Costa Rica’s commits to Plastic Transformation in the Tourism Industry

A new initiative for accessible tourism was recently showcased as an extension of the Central American nation’s ongoing sustainability project

It seems Costa Rica doubles down on its world-renowned position as a trendsetter in sustainable development in every instance it gets to do it. The Costa Rican Network of Accessible Tourism recently showcased a remarkable initiative on a global platform at the Pacific Leaders Summit “Rapa Nui 2024” in Chile.

The DONATAPA project is the initiative in question, which was immediately met with acclaim and shown as a beacon of success, highlighting the intersection of plastic transformation and accessible tourism. DONATAPA’s achievements include over 185 tons of plastic collected, 477 meters of wooden plastic walkways constructed, 14 donated amphibious chairs, and the establishment of 13 accessible beaches. These palpable outcomes solidify the project’s mission statement on sustainability and inclusivity.

At the heart of the summit’s discussions was the urgent need to address the pervasive issue of plastic pollution in the planet’s oceans. According to the United Nations, millions of tons of plastic enter the globe’s waterways annually, posing grave threats to marine ecosystems and human well-being. Costa Rican initiatives like DONATAPA present themselves as models for effective plastic waste management and circular economy practices.

DONATAPA’s approach is more than what can be seen in Costa Rica’s coasts, as it’s, in essence, a holistic project that encompasses awareness campaigns, waste collection drives, and the development of innovative products crafted from recycled plastic. By promoting proper waste disposal and encouraging the transformation of plastic into valuable resources, the project demonstrates a multifaceted solution to the current plastic crisis. 

Moreover, the Costa Rican Network of Accessible Tourism leveraged the summit as an opportunity to forge strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations region-wide. By collaborating with diverse sectors internationally, Costa Rica aims to bolster its efforts in sustainability and continue its standing as a leader in environmental stewardship.

The United Nations Environment Program warns of the dire consequences if current plastic consumption trends persist. However, Costa Rica remains steadfast in its commitment to environmental preservation through the aforementioned initiatives, and participating in strategies like the National Marine Debris Plan 2021-2030, where the country is actively working to mitigate plastic pollution and promote sustainable practices.

By harnessing innovation, collaboration, and advocacy, Costa Rica is paving the way for a cleaner, more inclusive future for generations to come, and to continue sharing its blissful coastal wonders with visitors worldwide. 

Costa Rica is the best place to retire in 2024

The idyllic Central American destination is put in the spotlight as the ideal setting for your twilight years.

In the grand composition of life, retirement marks the enchanting coda, the moment when to lay back, rest, and reflect on all the memories you’ve amassed throughout your time on Earth. There isn’t a “true way” of enjoying retirement. Some people develop new hobbies. Others travel the world. Some simply want to spend more time with their loved ones. Whichever the case, the one unifying factor in retirement experiences is making sure you’re situated in the best setting for your life plans.

Given this fact, it’s no surprise that Costa Rica has been an enticing retirement destination since the 1980s. Much has been written about the country’s unparalleled natural beauty, slow pace of life, and sociopolitical stability, but as time marches on and the nation continues its constant reconfiguration, the question about the country’s current standing might arise. If it ever was in doubt, though, the industry-leading Travel + Leisure Magazine has just awarded the small Central American nation the designation of the best place to retire in 2024.

Costa Rica resonates with the pura vida way of life, the kind of wellness that’s hard to replicate elsewhere. Imagine a harmonious tapestry woven from pristine tropical beaches, the eternal spring-like embrace of the Central Valley, and Nicoya, a Blue Zone where time dances in an eternal waltz. With volcanic energy at its core, rich biodiversity, and turquoise waterfalls as the backdrop, Costa Rica truly is as direct a vision as paradise as it gets.

Yet, this destination’s prominence extends beyond its aesthetic allure. Costa Rica’s top-ranking position is a testament to the solid foundations of its social healthcare system and the accessibility inherent to its public institutions, providing a high living standard and a good basis for family growth. 

With a booming tourism and service industry, the infrastructure is all in place for as much comfort as one would like, while simultaneously having the expansive natural canvas of this tropical haven for you to explore and reconnect with Mother Earth. There’s hardly a better place to write your own epilogue in life.

Costa Rica’s is 2024’s Destination of the Year

The prestigious Travel and Leisure magazine has recognized the country’s unquestionable growth and international allure with this coveted acknowledgement.

Costa Rica, renowned for its commitment to sustainable tourism and breathtaking natural beauty, has been named Travel and Leisure’s 2024 Destination of the Year. This prestigious accolade, previously bestowed upon iconic destinations like Italy, Japan, and Australia, reflects the nation’s dedication to a sustainable future and its profound connection with nature.

Travel and Leisure, the most prestigious tourism magazine in the world, painted a vivid picture of Costa Rica’s allure, from its white-sand beaches against the backdrop of a lush rainforest to the astonishing elemental force of the volcano national parks. Natural beauty, incredible biodiversity, and laid-back lifestyle were all some of the main highlighted features of the country.

All this recognition doesn’t come in a vacuum, however, as Costa Rica’s dedication to ecotourism has been a pioneering force for the concept of eco-lodges and has set global benchmarks for sustainable travel practices. More than 50% of Costa Rica’s landmass is now covered in lush rainforests, a testament to its successful efforts in reversing deforestation trends, which started in the 1970s.

As of 2023, Costa Rica is on track to welcome between 2.3 and 2.5 million tourists by air, breaking previous records and surpassing pre-pandemic levels. The country experienced a remarkable 16.4% increase in tourist arrivals during the first nine months of the year, with North America remaining as the primary source of tourists. This tourism boom is bolstering a national economy essentially based around this industry, with approximately 154,930 individuals working in tourism-related jobs as for the first half of 2023.

