"Eco-tourism" is a term so often used in Costa Rica it’s meaning has become elusive. It is intended to mean "ecological" tourism or "nature-oriented" tourism. However, since it has turned into a phrase used to promote any kind of tourism, one should be critical of how and by whom it is used. The activities in this packet have been designed to give the student insights into the complicated issues surrounding eco-tourism.

Activity 1: Defining Eco-Tourism Activity 2: The (Ir)Responsible Tourist Activity 3: A Snapshot of Costa Rica=s Biodiversity Activity 4: Voting with Your Feet: The Effects of Tourism Activity 5: Your Favorite Place Activity 6: Eco-development in Costa Rica: A Town Meeting Simulation


“Costa Rica, a natural destination Since the 1980s, Costa Rica's national tourist board, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo (ICT), has been promoting eco-tourism. Because Costa Rica could not compete with the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean or Mexico, the ICT decided to concentrate on Costa Rica as a “natural destination”--a wise choice, as approximately 25% of Costa Rican forests are preserved in some way (approximately 12% in national parks and reserves). Despite this protection, the country continues to be deforested at an alarming rate. (See Activity 1 in Environmental Studies in Costa Rica.) Seasonal tourism Another consideration of the ICT is that tourism in Costa Rica is seasonal. The high season for tourism includes the months of December, January, February, and March. Because of higher rainfall, the months of lowest tourism levels tend to be May, June, September, and October. The growth of tourism From 1988-1991, tourism grew very rapidly in Costa Rica, with a 19% increase each year. In 1995, 800,000 tourists were expected, and by 1998--1,358,000. Some say, however, that the Costa Rican "eco-tourism boom" is declining. The number of people indicating they came to Costa Rica for bird watching and natural history was highest in 1993. In 1995, more tourists said they came for sun and beach recreation, rather than ecotourist activities. This trend may continue as several new, large beach and golf tourist complexes on the Pacific are planned and approved by the government, including the 20,000 room Papagayo project. Tourism on the Osa Peninsula On the Osa Peninsula, where the eco-tourism simulation activity from this packet takes place, tourism is on a much smaller scale. From 1990 to 1994, tourism grew from 4,390 to 19,164 people visiting the area. Statistically, this is a 400% increase. As the infrastructure of electricity and better roads develops in the Osa, so will tourism. Whether the tourism will be "sustainable" (providing for future generations) remains to be seen.


Often tourists are uninformed when taking nature hikes.Foreigners reap the monetary benefits of tourism The World Bank estimates that 55% of the gross tourism income in underdeveloped countries goes to the developed countries. Guidelines and sustainable tourism ratings and ethics for lodges are mentioned in the New Key to Costa Rica guide by Beatrice Blake and Ann Becker. With women working outside their homes. Often locals are concerned that their family values and way of life will be changed by the influence of tourists. eco-friendly and sustainable lodge designs for tourists. and training programs for local guides. environmental education. This fee increase relieves the Costa Rican government’s responsibility to fund the parks. it cost only $1. the benefits of tourism to Costa Ricans are diminished. The ICT is now promoting projects in which Costa Ricans themselves gain the economic benefits of tourism. Social problems (delinquency. employed by the hotel/restaurant industry. Up until 1994. however it is assumed that because of the large number of foreign businesses in country and purchases of imported goods. 32 . drug use. One way to work toward this idea is to promote small scale. Tourism affects communities Another area of consideration within the issue of eco-tourism is the effects the presence of tourists have upon a local community. Tourists who participate in educational programs. and prostitution) and crime have increased in some areas. In 1995 the rates were raised to about $10 per day for foreigners.50 per person per day to visit the national parks. provided by the parks and private reserves or lodges are more likely to donate additional money for reserve maintenance. such as slide shows and natural history walks. Some of this money is used to improve interpretive programs at the parks and reserves. The exact figure of tourism income leaving Costa Rica is unknown. tourists now contribute to the maintenance and preservation of reserves. Foreign tourists pay for services received With the recent increase in national park entrance fees for foreigners. family life changes.

