The collective work of Quakers and local Ticos in Monteverde has benefited the community overall, as they have built the town into a huge ecotourism attraction. People from all over the world come to see the Cloud Forest, which brings economic success and stability to the community. Tourists leave with a greater understanding of sustainability, and a reason to care about it. However, the Quakers did not always benefit the community. Prior to working with locals, they cleared the land using chainsaws Don Ricardo’s father sold, and then used it for farming. However, when some researchers found an endangered species within the Monteverde forests, much of land became a biological corridor. From then, the Quakers began collaborating with local Ticos for the sustainability cause.
As Costa Rica has shifted towards ecotourism, they rely more on foreigners for continued economic success. Due to the continued success and thus stability, foreign companies want to invest in the town. For example, a Mexican company bought the cheese factory. Selling the cheese factory now may temporarily bring some money, but in the long run, it doesn’t go into the local economy as much. However, ecotourism has benefited the Quaker’s work and Life Monteverde. People want to tour the biological corridor, as well as the sustainable coffee farm. By being exposed to the beauties of nature within the Cloud Forest, people are given a reason to care about the environment. Life Monteverde shows people how they can realistic practice these principles within everyday life, as well as in terms of farming. Overall, I think the shift towards ecotourism is beneficial as it brings more attention to the cause, and a boost to the economy.