Monteverde is an incredibly important area of Costa Rica providing the country with worldwide foreign investment along with staple crops and a diverse biosphere home to species found nowhere else on the planet. Ever since its founding during the early 1950s by Quakers from Alabama, Monteverde has been growing tremendously. This is largely due to the descendants of the Quakers and local Ticos such as Don Ricardo and Don Guillermo who have made the decision to dedicate their lives to the sustaining and developing of this unique and beautiful part of Costa Rica. The Monteverde region has had success in their farming, providing the necessary food to the locals as well as trade opportunities abroad. However, the work of the local Ticos to sustain the environment and enhance the region revolves more so around the increasing industry of tourism. By creating a clever system of tours and inviting hotels, the locals have transformed Monteverde into a tourist’s paradise. This has stimulated the economy in ways that simple farming never could. In particular, areas such as the cloud forest are especially dependent on the hard work and dedication provided by the local Ticos. Without their work, the world class sustainability would not entice foreign investment or tourism and Monteverde would not be the same place it is today.
Monteverde prides itself on its ability to pull foreign investment and tourism to the area, however, the Ticos are faced with the issue of becoming known as “Gringolandia.” This is basically implying that foreigners are taking over as Monteverde becomes more of a melting pot than a Costa Rican town. There are both a positive and negative view on the influx of foreigners to Monteverde and I believe an argument can be made for both. On the positive side, without foreign investment and even settlement in the area, the local economy would be nothing compared to its current state. As Costa Rica moves towards more of a tourism-based economy, Monteverde needs to accept that foreigners are the answer to their economic needs. On the other hand, Ticos have an incredible pride in their nation and this is even more so true of those living in Monteverde. The foreign “invasion” can be reasonably disliked by those who have lived in the area for decades. Ultimately, I believe the change towards foreign inclusion in Costa Rica should be generally looked upon with a positive light as it as dramatically increases the economy and will continue to do so for years to come.