May 30, 2013
Costa Ricans call themselves Ticos. As I have mentioned, they are very proud of their country. They realize what a gift their ecologically diverse land is. For such a small country—about two times the size of Vermont—they realize it packs quite a punch and they aspire to keep it that way.
How do they do this? We see recycling containers everywhere we go. Many people and establishments here also compost. Our student tour guides showed us their greenhouse and how they repurpose items. For instance, the cardboard like containers that many items come in (soup, broth, tomatoes, wine) can be cut in half and used as planters. The material breaks down over time. They also use plastic bottles to decorate borders and such. Their art teacher has them use the last of the paint from bottles to mix with water and pour into plastic bottles to decorate them. This then makes colorful borders for their garden plots.
Our CPI guide, Selma, explained to us how Costa Rica as a nation has tried to balance the need for development with the desire to protect their beautiful lands and wildlife. They value their environment many times over the colones ($) they may receive for other development, which I think is neat and speaks volumes about their culture. It’s a trade-off, but it has worked well for them.
Another issue I have not yet discussed is the bathrooms. The plumbing system is not the best here. Thus, they cannot flush toilet paper down the toilet. There is a medium to large sized trashcan in every bathroom. To flush TP down is to flood the bathroom, and who wants to do that? So, that has taken some getting used to for obvious reasons.
The water you see is a bay in the Pacific. The fog/cloudy skies make it difficult to capture the beauty.