People here work really freaking hard. Everybody works really, really hard. Six days a week, and they work multiple jobs, and you know they maintain these farms on top of the work they do to bring the most amount of money into their home. And it doesn’t seem like people hate their lives as much as we do, do you know what I mean? They don’t need to escape… It’s just interesting.
And how do you get everyone to stop and try to realize that? Seems like an impossible proposition or task. ~ Doug
[The San Luis community members] cultivate things and create space for the traditional plants. And they’ve planted things specifically for the animals to eat them, you know? They have dogs to protect [the crops] from the monkeys, they’re not trying to chemically alter something, they’re not trying to build up fences or keep things out, they’re making space for everything that belongs in the ecosystem, whatever the case may be. To allow for some sort of semblance of harmony. But even the model itself is not lucrative. There are some sacrifices they’re making financially to produce the way they’re producing, and as a result they need to be creative or innovative in the way they use their space and use their time, allowing tourists to offset or supplement their income. Using it as educational spaces where researches can come and observe birds. They’re taking the sustainability model from an agricultural perspective and they’re expanding it to the way that they live their lives. That’s pretty significant. And when you go back to normal life you have to take the mentality back with you… Figuring out how to harmonize different aspects of your life, in the context of your actual life, means not fighting things off sometimes, as it does welcoming them, and saying, “there’s space for whatever distorted component you are in my life.” ~ Beth
Blog post contribution by Alex Fylypovych, UGA Costa Rica Photojournalism Intern