Today, we traveled from Heredia to the beautiful region of Monteverde. As we started out our drive, the communities and neighborhoods were very condensed and in close quarters. When we got farther away and more into rural areas, houses were spread out and I noticed many people using them as store fronts. On the drive, through the mountains up to Monteverde, I noticed people selling fruit from their front porches and also car services. I think because they’re more secluded from the city, they’re more dependent on each other for things like groceries and helpful services. I was definitely more a fan of the nature scenery than cityscape. I loved seeing the horses sprawled through the countryside.
My perception of Costa Rica has definitely changed since I’ve been here. When we first got here on Saturday, I naturally assumed everywhere would be built up like San Jose and thus, Heredia. However, driving just two hours away from the buzzing city brought us to a serene nature escape. I was just surprised about how condensed the population actually is. Like we learned, much of the population is squeezed into these cities, leaving the countrysides much more desolate. I was kind of surprised to see people still using old fashion mechanisms like clothes drying lines, in the country.
Our talk from Don Guindon was very interesting and especially new to me. I did not know there were American settlers, decades ago, that settled right where we are. Groups like the quakers have had significant impact on the economy and culture. When they came here, we learned that they made a living from their dairy products. Providing fresh cheese, milk, and other products was profitable for them. Bringing this industry into the area played a role in the overall Costa Rican economy. They talked about how they also brought many American cultural experiences with them; volleyball, holiday shows, etc. I enjoyed seeing all the archive pictures of Quakers in the same exact locations we are.