Thursday, May 18, 2017

Day 6

Today we visited a pineapple plantation on the eastern side of Costa Rica. The production manager showed us around the facility and gave us a little background into the operation. He also described to us how recently more and more famers are discontinuing their work and moving to planting pineapples. They believe that this will give them the best opportunity to maximize profits. The problem with this is that growing pineapples take a lot of space, and being that over half of Costa Rica is covered by forest, it leaves very little room for new pineapple farms to develop. So farmers have began buying up the land and cutting down existing forests. I believe this movement to begin growing and exporting Costa Rica's number one agricultural export to not fit in with the country's brand of essential Costa Rica. The brand was created years ago to promote preserving Costa Rica and  implementing a sustainable lifestyle. Deforestation, which had been a huge issue with Costa Rica since the 50s, is one of the issues that Essential Costa Rica is trying to fight. Although these farms employ hundreds of locals and pay them a fair wage, which does put money back into the economy, I believe that removing forests outweighs the benefit. To me this is not consistent with the model of sustainability. The more forest are removed the harder it will be continue the strides that they have made over the past years. Tourist will not want to travel to Costa Rica to tour pineapple crops, but the rain forest in the area is one of the leading attractions.

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