Saturday 12 June 2021

President Solís Honoured by Duquesne University

Luis Guillermo Solis, president of Costa Rica, addresses the audience after receiving an honorary degree in a special ceremony at Duquesne.
Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis addresses the audience after receiving an honorary degree in a special ceremony at Duquesne.| Photo: Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette

COSTA RICA NEWS – President Luis Guillermo Solís, on Saturday, spoke at the Duquesne University Law School and received an honorary law degree.

The speech at the Pittsburgh law school was part of the President’s agenda in the United States last week that began last Sunday with a visit to Bound Brook, New Jersey, to attend the Costa Rica independence day celebrations by the largest group of Costa Ricans living in the U.S., followed up by a speech at the United Nations, interviews with Bloomberg and other media sources.

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At Duquesne, Solís (an educator himself) spoke about his belief that education should be a priority for all. “Costa Rica believes that education, peace and the fight against impunity must be an absolute priority,” said Mr. Solis, an academic and writer who holds a master’s degree from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Solis described his country’s work with Duquesne as “extraordinary” — a word that he said he tries to avoid because it is one of “two words that have been worn out in many ways.” He said the country has a similar partnership with the University of Kansas and only one or two other institutions.

The groups have been working informally together for years and entered a formal partnership about 2½ years ago. At times, the arrangement has meant that workers in the Costa Rica Supreme Court have traveled to Duquesne University to do legal research or that law school staff have traveled to Costa Rica for similar efforts. One Duquesne student, who has since graduated, worked for a time in the Costa Rican legal system.

Crucial to forming the relationship was Duquesne law professor Robert S. Barker, who first traveled to Costa Rica in 1968 when he was working for the Peace Corps in Panama. He and other university leaders said they liked the idea of studying Costa Rica, a country roughly the size of Vermont, because they view it as one of the more stable democracies in Latin America.

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With notes from the Pitssburgh Post-Gazette

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