What this shows is that beyond Travel and Leisure’s new designation, Costa Rica has already established itself as one of the top destinations in the world when it comes to tropical travel. Its well-recorded set of unique social, cultural and political conditions remain a differentiating factor that perfectly complement the country’s unparalleled natural allure. It’s a matter of looking at the global satisfaction score provided by the magazine, a noticeable 87 out of 100.

As the Land of ‘Pura Vida’ continues to captivate with its natural wonders, adventure activities, and rich culture, Costa Rica solidifies its status as a global travel gem and projects a robust outlook for tourism in the near future.

A new initiative empowers rural women in Costa Rica

Historically thought of as a masculine environment, agriculture has diversified itself and seeks to include women in its constant process of reinvention and progress. 

In a significant step towards narrowing the digital gender gap, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has recently announced that a hundred women from rural areas in Costa Rica have undergone training in digital and geospatial technologies applied to agriculture and water resource management.

The initiative, known as the Women’s Rally for Geospatial Technologies, aims to empower women associated with the agri-food sector by enhancing their technological, digital, geospatial, and innovative capabilities. Additionally, the program focuses on strengthening skills related to growth, resilience, and professional empowerment in a wider sense.

As the agricultural sector in Costa Rica continues its constant transformation process, topics such as the inclusion of women have become integral to the new avenues of progress and development. Participants of this initiative gained access to services such as the GEOGloWS streamflow prediction, a global hydrological model providing daily updated forecasts and access to over 40 years of historical streamflow data. They also utilized Climate Trends, which allows access and comparison of data from global models for different variables such as precipitation and soil moisture.

The call for participation, issued by IICA, brought together women starting from the age of 14, including professionals from associations such as Edunámica, the College of Agronomist Engineers of Costa Rica, the College of Professionals in Geography of Costa Rica, and the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC-MINAE). In the closing session, participants shared the projects generated through the knowledge gained during the event.

Historically, agriculture in Costa Rica has been one of the country’s main economic thrusts and still maintains itself as the main income source for many rural communities nationwide. Initiatives like this aim to narrow the educational gap that tends to permeate settlements beyond the Great Metropolitan Area and provide them with the tools to better integrate the ever-flowing needs of this industry, and be up to date with the newest ideas in terms of sustainable development.

A new project looks to maximize Costa Rica’s wind power

A joint effort between Costa Rica’s Institute of Electricity and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration looks to expand the country’s renewable energy options.

Costa Rica’s international image has always been linked to its unparalleled natural allure. From its paradisiacal beaches to its lush rainforests and mystic volcanoes, this small Central American nation shines as one of the world’s main ecological bastions. In recent years, this green abundance has gone beyond its role as a scenic backdrop for unforgettable tourist experiences and become more central to the country’s strategic planning, particularly its commitment towards clean energy generation.

The country has been a pioneer in renewable resources since its hydroelectric plants became its main power source in the first half of the 20th Century, and given its incredible natural conditions, it’s no surprise to see other alternative energies becoming a big part of the nation’s future plans. Recently, the historic Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) has joined efforts with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) to analyze the potential eolic energy generation in the country’s North Pacific region.

Both institutions are conducting studies that will serve as a foundation for future electricity production from wind power. The idea is to collect data about oceanic, socioeconomic, and environmental information that could potentially help with the development of infrastructure that makes the most out of these conditions. It is projected that these studies will be concluded by November of this year.

As part of the research tasks, the meteorological conditions of the region have been carefully evaluated through a  monitoring system using buoys and satellites. The investigation is being carried out by a multidisciplinary team of international specialists under the guidance of Offshore Wind Consultants. The ICE, in collaboration with national academia, public organizations, and coastal-related NGOs have been actively supporting this endeavor as an essential part of the country’s role as a regional leader in sustainable development.

By capitalizing on the power of its coastal winds, Costa Rica has the potential to diversify its energy mix, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance economic growth in rural communities. The country continues setting a shining example for other countries in the region and beyond as it illustrates that a sustainable future can be achievable and economically advantageous even for developing nations.

Two new plant species are discovered in Costa Rica

This is a new reminder that this small Central American nation is one of the planet’s most bountiful ecological settings.

Costa Rica is known internationally as one of the world’s most abundant corners in terms of biodiversity. Be it its enchanting mountain areas like Chirripó, Irazú, and Poas, its immersive tropical jungles all around the country, or the paradisiacal beaches on both coasts, this small Central American nation is truly a treasure trove for nature lovers worldwide.

Bird-watching tours, whale sighting adventures, and a myriad of activities devoted to plant lovers are all just glimpses of how Costa Rica shares its blessed environs with visitors. And the thing is, no matter when or where you explore Costa Rica, there’s always something new to discover, another natural spectacle waiting to manifest itself. A clear example is the recent discovery of two new plant species in the country: the Sternospemation coques and Ilex hamelii. 

These plants are endemic to Isla del Coco and the Guanacaste mountain range, respectively, but draw interest in the country as a whole. Just how many other nations can casually announce these relevant scientific discoveries from two independent investigations, in two different areas of the country? After being peer-reviewed by some of the most prestigious scientists in the world, the announcement of each one of these discoveries came by way of recent publications released almost side-by-side, which naturally garnered attention once again to what’s widely considered to be one of Earth’s oasis.

Given Costa Rica’s continued commitment towards preservation and conservation areas, as well as the importance of its national parks, it wouldn’t be a surprise to continue seeing more and more of these breakthroughs happening in the country. After all, ecotourism has grown in popularity in the last decade, elevating the country even more as an unmissable destination.