AORE Association News March 2017 - Page 16


Q: You have been going to Costa Rica for five years. What changes have you seen in that time?

A: Definitely on the Osa Peninsula, there has been more development. As United States expats and others are retiring, some Costa Rican cities are becoming a little more Americanized, if you will. In one of the cities, Quepos, they developed a marina that is definitely tailored more on the luxury side of things, which is interesting in a third-world country. But in the national parks, with Poas volcano, for example, they have really been investing in the structure for the increase in tourism.

Q: If students could take only one thing away from the trip, what would you want that to be?

A: You don't need material things to be happy. It's a relatively poor country, and people have very simple ways of life. The people are still so amazing and so happy. It’s a humbling experience.

Q: If you were going to give a book as a gift to an outdoor recreation student or professional, what would it be?

A: I love Jack Ewing’s book Monkeys are Made of Chocolate. It's the story of Jack’s time being a farm hand in Costa Rica and then turning the farmland back over to the rainforest. It has themes of living in harmony with the natural world and the Earth. The Earth is powerful, and it can right itself even though we try to change it.