From Monteverde back to Las Juntas – Elise Enslin & Morgan Tietz

The morning was off to a great start because we got to sleep in… 15 WHOLE MINUTES! At El Desarrollo, the windows in are room are huge, so the sun usually wakes us up. It was weird not having the sunshine but having to rely on alarms since our rooms at Monteverde have blinds on the windows. Take a look at the beautiful view from our rooms of the Monteverde cloud forest!!

View from Rancho Makena in Monteverde

After breakfast, Oscar, our tour guide, took us up the hill because he said that there might be a sloth in one of the trees near the road. Shortly after parking the bus Oscar set his telescope up and we were able to see a sloth sleeping in a tree hanging right over the sidewalk. Fun fact: Oscar said he only sees sloths once or twice a month!

With the excitement running through us, it was off to another adrenaline filled adventure… coffee. Once we arrived at the coffee shop, we were able to try the five different coffees that are made using Monteverde grown coffee beans. The options were light, medium, and dark roast and then honey roast and natural blend. After everyone tried their coffee and picked their favorite flavor, we headed into the Women’s Co-op.

The Women’s Co-op is filled with everything you could think of, all designed by different women. It was a great feeling knowing that we were purchasing authentic Costa Rican items while also supporting the craft of these women.

Lastly, we attended a local community park and was able toboggan down a steep hill, even more fun in the rain. Some people had a successful trip down… while others had a little pre-lunch of grass. After a short hike back to eat lunch we were stuffed and headed back to Las Juntas.

Now, on our return back to Las Juntas, we are reflecting on our time in Monteverde. Despite the fact that the drive to Monteverde was just over an hour, the culture there was incredibly different than that of Las Juntas. Many people’s jobs in Monteverde revolve around ecotourism and consequently, many people there were able to speak English. Also, the food in Monteverde was much different than the food in Las Juntas. There were more options than… you guessed it… rice and beans. The culture in Monteverde has definitely been influenced by tourism and the diverse people that it brings in. Las Juntas is a small town that has not been influenced by outside cultural influences on the extent that Monteverde has been. This comes to show how unique of an experience we are truly getting. As we continue to conduct research, we are able to compare and contrast our experiences with those that we have seen not only in Las Juntas but Monteverde as well and we are extremely grateful.