Benchmarking in Costa Rica

Business majors recently traveled to Costa Rica with Dr. Marvin Gonzales and Dr. Gioconda Quesada to explore international commerce and earn credit for the course, International Benchmarking.  The study abroad trip and benchmarking course, organized and taught by Dr. Gonzales, exposed students to several companies to compare best practices and gain broader perspectives on small businesses to multinational electronics companies.

Before leaving for Costa Rica, the students had an understanding of the size and scope of the Port of Charleston which provided a baseline for when they toured the operations at the smaller Port of Caldera in Costa Rica. Also during the trip, students visited Intel, the American Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce and Cafe Britt, a local company that started small and is now one of the country’s biggest exporters of coffee.

The group also traveled to a dairy farm called Finca Don Carlos to learn about the process to become organic certified.

Dr. Marvin Gonzales, associate professor

Dr. Gia Quesada, associate professor


Dr. Gonzales, Dr. Quesada and their students stayed in six out of seven of the country’s provinces and immersed themselves in the culture by living as locals, even speaking the native language throughout the trip.


 View the short video to see highlights of the students’ experiential learning trip.

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