The Importance of Foreign Influence on Costa Rica

Most countries today are the way they are due to the settlement of foreigners on their native ground, and Costa Rica is no exception. For example, the Quakers-including Marvin-  from Alabama in the United States settled in Costa Rica in 1951 because they were not happy with where they were and searched for something different. Today, the group of Quakers own and regulate a large part of this country that’s special to both natives and tourists. Coming to Costa Rica, the group Marvin was in took over a year to get from Alabama to their destination. Like many other foreigners, the Quakers were wanting to move to Costa Rica to farm and live their life in peace. This settlement has helped the Costa Rican agriculture grow efficiently while still preserving the environment. Over his years, Marvin has taken on many different roles in the Costa Rican community as well as making appearances back in the United States. One of his most influential tasks was using his medical training from the US army to take care of those living around him in Costa Rica. This made a huge impact considering the nearest hospital was six hours away if you booked it in a car. His family also has two adopted Costa Rican children. Just this one man touched many Costa Rican lives with his efforts in the community, and there have been many other foreigners who have made just as much of an impact as Marvin.

Another one of Marvin’s roles was running a hotel in Monteverde. He and his wife said that mostly their guests were tourists- with a lot of them being backpackers exploring the country. Since Marvin grew up in America, he realized how different and better things were in Costa Rica, and thus he saw the importance of keeping it that way. The good thing about foreign settlement, is that people usually come down for the environment, so they do not want to change anything about it. People visit Costa Rica for the beautiful landscapes and the friendly culture. They visit because their home does not have all that this country has to offer. That being said, there’s more of an expectation for tourists and foreign settlers to keep the country remaining the way they found it. Otherwise, it would slowly turn into another “home” for the foreigners. I honestly think it’s a good thing for foreigners to run the tourist economy because they know what it’s like coming in to Costa Rica for the first time, and how to appeal most to the tourists in a way that still preserves everything else in this country. Increased tourism here shows the rest of the world the importance of sustainability and treasuring the environment. I think this is super important because in showing visitors this, it enables them to go back to their homes across the world, and spread this way of life.

I believe that as long as the tourism economy stays the way it is, it is a great thing for Costa Rica. It enables the natives to become more educated and diverse in getting to meet people all over the world. It also brings in a lot of money for the Costa Rican economy. For the tourists, it shows them how they should be preserving the environment and how important it is to appreciate nature. Providing it’s not interrupting the lives of the natives or the environment, I think the foreign influence on this country is a good thing.


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