¿Hay animales de finca en Costa Rica? ¡Si! Having been born in Hershey, an area of Pennsylvania with a decent amount of farmland, and having grown up going to the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, I was not expecting to see farm animals in Costa Rica. Nevertheless, today I found myself at a farm by the name of Life Monteverde witnessing goats, chickens, chicks, hens and pigs. On the way to the farm, I also saw cows grazing on the mountains, and the occasional horse. These animals were a sight I was not expecting to see, given that I used to think “tropical rainforest” whenever I heard someone say Costa Rica. While Costa Rica is home to a tropical rainforest with the most biodiversity on the planet, I did not expect to see farm animals as well. Expectations subverted.
After visiting Life Monteverde, I have acquired some knowledge on the typical lifestyle of a Tico farmer. For farmers in Costa Rica, there is a strong focus on how to carry out tasks with the most sustainable method, and there is also a focus on educating youth about the environment and various ways to protect it. Life is easygoing, yet hard work and challenges still exist. For instance, one challenge that farmers face is tilling the land; it takes about three hours of manual labor for one person to till a small plot of land with dimensions approximately 12 by 18 feet. Additionally, the hilly, mountainous terrain of Costa Rica makes work more difficult. Other challenges include finding labor. For Life Monteverde, a small farm of 26 workers, about 13 are local, one is Venezuelan and the rest are Nicaraguan. According to Don Guillermo, one of the founders of Life Monteverde, it is hard to find local workers. While hardships may exist, farmers still live la pura vida. For farmers and Ticos in general, part of la pura vida is enjoying the outdoors, engaging with the environment and welcoming biodiversity. Tico farmers like Don Guillermo enjoy tourists since it provides an opportunity for both parties, the farmer and the tourist, to share knowledge and build passion about nature conservation.
Costa Rican farmers are affected by modern life and community. In the case of Life Monteverde, the founders of the farm are mostly, if not all, family. Generations of the same family work at Life Monteverde, making the community a tight knit one. It is also important to note that engineering and technology have roles in creating a sustainable farm in current day. Costa Rica’s mountainous terrain makes it difficult to use highly advanced technology, let alone the fact that such machinery can be expensive. However, Costa Rican farmers still use engineering and technology to create useful farm equipment. For example, Life Monteverde uses a water bottle contraption in order to trap beetles that are harmful to the coffee plants. In conclusion, Tico farmers are just like other Ticos; they are eco-friendly, pride themselves on their environment and never want to cease learning.