Spending the day at Life Monteverde was incredible, as it gave us the opportunity to see what it is like to be a Tico farmer. We took a tour with farmer Don Guillermo of the entire farm and then we went to a local school to garden and paint the children’s playground!
At Life Monteverde, Don showed us his farm and nature conservation of very diverse crops, plants and wildlife: there were various types of plants and trees, coffee plants, vegetables, bananas, and farm animals to produce dairy and meat. He explained to us that this farm is unique and different from the United States because it produces many different products whereas in the U.S., farms are often focused on one or a few goods. Aside from everything that grows on the farm, he discussed how he is able to preserve the beautiful plants by focusing a lot on sustainability. By composting coffee husk, molasses, manure, microorganisms and fungus, the farmers are able to create natural fertilizers and cut down on their resources. In addition, they use a machine called a biodigestor to separate the methane gas from the piglet manure in order to use the methane for electricity. The initiatives that Life Monteverde takes to sustain a healthy environment are not very drastic solutions and could be used around the world if we were all more aware.
While at Life Monteverde, I noticed how happy the Ticos are to live a life where they are so connected with nature. Don especially was so passionate about the nature and it was clear that his farm brings him so much happiness and love. He also loved to teach us about nature conservation, and he did so in such an interactive way that made it fun for everyone. Despite the happiness and beautiful landscape enjoyed by the Ticos, they face some challenges when exporting coffee because they operate from such a small and secluded area. Because there are many coffee plantations in Costa Rica where some operate on a much larger scale, it is difficult for Life Monteverde to compete with these firms. However, due to the educational experience they provide and their inspiring philosophy of life, tourists are attracted to them and want to support everything that they are doing. At the end of the Life Monteverde tour, I felt so happy and content to have spent the day with these amazing people and learn about their way of life!
After visiting Monte Verde, we got to spend the afternoon at Escuela Lostornos where we got to help out the local school and meet the teachers and children. I met the sweetest children there and painted the playground with them the whole time. It was so much fun to play with the kids and enjoy a relaxing time painting on the mountain. Overall, today was one of my favorite days here and I feel so fortunate that I got to experience this!