Ecotourism Shifting Costa Rica

After hearing multiple anecdotes about the history of Quakers in Monteverde from Don Ricardo, it was clear how much of a positive impact the group had (and still continues to have) on the modern development of the area. With their belief of the equality of all people as motivation, the group provided the first business, electricity, and real conservation efforts that stimulated the growth and created a new Monteverde lifestyle–efforts that have benefitted Monteverde as a whole.

For many businesses in the area, there has been a shift towards providing more attractions/amenities for tourists, as Monteverde (and Costa Rica altogether) is becoming a hot-spot for many travelers from North America and Europe (for vacations as well as taking up permanent residence). Foreigners are now providing a more stable income for these businesses while dually many businesses of the country have shifted away from their coffee-growing roots.

Specifically, the work that the Quakers and Life Monteverde do on a day-to-day basis is now impacted by this ecotourism shift. At Life Monteverde, the owners have realized the presence of a shift toward ecotourism and are currently working to promote conservation and sustainability to visitors. For the most part, I think the shift is positive (from an economic standpoint), however I think ecotourism might be taking the spotlight off of the authentic, original Costa Rican businesses that have prospered here for many as well as hurting the stable environment that many Costa Ricans have prided themselves on.

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