Monkeying Around

Today we visited the cloud forest which was one of the most interesting places we have been on the trip so far. It amazed me how much natural beauty there was in the forest from the trees to the brightly colored birds and flowers. This natural beauty is possible mostly because of the quakers efforts to preserve the rainforests. The quakers came to Costa Rica from Alabama in the 1950s. Because they came from an area with not nearly as much natural beauty as Costa Rica, they saw the immense potential that Costa Rica had and knew that it could not be destroyed. They then did everything in their power to preserve the forests and bring back the forests that had been lost.

With the growth of eco-tourism come a lot of benefits and challenges for Costa Rica. One huge benefit is the economic aspect. Eco-tourism brings in many foreigners who spend money and help to boost Costa Rican economy. However, there are also some challenges. One example would be the amount of people who now walk through areas such as the cloud forest. This can have a negative impact on the wildlife, which we saw today. While we were walking through the forest our tour guide accidentally stepped on and killed a millipede. I am sure this happens many times a day to different organisms in the forest, which could have a negative impact. Another challenge is the introduction of new species. Our tour guide commented on the fact that there are now strawberries in Costa Rica even though they are native to America, not Costa Rica. He said they probably got here from either the quakers, or birds who migrate to Costa Rica during the winter months. Having so many people from different areas around the world walk through the forest can cause new species to be introduced into the ecosystem. This could be good for the ecosystem, but it could also be very bad as these new species may interfere with older ones.

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