Escape from Hurricane Sandy: Book a Flight to the Osa Peninsula

Posted by on Monday, October 29th, 2012 with 0

Costa Rica is clear of Hurricane Sandy

Image Source: Tripadvisor.com

As the east coast gets pummeled by Hurricane Sandy, all is quiet in the the small frontier town of Puerto Jimenez. While the Osa Peninsula is no stranger to storms, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, right now Costa Rica is enjoying warm sunny weather and calm oceans while many people on the east coast bunker down in their homes to ride the storm out. Continue reading…

Costa Rica Bans Shark Finning: Major Victory for Biodiversity

Posted by on Thursday, October 11th, 2012 with 1

Banning Shark Finning

Image Source: Ecorazzi.com

Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla signed a law-banning shark finning yesterday. The practice involves slicing off shark fins, often while the sharks are still alive and then throwing them back into the ocean to die. Costa Rica had loopholes in their previous legislation that banned the practice. It should also be noted that last week Costa Rica passed legislation banning hunting for sport. Huffington Post quoted President Chinchilla saying “Costa Rica may set an example to the world when it comes to environmental protection, but it must be noted that we have had a significant lag when it comes to protecting the oceans.” Continue reading…

Sharing with the Indigenous Guaymies

Posted by on Monday, October 8th, 2012 with 0

Guaymi Girl

Featured Article & Photos by: Dennis Atencio, Eco Director for Crocodile Bay

Two weeks ago we received a letter from the Red Cross of Puerto Jiménez. The letter was an invitation to donate anything we could to the indigenous, Guaymies who have economic problem from the over use of their land and not having adequate health care and education. This group of indigenous people live 18 miles from Crocodile bay, they have a territory with about 2713 hectares with 85% primary forest.  The name of the area where the people live is Alto Laguna, which means upper lagoon. Continue reading…

Catch and Eat: From Fishing to Recipes for Dorado and Tuna

Posted by on Monday, September 24th, 2012 with Comments Off

Fishing for Dorado and Snapper

Image Source: Crtourism.com

I love to eat fish and some of my favorite recipes include tuna, dorado and snapper.  So when there is an opportunity to go out and catch one, and then enjoy it later that night for dinner that to me is ideal. Plus, there is nothing more sustainable than catching your own dinner instead of relying on large scale commercial fishing. In Costa Rica, while there is a catch and release policy for most large game fish as well as vulnerable fish populations. There are still quite a few fishes out there that are available to catch, and yes, take home to prepare many different ways. And if you’re on vacation, many of resorts and hotels will prepare your catch for you upon request. Continue reading…

From Field to Table: Coffee is one of Costa Rica’s treasures

Posted by on Friday, September 14th, 2012 with 2

Love Coffee

Image Source: Thehungryandfoolish.com

As a reformed coffee addict, I know a good cup of coffee. Drinking high quality organic fair trade coffee is important to me both for the superior quality and taste as well as the environment. You have probably noticed rising costs for your morning cup of coffee. Thanks to climate change, coffee production in vulnerable and crops are failing. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, irregular weather patterns and changes in rainfall are causing coffee production to dwindle worldwide. In addition, coffee is one of the major crops grown in developing nations that relies on exploitation of cheap labor. Buying fair trade organically grown coffee is combating both climate change and unfair labor practices at the same time. By supporting organic farmers, with your wallet, you are contributing to the solution. Continue reading…

Getting Better With Time: Ecotourism

Posted by on Thursday, September 13th, 2012 with 0

Ecotourism Costa Rica

Image Source: Magazine.fourseasons.com

Countries such as Costa Rica, Kenya, New Zealand and Australia are known as ectourism hot spots.  Ecotourism requires that the footprint of the traveler on natural resources be a sustainable one. Nations with large undeveloped land bases became interested in ecotourism because it provides a way to generate income that benefits the local economy and at the same time protects the ecosystem.  In Costa Rica, tourism earnings surpass those of coffee and bananas.

The development of ecotourism dates back to the 1960s when public concern about environmental issues increased. Conservation groups formed to lobby governments to set aside land not just for tourists or endangered animals but to also preserve the natural integrity of the ecosystem. These groups found that support for conservation efforts was stronger if people experienced  endangered species first hand. In other words, people who have a direct experience with nature are more likely to be sensitive to environmental issues.  For those living in large urban areas in the west, there is a disconnect between the natural environment and the urban one.  As great as the latest developments in technology are, the opportunity to unplug for a week and connect with nature is good for our well-being and the planet.
Continue reading…

Small is Beautiful: Sustainable Agriculture on the Osa Peninsula

Posted by on Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 with 0

Shampoo Plant

I love chocolate and I love the earth, so when the two come together to form an organic sustainable farm that sounds like a good idea to me.  Kobo Farm, founded by four brothers, does just this by including a cocao orchard among the many crops it grows here.  The brothers had a vision to create a sustainable farm and went for it. It is not only a working farm, but also an educational center that ecotourists and locals visit. Here visitors learn about sustainable agriculture practices.  Kobo Farm is leading a growing trend in the area towards sustainable agriculture coupled with microfarming.  I’m betting chocolate will become the next big thing here too. Continue reading…

The World’s Greatest Love: Cocoa

Posted by on Tuesday, August 21st, 2012 with 1

Chocolate Heart

Image Source: Sweetique.com

Chocolate is one of the world’s treasured delicacies.  Cocoa can be traced back to 600 A.D when the Mayans migrated to northern South America and established the first known Cocoa Plantation in the Yucatan.  Its early uses included not only eating it, but also using it as a currency.  It was cultivated by indigenous people as a sacred plant for thousands of years until discovered by Spain in the 1600s and has become a major international commodity. Continue reading…