Throughout our 3 hour drive from Heredia to Monteverde, I noticed a drastic change in scenery. Heredia is certainly more urban, with closely-packed homes and stores, more people walking about, and significant vehicle traffic. As we left the Central Valley for the mountains, I noticed that the urban landscape transitioned to a suburban landscape, and then to a more rural landscape. The communities seem close-knit throughout the country, and all consist of small, family-run restaurants and grocery stores. The clothes people wear change from city to countryside though. In the city, people seemed to wear more formal business clothes, whereas clothes in the countryside are more casual.
Since coming to Costa Rica, my perception on the landscape of the country has changed quite a bit. I’ve realized how diverse the landscape is, and that there is a lot more undeveloped land than I previously thought. A significant amount of the undeveloped land is either untouched like much of the mountainside, or farmland. On much of the farmland there are cows, donkeys and chickens roaming about freely. I’ve noticed that many of the businesses I see are small, but there are more American chain stores within the cities. I’ve also realized that many small communities rely on the environment for income. Farming and ecotourism bring a lot of revenue to rural communities and towns, so the health of the environment is important for a continued income source. Thus, sustainability is a value for many Ticos.