Breaking open a cocoa pod. Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl. Liberia

YES Students

All students from Liberia are Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program scholarship winners. Click here to learn more about the YES Program.

Country Information

Liberia is making a comeback after years of civil war within the country. The country was once considered a tourist hot spot but lost the title after the civil war lasted 14 years.

However, the country has now been at peace for several years and is warmly welcome to outsiders.

Lifestyle and Family

There are two types of families in Liberia, depending on their location. Families that live in rural areas have large extended families that live together or live next door. Some men in the rural areas have several wives, making the family even larger. Urban families are small nuclear families, no extended family included.

Teen Life and Sports

Soccer is by far the most popular sport in the country. People are either watching the game or playing. Recently, women leagues have been created and more and more females are playing. People who cannot afford an actually soccer ball have found a way to create a ball out of clothes. Besides having a strong passion for soccer, people love to dance. Even if it is not in a club you can find people randomly dancing traditional dances.


All throughout Liberia most meals include rice. The other ingredients to a meal vary depending on the regions and ethnic groups living there. On the coast people tend to cook more with fish while the regions that are inland eat more meat. Some regions cook spicy and other sweet.

Language and Religion

English is the official language of Liberia. There are also 16 indigenous languages that are spoken amongst the villages. 40% of Liberians are Christians and another 40% believe in indigenous religions. The last 20% are Sunni Muslims.

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