Post Departure

Costa Rica is an amazing and beautiful country with lush forests, pristine beaches, diverse climates and incredible biodiversity. The people are warm and hospitable, true to their "pura vida" attitude. Some people in the country are working hard to keep their historical culture alive which we witnessed from the indigenous Maleku tribe and workers at the Learning Farm. Other people are working hard to practice sustainable agriculture like the coffee farmers who grow coffee under a variety of trees in the shade, a process which doesn't require clear cutting of forests. Furthermore, the companies in the free zone adapt their corporate business culture to coincide with the Costa Rican's eco-friendly, laid-back attitude. These companies have energy-efficient technology and recycling processes to reduce carbon emissions and remain sustainable. The people at these companies are incredibly passionate about what they do and the effect they have on the environment and the human race.

Through this trip, I was able to truly grasp the importance of sustainability practices. There are parts of Costa Rica which have been deforested for agricultural purposes and the city of San Jose is a strikingly different vision than the mountains of forests in Monteverde. One is a sea of concrete, buildings, people. carbon spewing cars, traffic jams, and graffiti. The other an untouched rain forest filled with such a vast and diverse amount of trees, plants, and animals. Deforestation in Costa Rica is done for farming of pineapples or cattle. People are simply trying to make a living to support themselves and their loved ones. The country is a prime example of the effort it takes to strike a balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability. However, I believe it is our responsibility to practice sustainability in all aspects of life to mitigate the damage we've done to the planet.