After experiencing different environments while travelling throughout the country, I can say that Costa Rica, although a small nation, is a diverse one. What struck me most when first arriving in Heredia, was the urbanization and presence of various chain restaurants. I was not expecting the level of development, and crowdedness within the province. Rather, I expected Costa Rica to be inhabited by rainforests.
Cue Monteverde, a stark difference from the fast paced downtown Heredia and San Jose. When driving through the mountains, I noticed many smaller sodas and independent fruit stands, with groups of locals hanging around, or children playing outside. The collectivism culture is much more prominent in rural areas. Going back to my blog post on rural ideology, I can now see why addresses do not exist in rural areas such as those we passed by. I was extremely relieved that after leaving the bounds of Heredia, I did not see a Denny’s or McDonalds.
In comparison to what I’ve seen so far of Costa Rica, properties in the mountains are spread out further as well. The mountains are naturally much less inhabited than major cities such as San Jose and Heredia. I was overwhelmed by the shear magnitude of houses and apartments in the cities, pressed right up against each other. Life in the country side is calmer; communities are more secluded.