Travel Study Discoveries in Costa Rica

Travel Study Discoveries in Costa Rica

Ambrose students in Costa Rica

What do Three Toed Sloths, Crocodiles, Red Eyed Tree Frogs, Mahogany Billed Toucans, Morpho Butterflies, Giant Hercules Beetles, and Ambrose University have in common? While many things may come to mind, the answer we are looking for is 14 students experiencing the Ecology and Biodiversity of Costa Rica.  Some seasoned in international travel, and some novices, we flew to San Jose in very late April, and proceeded to spend eight days exploring the variety of habitats that Costa Rica supports. In doing so, we focused on cultural differences between Canada and Costa Rica, as well as the wonders of different types of Rain Forest and riverine ecosystems. Our ultimate goal was to gain some understanding of the different ways Canadian and Costa Rican national parks are being stressed and managed.

We discovered that every step in the Rain Forest offers something unique if one has eyes to see and hears to hear. We discovered that there is no sense in trying to stay dry. We discovered that a good waterproof camera and a decent pair of binoculars are essential; everything happens on or near the ground, or at a height of nearly 30 metres. We discovered that the night offers something very different from the day, and that early morning and dusk are different still. We discovered that without Rain Forest, the central valley would have no water: the forest creates the rivers. We discovered that people who own farms near the rain forest are active in reforestation, and that international efforts to reduce carbon footprints are central to the reforestation initiative. We discovered the government in Costa Rica is at the forefront of preserving Rain Forest with protection and regulation, but lacks the money to manage. We discovered that management has thus fallen into the hands of the people who live in or near the forest. We discovered that, in spite of instability in nearby national governments, initiatives to create a Mesoamerican Biological Corridor system are alive and well. We discovered that people who own reserves are eager for the volunteer service of Canadian students in maintaining trails and planting trees.  We discovered that Christians recognize each other even in different countries. We discovered that there are as many reasons to return to Costa Rica as there are reasons to be thankful for the first visit. 

Pura Vida!  Life is good!