At Home in the Mountain Rainforest

After talking to Ricardo, one of the descendants of the Quaker settlers, it was clear that Monteverde, despite its exotic presence, was home to these people now. Initially, Ricardo taught us about how his family had mistakenly destroyed part of the forest when attempting to settle the land. However, with the help of others, they were able to learn how to preserve the land as well as inhabit it. Over time their methods to protect the land have changed, but their goal has remained focused on helping the wildlife. They’ve also added locals into the culture of Monteverde, which now has a very unique mix of nationalities.

The work done, post learning about sustainability and linking with locals to help the land, has made Monteverde the tourist hotspot that it is. Not only is it of economic value, it is also a source of pride for the workers who hold the burden of educating on the wildlife and sustainability measures taken to take care of it. Without these individuals and the initial Alabama Quakers, the cloud forest wouldn’t have been maintained to the standard that it is today.

I believe that since the area of Monteverde was initially settled by foreigners that still have a lasting influence today, the region is more easily joined by other nationalities. Since Monteverde in particular attracts many tourists in Costa Rica, it is also beneficial for the location to have a piece of everyone’s home. The increase in foreigners has also led to a push towards greater sustainability education, as they can reach a wider audience without having to leave the mountain. Now the tours of the rain forest are intertwined with lessons on how these animals and plants are thriving because we can appreciate them without manipulating them. This shift towards greater human diversity and increased education is extremely beneficial for an area so unique as Monteverde. The tour guides only have a few hours to show you why this distinct portion of nature is special. Therefore, anything that makes the area individual should be exploited to increase the ecotourism industry which goes hand in hand with the teachings on sustainability and conservation.

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