Earthquake: Playing with The Ring of Fire and Our Happiness

Posted on Monday, September 10th, 2012

Map of Costa Rica Earthquake

After a major 7.8 earthquake struck Costa Rica on Saturday, it is a reminder that as the impact of climate change intensifies so too does the frequency of storms, earthquakes, and volcanoes. While life is back to normal with people surfing and the beaches full, it is a reminder of this region’s incredible veracity. They have experienced aftershocks as strong as 5.6 with a total of 1650 aftershocks. After last weeks quakes, volcanoes are being closely monitored.  Evidence from other countries around the Pacific Rim shows that movements of 7 or higher causes a change in volcanic activity. On Saturday neighboring Nicaragua’s largest volcano erupted three times prompting the evacuation thousands.  In Costa Rica, Arenal suffered moderate rock avalanches. Continue reading…

Love and Happiness: Costa Rica the Happiest Country in the World

Posted on Friday, September 7th, 2012

Happiness Index

Imagesource: happyplanetindex.org

Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things…The Gross National Product (the primary means of economic progress) measured everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. ~Robert Kennedy

HAPPINESS

How do we define it?

How do have more of it?

When it comes to the Happiness Index, Costa Rica ranks number one in the world. This small country abolished its army years ago and put the money into education, social security, and protection of its national parks. According to President Laura Chinchilla, these actions are the basis for why Costa Rica is the happiest country in the world. The results seem to speak for themselves. Its growing popularity as both a tourist destination and spot that expats, seeking a higher quality of life, are moving to is evidence that this small country is doing something right. If Costa Rica lives by the principle of attraction rather than promotion, it is attracting people from all over the world. Is this small Latin American country an example for the world to model? Continue reading…

Shake, Rattle and Roll- Earthquake Strikes But We’re Still Surfing

Posted on Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Earthquake Crack

Image Source: Telegraph.co.uk

A powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit Costa Rica yesterday morning sending people scurrying into a brief panic before resuming regular daily life.  It was the strongest earthquake to strike Costa Rica in 50 years. The quake hit some 25 miles under the surface so luckily the damage was minimal. It was felt as far as Panama and Nicaragua. At first, there was a tsunami warming issued but the warning has been called off.  Areas did suffer power outages and structural damage to buildings and roads but the reported damage is minimal. Luckily, there were very few injuries. Overall for such a huge quake, there is very little clean up to do. The good news is that the waves are huge and surfers are heading to the beach especially along the Southern Pacific Coast. Continue reading…

Doing the Right Thing: Forest Conservation in the Osa Peninsula

Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

 

Osa Peninsula Forest

Image Source: Farmcostarica.com

Forest conservation efforts in the Osa Peninsula are critical to ensuring the balance of the planet’s ecosystem and species survival. The forest are the earth’s lungs.  The Osa Peninsula is one of the most biologically intense places in the world. Preserving the Osa’s forest is critical to the many species that live in this area.  Tropical forest cover less than 2% of the planets surface but are home to more than 50% of existing species. Osa Conservation and The National Resource Defense Council partnered up to undertake expansive reforestation efforts in this region to preserve this habitat for the incredibly rich diversity of plants, fauna and species that call this home. This Southern part of Costa Rica contains the last remnants of Central American Pacific tropical rain forest.  71% of the forest in the Peninsula is protected including Corcovado National Park and the surrounding reserves. Continue reading…

Striking Gold: Cultural History of the Osa Peninsula

Posted on Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Gold Panning

A favorite thing to do when visiting the Osa Peninsula is taking a day hike ecotour to the Tigres Rivers, a former gold mining spot in Corcovado National Park. Exploring this former gold mining area is an adventure back in time. The region was a thriving area for gold prospectors who came here in droves to strike it rich beginning with the early settlers. Named by Columbus, “The Rich Coast,” the Osa Peninsula was famous for its abundance of gold deposits.   In the 1930s, the discovery of gold triggered an economic boom.  The Peninsula was one of Costa Rica’s largest gold bearing regions until the 1980s.  At 21 karats, it is some of the world’s most pure gold.  In the 1970s gold mining was declared illegal with the creation of Corcovado National Park. Continue reading…

