AORE Association News March 2017 - Page 15

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happens just with that. Students gain perspective and an appreciation for global issues related to agriculture, natural resources, and economics. Costa Rica is an extremely diverse country, and they are on the front end of many of these things.

Q: From your experience, what impact does tourism have on Costa Rica?

A: I think, number one, many Costa Ricans understand the importance of, and are fully bought into, the importance of the role tourism plays in the country. They're really proud of their resources, their parks, and the natural areas.

Q: What efforts has Costa Rica made toward sustainability in its tourism practices?

A: Costa Rica is very close to being 100 percent off of fossil fuels. The country has the goal of operating carbon neutral by 2021 and has only used renewable electricity since 2015. With the volcanoes, they are able to use geothermal energy and are investing in wind turbines.

Q: What practices or approaches do providers in Costa Rica use that you think could benefit other not-for-profit outdoor recreation organizations?

A: A couple of practices come to mind. The whitewater rafting guides, and just Costa Ricans in general, have a lot of humor, and laughter is a big part of their work. When we stay at Hacienda Baru, the naturalists we work with are incredible about spotting wildlife. They tell you stories in a lot of their education—they’re just wonderful storytellers. I think that storytelling is something we could incorporate more into our teaching.