IAf Excellence in 3G Diversity Award 2023 recipients (Category A)

Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos de Costa Rica (CFIA)

"Joining Central American young, women, and indigenous peoples in Space through first Central American space project"

The Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos de Costa Rica (CFIA) is the professional association responsible for controlling and regulating professional practice in engineering and architecture in Costa Rica. This 120-year-old organization works in different areas of the profession, but inclusion, youth and gender are a horizontal front in its projects, not only for its Gender and Young Professionals Commissions specifically but for its Aerospace Commission too.

With more than 10 years in the aerospace field giving technical support in the development of projects in science and technology in aerospace topics in Costa Rica and the Central American region, the commission has played a key leading role in several capacity building projects, for example the first Central American satellite, Irazú. Much of the work is focused on training and capacity building. Educating young students and children in STEAM topics throughout the country is one of the main aims of the organization as well as the search for new professional opportunities and their linkage with the aerospace sector.

The organization annually holds “Technical Encounters” and webinars. These “encounters” are part of the initiatives undertaken in the field of gender and youth to promote the scientific and technological vocations of girls and adolescents. The objective of these activities is to promote the participation and recognition of women, girls, and adolescents in different fields of science and technology, evidencing the importance of investing in women's education for the socioeconomic development of the country.

In the aerospace field, recently CFIA has participated in promoting STEAM participation within different population groups in the country.
For example:

  • Plane modelling competition in Mexico
  • “Mission Activation” brings stimulation talks to schoolgirls and boys in vulnerable areas
  • Aerospace talks for young children to stimulate their interest in technical topics
  • Student Support: Aerospace webinars and talks
  • Support for groups of professionals and students
  • Support to graduation thesis projects

Priority has been given to vulnerable areas of the country, mainly to young people and women, who normally have less chance of accessing technological careers in the country.