Club Spotlight: Las Nubes Student Association

Posted by Elizabeth Naccarato on December 5, 2017

A YU Perspective | Goings-On around York | York Community

With 300+ clubs and student organizations at York University, it’s hard to decide which one would be the best fit for you. However, before you decide which club or organization to join, ask yourself: What type of club am I interested in? What new skill would I like to learn? How much time do I have to devote to a club? Am I looking for something fun? You can focus on sports, specific hobbies, activism, religion, academia… the options are endless! From the Quidditch Club to the Robotics Society, Fencing at York to the Bodhi Association, there is something out there for everyone.

Since there are so many clubs to choose from, the YU Blog is continuing our Club Spotlight series to give recognition to clubs that might have flown under the radar. Today, we shine the Club Spotlight on the Las Nubes Student Association with an exclusive interview from the 2017-2018 club Co-President Mackenzie Shaw.

Image by Mackenzie Shaw
The Las Nubes Student Association (LNSA) volunteer organization raises money and awareness for the Costa Rican community.

Introducing the Las Nubes Student Association

The Las Nubes Student Association (LNSA) is a volunteer organization whose goal is to raise money and awareness for the Costa Rican community. The LNSA also focuses on promoting sustainable ecological conservation and social sustainability practices. This organization is linked to York University’s EcoCampus, an education and research centre located in Costa Rica’s Las Nubes Rainforest.

One of the LNSA’s main fundraising efforts is the sale of organic and fair-trade coffee, tea and chocolate, as well as mugs. The LNSA gives the profits from all sales back to the community located around the Las Nubes Rainforest in Costa Rica. For example, the LNSA used the donations received over the course of a year to build a foot bridge that crosses a small river in the biological corridor of the walking trails located on the York U property in Costa Rica. This bridge improves the accessibility of the trail, which eases transportation and connects the community to the Las Nubes rainforest.

Did you know?

You can meet the LNSA and support their fundraising efforts by visiting their table in the Health, Nursing and Environmental Studies (HNES) lobby every Monday to Thursday from 9am to 3pm. You can say hello, ask their members about the club and enjoy some fair-trade tea or coffee for only a dollar.

Newspaper clipping from 2005, when the Las Nubes Student Association began.

An Exclusive from the Las Nubes Student Association (LNSA) Co-President: Mackenzie Shaw

Co-President Mackenzie Shaw at the Las Nubes silent auction event.

YU Blog: Why did you join LNSA?

MS: I actually didn’t really know about LNSA until my roommate asked me to volunteer with her last year. It seemed like a good group to work with while getting some volunteer hours, so I joined. Little did I know I would end up going to Costa Rica with York U’s International Exchange program. While in Costa Rica, I got to meet the people and the communities that LNSA helps. From there I agreed to be Co-President of the club, wanting to make Las Nubes more recognizable at York.

YU Blog: What can new members expect from volunteering with LNSA?

MS: We ask our volunteers to offer a few hours a week to run the table in the HNES building. That’s where we take donations for coffee, tea and chocolate. Volunteers are always chatting with one another at the table and joking around, and we really get to know each other and share our passion for sustainability. Since we run Monday to Thursday, we really rely on a dedicated team to keep us open and brewing coffee almost every day.

Volunteers holding a bake sale in the Ross building for Halloween.

YU Blog: Why is LNSA important?

MS: It can often be challenging for charitable organizations to demonstrate tangible results. Sometimes it’s just a little drop in a big bucket. With LNSA, we have been able to see the impact we’ve made on the Costa Rican communities. Most recently, we donated funds to the Alexander Skutch festival (an annual community arts festival in the small surrounding towns), as well as building the walking bridge. Anyone who has the opportunity to study in Costa Rica and meet the members of the surrounding communities can feel the passion these people have for the sanctity of the rainforest right away. Las Nubes tries to echo that passion and bring it to the attention of the York community.

Buying a cup of coffee from us is great, but I hope people also walk away more thoughtful about what went into that coffee. It’s important for the LNSA to promote fair trade and sustainable products to make sure farmers are making fair wages on their products, like coffee beans.

Items being auctioned off at the Las Nubes event on November 22nd.

YU Blog: What Could I Do by Joining LNSA?

MS: By joining LNSA at York University, you could be responsible for running the table during the week to raise awareness and donations, attend and help organize events being held throughout the year, including silent auctions and movie nights, and promote a sustainable future. Your involvement with this organization would help promote fair trade products and bring awareness to the York U community. By joining LNSA, you could even learn more about the summer abroad program held in Costa Rica and make life-long friends!

Want to Get Involved?

To learn more about the Las Nubes Student Association and join the group, visit their website, Facebook page, Twitter feed or their table in the HNES lobby every Monday to Thursday from 9am to 3pm.

Do you want the #YUBlog to feature your club? Leave a comment below or tweet @YorkUStudents with #YUBlog.  

Elizabeth Naccarato
Elizabeth Naccarato

Elizabeth is a fourth-year Professional Writing major at York U. She enjoys reading for pleasure (no textbooks please), a nice cup of coffee (but only iced) and being surrounded by good company. She hopes her blog posts will be helpful and inspiring to current and future York U students.

See other posts by Elizabeth Naccarato

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