Today, we visited the Caribbean side of the Continental Divide and learned about the Heart of the Palm and how the farms work over there. The process for farming the Heart of the Palm is much different than coffee in the sense that the climate requirements are much different. The Heart of the Palm requires lots of sunlight and lots of water which would not be accessible in the mountains of Monteverde. However, on the Caribbean side, there is the ‘wet season’ and the ‘even wetter season’ and plenty of sun year round so it is perfect for farming the Heart of the Palm. It is also different because the plant is not exported as much compared to coffee.
One huge challenge that Heart of the Palm farmers face is ensuring they are successful. Most of the time, farms on the Caribbean side obtained their land through the IDA which distributed land to Ticos in order to promote tropical agriculture. This helped kickstart many farms and would make it easier for Ticos to be profitable and able to run these farms. However, if they were unsuccessful in their attempts to maintain these farms, they would be forced to give up the land. This relates directly to my group’s topic of planning because they need to ensure their financial success from the beginning. If they don’t plan properly and aren’t financially stable after 10-15 years, they could lose everything (the land) that they have.
Later in the day, we attended a Latin American fútbol semifinal game between Liga Deportiva Alajuense from Alajuela and Cartaginés from Cartago. The game was so much fun. We were able to see the difference between a Costa Rican game and a game in the United states and let me say, the Ticos know how to celebrate. The environment was insane, and the food being sold by vendors was also very delicious and unlike anything I’ve had before.