People’s Effect on Monteverde

The Quakers arrival both positively and negatively impacted Monteverde. Initially, the Quakers arrived in Monteverde, and went to work building their houses and farms which involved destroying a lot of the environment. They cut down trees, and cleared land, eliminating some of the ecosystem and natural habitat of plant and animal species. After some time, the Quakers realized that they were destroying so much of the beautiful land. Coming from the United States that were able to compare what had happened to most of the nature in the United States to what could happen to Monteverde. In the United States most of the land had been developed, which had destroyed a lot of the nature. The Quakers were able to see that if they continued to develop the land, like that of the United States so much of the natural beauty would be lost. They worked with the local Ticos to buy some of the land to preserve, so that it could never be destroyed. Through the efforts of the Quakers and local Ticos, they saved a lot of the natural land from being destroyed and also started working hard to live a sustainable life. This has left a positive impact on Monteverde. If they had not done this, it would have been likely that someone else would have bought that land and probably developed on it, destroying the natural beauty that is Monteverde.

With the Quakers coming to Costa Rica they were one of the groups of foreigners to settle different parts of Costa Rica. With their exploration and settlement of Monteverde, there were the first people to go that high up in the mountains and create a home. Since they first developed the land in the 1950s, Monteverde has expanded and is now a very popular tourist attraction. Hotel el Establo, the hotel the Quakers and Ticos own, is a gorgeous hotel that attracts many tourists every year. The surrounding town is mostly restaurants and tour companies, that has been developed with the intent to make the most profit off of the tourists. Their endless tours that one can take in Monteverde, and they have been able to build a community based on tourism. However, their focus is not just on tourism with guided tours and restaurants, they have a large focus on sustainability and teaching the history of their establishment. The Quakers and the Ticos work hard to ensure that sustainability is still a reminder and way of their every life and try to share this with their visitors. They want to visitors to be able to appreciate and enjoy the views and natural surrounding they are able to experience, but also recognize that it is only possible through choice actions that protect the environment.

I think this shift is has some very positive aspects but also some negative aspects. Starting with the negative aspects, is that originally the Quakers did destroy some of the land and if they had not settled in Monteverde, it may have been possible that the land would not have been established. However, there are more positives than this negative. The Quakers and Ticos have been able to save a lot of the land, through buying forest land and making it a protected area. They have also made a conscious effort to live sustainable lives and work to teach those around them and tourists how to do the same. They are very invested in teaching the generations of tomorrow, in order to keep and save the environment.

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