(11/15) Today we went to visit Monteverde Reserve. In the early1940s, Monteverde began to be settled by Costa Ricans and Americans, but it wasn’t until 1950 that the area became more developed. Quakers from Alabama came to Monteverde to escape the draft for the Korean War and began producing dairy.
In 1972, farmers began looking at the undeveloped rainforest around the area as potential property and fields for more crops. However, visiting researchers teamed up with resident Wildford Guidion to try to save the area from the farmers by creating a nature reserve. The reserve caught the attention of the Tropical Science Center, which agreed to take responsibility for the original 328 hectares. Today the reserve is 10,500 hectares. The reserve features 9 trails, some of which run along the continental divide. All trails are maintained by volunteers and staff, and all tour guides are residents of Monteverde and Costa Rican nationals.
On top of being environmentally responsible, the reserve is socially responsible, too. The reserve is home to 2.5% of the world’s biodiversity, and features a lodge for visitors. The lodge has a 3 leaf CST rating; they use biodegradable products in their kitchen and laundry, and control water usage. The revenue from tourism is used to fund research and other programs for community members, and the reserve indirectly is responsible for over 600 jobs.
With 3 days left in Costa Rica, we head to the Pacific side of the country tomorrow for an eagerly-awaited beach day. Monteverde has been really windy, and the weather reminds me of the Pacific Northwest. It’ll be nice to see some sun and be able to explore a beach town.
Bye for now!
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