About the Costa Rica Portfolio

In 2016 I was able to check off one of the items on my "Someday I Will" list by spending a month studying Spanish, traveling around, and photographing in Costa Rica. As one would expect of a country located in the tropics, Costa Rica is lovely, verdant, and green. They have only two seasons, the rainy season and the dry season, and because of its proximity to the equator, the sun rises and sets at pretty much the same time every day throughout the year.

I visited three separate and distinct climatic zones: the Central Valley, the rain forest on the Pacific Ocean, and the cloud forests of Monteverde in the mountains. The Central Valley is blessed with abundant sunshine, frequent rains, and soil enriched by volcanic eruptions over the millenia, and is the breadbasket of the country. Coffee is grown there, along with numerous fruits and vegetables. The rain forest, as one can imagine, is very hot and humid and for that reason was my least favorite place. But it does have many exotic tropical trees and plants, and can best be described as a jungle. The cloud forest was much more pleasant; with clear morning skies leading to low level clouds (fog) in the afternoons. This almost daily dose of moisture makes it a perfect place for epiphytes, bromelaids, ferns, and other tropical plants. My impression of the cloud forest is that everything that grows there either grows on something or has something growing on it, often both.

Costa Ricans, or "Ticos" as they call themselves, are very happy and friendly people. I guess if you live in paradise what do you have to be unhappy about? It is virtually impossible to pass a Tico on the street without exchanging a "Buenos días" (or tarde or noche, depending on the time of day). Costa Rica has not had an army since 1948, and so is able to spend more money on health care, education, and other services for its people.

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