Sunday, June 24, 2012

Monteverde: What a weekend!

      Hello all! We just returned today from a lovely three day trip up to Monteverde. To give you a quick introduction to Monteverde, it is an area up in the northwest of the country, about a 3 hour drive from Ciudad Colón. High up in the clouds, it was definitely an uphill ride from where we are living. It is now one of the most famous parts of Costa Rica, known for its beautiful “cloud forest,” which is an absolutely amazing rainforest and wildlife refuge. 

     While it once was known for dairy farming because of the industrious Quakers that immigrated to the area in the 1950s, it is now an ecotourist’s paradise. Unfortunately for us, we were not just there to zipline and bird watching like most tourists, but instead we heard fascinating lectures on the history, biology, agriculture, and development of the region. In many ways, this trip reminded me of the Galapagos because this city too is facing a growing number of tourists with only a limited number of resources. One lecture touched upon the problems that the lack of zoning laws and a gray water treatment plant has had for Monteverde. Although 50 or even 30 years ago, Monteverde was sparsely populated, these issues are now pressing with the growing population and number of tourists.
     This is not to say that we weren’t able to have fun as well. We had the pleasure of going on a night hike to see sloths, tarantulas, frogs, and snakes; eating lots and lots of delicious food; planting trees on a sustainable farm; and doing some pretty intense nature walking. It was great to get away to a very different part of the country and be a big group all together again. It’s so crazy to think that we have less than a week left, but I know that there is still a lot of great stuff ahead, so stay posted!

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