Monteverde From the Ground Up

Monteverde was originally colonized by Quakers looking for a place to live to be conscientious objectors to the Korean War that was happening in the 1950s. As a result of this colonization in the mid 20th century a significant portion of the forest in Monteverde was destroyed so farms could be constructed and lumber could be sold. Although the negative impact of the Quakers colonizing the area is clear, there were also benefits to Monteverde brought by the Quakers. The Quakers were able to establish a tight knit community that helped the communities’ economy prosper because everyone wanted to support one another. In addition had the Quakers not have colonized the area when they did another group would have colonized the area later and similar results could have been seen.

The Quakers were foreigners at the time that they colonized Monteverde; currently other foreigners are coming into Costa Rica causing rippling effects. The foreigners coming into Costa Rica as tourists has completely changed the Costa Rican economy from focusing on the produce trade to focusing on ecotourism for the foreigners coming into the country. The foreigners coming into the country not as tourists do not always impact the local economy and communities positively. As a result of the foreign investors coming into Costa Rica, the smaller businesses like Life Monteverde and the cheese factory from the Quakers have struggled as small businesses. Since the cheese factory has already been bought out it would not be surprising to see Life Monteverde bought out by private, foreign investors.

Overall I believe that this shift of outsiders influencing the country more than the locals has a negative impact. I believe there is a negative impact because I feel that the locals have been around this country longer and that they know what is best for the country. I believe that the foreign investors could help the locals, but I do not believe it is right for the small businesses to be bought outright by foreign companies.

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