Jumping off a Waterfall: Rappelling in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula

Posted on Friday, August 24th, 2012

Waterfall Rappelling

Image Source: Reefstorockies.wordpress.com

For the adventurer ecotourist, Costa Rica is a prime spot for rappelling and if you are feeling super adventurous there is nothing like the rush from waterfall rappelling in Costa Rica.  The thrill of jumping off a cliff with water rushing over your head is a once in a lifetime experience. Costa Rica is a world- renown haven of caves, beaches, mountains, waterfalls and endless trails.  Hiking through a rainforest to a secluded waterfall where you ascend some 100ft to jump off a cliff into the water rushing down by a rope. The tougher the challenge, the bigger the rush.  Rappelling is not for the faint hearted and definitely appeals to those with an adventuresome spirit. Continue reading…

Guaymi Indians: Teach Us for The Future

Posted on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

 

Guaymi Indians

Image Source: Southerncostarica.biz

Bordering Corcovado National Park is the Guaymi Indian Reservation.  Located in the clouded forest high in the mountains, the Guaymi Indians have lived in this region for thousands of years. They moved to the reserve in the 1970s. A nomadic people, the Guaymi Indians occupied southern central Costa Rica and Western Panama.   Today they sill live a semi-nomadic life, despite their permanent settlements.  They strive to retain their cultural traditions. Fortunately because of the remoteness of the Osa Peninsula, they have preserved their cultural heritage.  The Guaymi Indians are the largest surviving indigenous population in Costa Rica. Continue reading…

Ecotourist: What type are you?

Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2012

Ecotourist Spotting

Image Source: Characterclearinghouse.fsu.edu

Americans love to travel making up 49% of Costa Rica tourists and they are demanding eco destination spots. According to the World Trade Organization, ecotourism captured 7% of the international market in 2007 with a global market economic impact of $77 billion. Ecotourism accounts for 6% of the worldwide GDP with a staggering growth rate of 5% per year. The industry is being driven by a rising consumer demand, which is creating a healthy market that many resorts are catering to.

But there are different types of ecotourists.

What kind of ecotourist are you? Continue reading…

Endangered Sharks: When the Predator becomes the Hunted

Posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Baby Sharks

Image Source: 3.bp.blogspot.com

Endangered sharks are abundant in these waters and these prehistoric creatures are some of the most intriguing of all of sea creatures. It is no surprise that the fertile Golfo Dulce is a nursery for many fish including juvenile sharks.  While they have gotten a bad wrap for being predators, they play a very important role in maintaining health of the oceans as predators and scavengers. Females travel from the ocean to this coastal area to birth pups in the mangroves where the young sharks find protection from large predators.  A growing concern are the free trade agreements with China that allow for large-scale extraction coupled with China’s insatiable appetite for shark fin soup.  The number of illegal shark poachers is on the rise and there is a growing push for shark protection initiatives in Costa Rica. Continue reading…

The Secret to the Legendary Waters of Golfo Dulce

Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Golfo Dulce Park

Image Source: Costaricaweb.cr

In the Southern part of Costa Rica just above Panama is Golfo Dulce.  Wild, untouched raw nature, this bay is where you go for an exotic get away. With a fragile marine environment, it is one of only three tropical fjords in the entire world. The mangroves provide a crucial nursery for marine life such as sharks and shrimp.  With a depth of more than 1,000 feet in some places, it is one of the deepest gulfs on the planet.  It provides some of the best inshore fishing opportunities available anywhere.  With an abundance of snapper, roosterfish, grouper, snook, blue travelli, amber jack, jack crevalle and ciero mackeral there is no shortage of fishing opportunities here.  It is a bottomless pit in terms of the number of fish.  It is a favored destination spot for anglers, and Costa Rica has taken special efforts to preserve the surrounding the environment. The question is: What makes these waters so incredible? Continue reading…