Category Archives: San Jose

Adios Cost Rica

June 8th

Depart today for the U.S. at 2:35 PM. The trip was a great success.

Costa Rica 2013  Front l to r: Nonnie Walter, Marco (guide), Jairo (driver), Chris Lawrence. S

Costa Rica 2013
Front l to r: Nonnie Walter, Marco (guide), Jairo (driver), Chris Lawrence.  Back: Taylor Daniels, Carah Reid, Selena Hamilton, Tristan D’Alessio, Joey Prokop, Brandon Hackney, Ryan Baucom, Tommy Woolston, Kyle Keller, Tom Allen (instructor), Holly Hapke (instructor)

Downtown San Josè

May 27:

We were dropped of at a barricaded street entrance. We saw many places, but the central market and the central business district stuck out.

The Central Market was a labyrinth of pathways through vendors and shops. They were selling piggy banks, herbal medicines, raw meat, toys, and more. It was comparable to an unorganized Wal-Mart.

The central business market was crowded and noisy. Vendors and store employees were verbally advertising discounts and products. Our group weaved in and out of crowds to reach destinations like The Central Bank, historic Post Office, National Theater, and Cathedral. Tommy bought an ocarina with the shape of four different animals. After touring the notable areas, we left to visit UCR.

-Tristan

Outside the National Theatre, downtown.

Outside the National Theatre, downtown.

Shaky start and San Jose Excursions

Visiting the National Biodiversity Institute to learn about Holdridge life zones and ecological processes.

Visiting the National Biodiversity Institute to learn about Holdridge life zones and ecological processes.

May 27:

Overnight a few of us woke to our beds shaking. It lasted about 10secs, just enough to be a little disconcerting. At breakfast we found out that there had been an earthquake near the Panama-Costa Rica border (5.6 Richter scale- the epicenter close and shallow enough to shake us in San Jose.) No harm done here but a welcome to an active seismic zone!

Today we visited the InBIO Parque to learn about biodiversity. The range of life zones, habitats, and climate combine to explain how a small country can hold almost 5% of the Earth’s biodiversity- the impetus behind Costa Rica’s renowned environmental initiatives. We saw our first wildlife (green iguanas, hummingbirds, and a sloth) and some amazing plant ecology- strangler fig, bromeliads, heliconias, and edible to poisonous fruits and flowers. The butterflies were astounding.

Later we also visited the University of Costa Rica’s ProDUS- the research program for urban sustainability- and Dr. Rosendo Pujol, learning about complex environmental problems and planning challenges that nonetheless persist. UCR ProDUSPolitical boundaries and watersheds seldom align, although it was interesting to hear the CR-Panamanian border does. Demographic changes and development’s environmental impacts must be balanced against the natural resources and nature protection.