Looking for Pura Vida

Disgruntled Parents in Search of Educational Alternatives in Costa Rica

  • Lisa Lynn Porter James Madison University
Keywords: expatriates, international education, white privilege, transnationalism

Abstract

Using a transnational theoretical framework, this study explores U.S. families expatriating to Guanacaste, Costa Rica in search of educational alternatives to U.S. schooling. In order to meet the needs of this influx of U.S. families to the region, schools such as La Paz Community School in Flamingo, Guanacaste have emerged. This qualitative inquiry explores emergent themes from 16 semi-structured interviews conducted with US parents whose children attend La Paz. Findings reveal participants’ desire for a progressive educational alternative for their children that embraces a more collective vision of learning. For interviewees, frustrations with U.S. K-12 schools became symbolic of cultural criticism of US social norms and the desire to recreate a lifestyle removed from daily pressures in the United States.

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Author Biography

Lisa Lynn Porter, James Madison University

Lisa Porter, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at James Madison University, Harrisonburg VA. Her major research interests include the sociology of education, transnational migration, and family and community studies. Email: porte2LL@jmu.edu

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Published
2019-12-30
How to Cite
Porter, L. L. (2019). Looking for Pura Vida. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education, 8(2), 1-20. https://doi.org/10.32674/jise.vi0.1179