I am obsessed with the couple that we met today. After hearing Marvin’s story of hard work and perseverance, I couldn’t help but be filled with hope and motivation. The amount of hardships that he encountered on his journey to Costa Rica amazed me. I kept thinking to myself, “Can anything else go wrong?” And it could. I’m amazed that so many people took the same 3-month journey with Marvin to Costa Rica. It all started out as a benefit to the Quakers. What they didn’t expect was for it to benefit Costa Rica as a whole.
The work that Marvin and his family put in basically created Monteverde. While on their journey, they didn’t even have any connecting routes from Alabama to Costa Rica. Once they bought attractive land and settled down, they realized that they needed to overcome another obstacle: poor infrastructure. The roads leading up to their property were horrendous. Marvin showed us all a picture of his Jeep getting stuck in the mud. He said that this wasn’t a rare occurrence. Also, Marvin and his family lived in tents with no electricity. After experiencing the poor infrastructure first-hand, they knew something had to be done. They worked around this issue by pushing through the adversity with positivity. They used candles and wood burning stoves. Marvin drove into town all of the time to sell the cheese that they were making. Even with the poor conditions, they slowly became more and more successful due to their undying motivation.
Marvin and his friends literally put Monteverde on the map. They needed to come up with a name for the area, looked around, saw mountains and lots of green, and called it Monteverde (aka Green Mountain). Aside from naming the region, they also attempted to build an air strip, created a cheese factory, opened a hotel, farmed, and conserved land. One of the first actions they made in Monteverde was conserving a line of trees next to the river in order to protect the water supply. I think that as long as foreigners are being respectful and selfless with their decisions, then there is no problem with modifications. The Quakers had experience in farming, they knew how to take care of the land. They figured out how to run a successful business, fix infrastructure, conserve energy/forestry, and bring attention to the beautiful sights Monteverde has to offer. They definitely had some obstacles along the way, but they never gave up. Look where Monteverde is now! It has acres and acres of protected land, numerous ecotourism excursions, an education system, and beautiful lodging destinations.
The Quakers made selfless decisions to benefit the entire society. The Quakers were very passionate about the land. They carefully chose their destination and strived to make it a better place. Without them, Monteverde wouldn’t be a tourist destination. Tourists wouldn’t even be able to get here! It was an honor to hear Marvin’s story of how he put Monteverde on the map.