and a rotating cohort of students every ten days. They just wrapped up their spring semester last month and were able to perform over 1,000 surgeries on Baja critters in Todos Santos, with students working out of parks, garages, basketball courts, and anywhere else they could make work. Mobile clinics is what they call it, but if you’ve been in Mexico for any length of time, you’ll see that this sort of improvisation is common.

At the heart of their programs in Todos Santos is community outreach. In their English education program, they work directly with residents of the area to promote English education. These classes were free and open to anyone, and part of the program was discussion with students about how learning English would impact the lives of participants. At their veterinary workshops, they were able to bridge some of the gaps created in pet care by cost and distance of local veterinary services, and by spaying and neutering, they actively help to reduce the population of unwanted pets and strays.

According to the university, “the Colorado State University Todos Santos Center’s mission is to cultivate generations of global citizens and thriving communities through collaboration, experience, and exchange of knowledge. By developing programs to collaborate with local projects, CSU is focused on cultivating international study and service learning opportunities for students, faculty and the community at large,” said Amy Parsons, vice president for Operations. “CSU’s outstanding educational resources and expertise combined with natural, cultural and historical aspects offered by Todos Santos citizens will create expansive possibilities for research, learning and experiences for local Todos Santos citizens and the CSU community.”

There seems to be no end in sight for this partnership between CSU and the Todos Santos community, so the Universtity will continue to host classes, workshops, and conduct research down here indefinitely.

For more information about the program, visit their website at http://todossantos.colostate.edu.