Quakers in Costa Rica?

The first time I learned about Quakers was in elementary school. We talked about how the Quakers founded Pennsylvania and, it turns out, that Pennsylvania and Monteverde have a little bit in common. Although, the Quakers weren’t the first people to live in what was now Monteverde, they settled it substantially and founded it as a town.

The Quaker presence in Monteverde could be seen as having both negative and positive impacts. Negatively, in the process of settling there, the Quakers cut down many trees and cleared forests. One of the men even started a chainsaw supply business! However, some local Ticos were able to explain the consequences of their actions to the Quakers and they began to take better care of their surrounding environment. Positively, settling Monteverde led to establishing a steady economy for the community with new enterprises such as the cheese factory. The Quakers also built a school in the area.

I believe foreign investment and ecotourism has been very beneficial to Monteverde.  Because tourists are coming to Monteverde to view the cloud forest, it gives the community extra incentive to take care of the environment since it is such a big source of their economy. This also comes full circle, as money from tourism can help to fund environmental protection measures and environmental research that helps to preserve it. More foreign companies investing in Monteverde can also increase awareness of the town, leading to even more tourists.

Leave a Reply