Costa Rica Just Keeps Evolving

Arenal is certainly a piece of heaven, one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world topped off by a giant volcano. Although I wasn’t able to attend the hanging bridges tour, I was still able to listen in to the insightful lecture from Alberto Rico Urones which opened my eyes to some of the more in depth aspects of ecotourism. He mentioned how tourism can become an issue and a benefit to communities in a number of different ways. He also spoke on how the culture and lifestyles of indigenous or native people can be altered by the welcoming of tourists. There is a whole system set in place to ensure that tourism attractions support the original community of an area, something I had not realized before coming here to Costa Rica.

Alberto Rico Urones explained how tourism in Costa Rica started with scientific research trips, where wealthier individuals would travel to the country to discover new species of animals or insects. He then explained how Costa Rica’s lack of military and war made it the perfect landscape for tourists to feel safe but exotic. He also explained similar to Guillermo that the tourism companies often time give back to the communities in form of funding or bringing more customers to the area. When COVID 19 struck however, the entire tourism business was put into question. It wasn’t absolutely necessary to anyones life for them to travel and this lack of revenue almost shut down many tourist sites. On top of that, many plantation workers from Nicaragua went home and travel to Costa Rica was put on hold. It stirred up the entire country from agriculture to tourism. Luckily, tourists like myself are able to come back and support the country once again, this time though with more preparation and planning to avoid tragedy like before. Alberto Rico Urones mentioned that companies and communities now know to save revenue as well as resources for a situation similar to COVID in the future. If there is another pandemic or world changing situation, Costa Rica will be ready to weather the storm.

Leave a Reply