Wednesday, May 8, 2019


I intended to publish this on 6/30/2015 and just found it as a draft...  I am posting it, because I think it is still very true and relevant:

Dr. Tom Shahady from Lynchburg College has been collaborating with the University of Georgia and the Center to protect the rivers of the Bell Bird Biological Corridor. He brings his students to monitor the quantity and quality of the water in many rivers and streams of the Corridor.

This student from Lynchurg College is making a documentary regarding the danger that these rivers face from pollution and from large irrigation projects.  She is at the Acapulco River which has been virtually left dry by irrigation projects combined with the drought this area is experiencingThe Costa Rican environmental protection agency has been issuing permits to withdraw up to 90% of a river's water without environmental studies.

These Lynchburg students have worked hard and now they are enjoying a little time with the newest rescues at the Center
Behind the scenes, a student dancer from the Grupo Cultural Arenal y Sol from the National Tech University in Puntarenas is getting help with his atire from Aydee

The Center was filled with customs, make-up, laughter and people helping one another get ready for their wonderful theater-dance presentation called Somos Costa Rica (We are Costa Rica)

Amazing talent

At the end, the applause was mixed with gratitude and excitement as many people in the audience had never attended such an event.  Many thanks to Pedro Garcia, the professor who directed the play and to the University for bringing such joy to our town


Oxen drive the mill

Just realized I never posted this... I wrote it on 6-24-2015.  It is still very pertinent, so here it is:
Large transnational corporations offer jobs and even housing and improved schools and roads to poor communities.   People in these communities sign up for work but do not that the chemicals used in the majority, if not all of the pineapple, sugar cane, bananas and African palm monoculture farming threaten their health, their ground water and their land.  According to those who have been studying this issue for many years, pineapple companies no longer buy the land but just lease if for about 10-15 years.  After this period of time, the land is rendered useless, the groundwater is contaminated and the people are really sick, some with kidney failure.  The price of cheap pineapple is high.  Costa Rica is left to pay for trucking in drinking water and for the healthcare of these people, including the sterility of many of the men who have worked at the banana plantations.  Can you imagine what these chemicals do to those who actually eat them? 

There are solutions though… they  lie on many different levels…the consumer has a tremendous amount of power… if the demand for organic pineapple in other countries increases and the consumption of pineapple that devastates the natural resources and economies of other countries decreases, then the companies MUST change if they are to survive. 

Another solution lies in going back to traditions.  Costa Ricans used to produce their own basic crops.  Now with the subsidized prices of imported crops such corn nobody can compete.  But on a local level, neighbors can work together.  Our new Trapiche (a traditional sugar cane mill) is one of the core components of the BASIC FOOD BASKET project at the Center.  Virtually everyone consumes sugar and this is one of those problematic crops when grown in vast monocultures. A trapiche is very expensive, so not everyone can have one, but the Center’s new mill (well it really is not new, it is about 100 years old) is available for anyone in the surrounding communities to come bring their sugar cane and take home sugar cane products… they share some of the sugar with the Center- everyone wins including the environment as this sugar cane is not grown in a large monoculture so it needs no chemicals and no artificial irrigation as it is grown with the rainy season.

We gave away this crystalized sugar cane at our farmer’s market, but now there is one farmer selling his sugar cane at this market… a testimony that given the opportunity, people want to do the right thing for themselves and for the world

 Our local artist, David Villalobos, created this work of art to pay tribute to the farmer and traditional agriculture. See the sugar cane at the very top it is holding, wrapped up in its own leaves, so there NO packaging to pollute our environment

The world is slowly taking a turn in the right direction...