Today was our last day in Monteverde in which we traveled to the Cloud Forest. In these past two days we were able to experience so much whether it be food, views, or community service. Monteverde is truly amazing, but it would not be this way if not for the Quakers and Ticos that inhabit the area. Both groups positively and negatively impact the land and make it the monumentally huge tourist attraction it is today.
In 1951, the Quakers moved to Monteverde from Alabama and ever since, the way of life there has never been the same. The Quakers realized the beauty in the mountains and forests and tried to do as little damage as possible when building homes; however, as the Ticos spread out their farms, the forests diminished. Finally, they realized their mistakes and replanted trees and flowers and now work towards preserving the forest and their inhabitant at all costs. Throughout our tours, I was shocked to see how much effort the Ticos and Quakers now put into protecting the land. There are multiple laws in act and all the farms and factory work without using harmful substances or processes.
From all this hard work, it comes as no surprise that Monteverde is a huge tourist attraction in Costa Rica – especially because I am a tourist and we visited Monteverde – but being such a famous location comes with its costs. Every year hundreds of thousand of people visit Monteverde for its beauty, but they also bring foreign companies that may not understand the importance of preserving the forests. As a result, the future of protecting the forests and animals may become challenging as companies disregard their effects on the land. On the other hand, more companies will bring more money to the land and therefore more support towards the forests. In the end I find the shift towards tourism to be positive with the chance of becoming harmful if certain precautions are not taken.