After approximately five minutes. each group should sit in a circle and create a written list of 4-5 things that their activities have in common.Activity 1: Eco-tourism DEFINING ECO-TOURISM Subject: Language Arts. they are all outdoor activities. 2. sequencing Duration: 1 class period Purpose: Students will identify the activities that define the concept of eco-tourism. and the impact of these activities on the local communities. Inform the class that each student will assume the role of a tourist on vacation. Compare and contrast tourist activities. and receive a colored card with an activity on it. etc. They will be creating a definition of eco-tourism during the activity. critical thinking. and upon coming together. each group will present these similarities to the class. Write the term “eco-tourism” on the board to provoke interest and give direction to this lesson.) There will be 6-7 different card colors (dependent on class size) to help students identify and come together with a group.” 33 . 2. Objectives: Students will: 1. problem-solving. There will be four students in each group. Social Studies Grade level: 6-9 Group size: small/large group Methods: discussion. they appeal to teenagers. cooperative groups Skills: identification. listening skills. Example: “These are all water sports. (See “activity groups” for card preparation. Spanish and World Languages. Create a working definition of eco-tourism. cooperative decision making. Students should be advised that this is an activity related to the environment. Materials: Colored paper (6-7 colors) Pens Activity Groups list Procedure: 1.

Students will find their group by color. but the teacher need not go through the entire class. and the right side can represent the most environmentally sound. one group at a time. Each activity card within that group should reflect the like color.” The left side of the room can represent the least environmentally sound. Choose three students to come forward in front of the class with their cards. One group member will read the list of similarities out loud to the class. Students should find their group and start working. but may also be divided into half. Students should continue to discuss who should go where in line by activity. The written activity should be large enough for a student to read from 15-20 feet away. Closure: Given the preceding activities and a gradual realization of how vacation-related pastimes can be related to the environment. Pass out the colored activity cards that are well mixed. 5.3. the students can then work as a class to create a working definition of the phrase “eco-tourism. Color: Each of the seven groups listed on the next page should be assigned a different color. 34 . Instruct the groups to stand. Once the first three have been sequenced. Full 8 1/2 x 11 sheets work well. one to each student. When you are relatively comfortable that the students have a sense of what differentiates an environmentally-sound activity from one that is not. Monitor student groups during the five minutes. 7. Activity Group Instructions Card Size: Each activity will be written on a separate sheet of paper. the teacher can then choose another student to come forward and be “sequenced.” This process can be repeated until one-third or one-half of the class is sequenced.” Write this definition next to the term on the board. 6. 4. Pose this question to the class: “Which of these three activities is the most environmentally sound and/or has the most positive impact on the community?” The students will literally be sequencing each other in a “human number line. Each individual group member will hold his/her activity card to be clearly visible to the class. stop the activity.

Four-wheel driving on country roads VII.Activity Groups I. Golfing c. Bird-watching in the Dry Forest c. Surfing in the Atlantic Ocean II. I. Hiking cloud forest trails at a private reserve b. Visiting an agroforestry project *These activities may be added for larger classes. Eating at Taco Bell c. Suntanning at hotel beach b. c. Night walk at Arenal Volcano c. Hiring a local guide for a rainforest hike d. Visiting a shopping mall in San José b. d. Fun in the Sun a. Mountain biking VII. Swimming at hotel pool IV. b. Suntanning at a beach in a national park c. Attending a lecture on deforestation b. Natural Wonders a. Just Add Water White-water rafting Waterskiing Ice-skating at an indoor rink Snorkeling VI. Buying herbal teas at a women=s co-op d. a. Those Crazy Animals a. Equipment Required a. Collecting and identifying seashells on the beach IV. Bat netting at dusk to study various bat species d. Buying t-shirts at a locally owned souvenir shop III. Going on a coffee tour d. Visiting a farming plot that grows alternative crops VI. Back to Nature a. by Roman numeral. Visiting the San José Zoo b. Banana plantation visit c. Hiking to hot springs and natural boiling mudpots 35 . Spending Our Money a. Horseback riding b. Visiting a local artisans market III. Turtle-nesting tour on beach at night d. Visiting Corcovado National Park II. Playing tennis at hotel courts d. Feeding a wild iguana at a picnic area V. Attending a snake-milking demonstration at a snake museum V.

Perform their song/rap for the benefit of the entire class. props needed. discussion. These two students will become familiar with their roles. Spanish and World Languages Grade level: 6-9 Group size: small/large group Methods: pre-rehearsed skit/role play. After the skit. The remaining students should listen carefully for the positive and negative tourist attitudes. At the beginning of the class period.Activity 2: Eco-tourism THE (IR)RESPONSIBLE TOURIST Subject: Language Arts. performance Skills: listening. stressing the value of environmentally-sound tourism. presentation Duration: 1 class period Purpose: Students will be made aware of the marked difference between responsible and irresponsible tourism. Materials: Skit: “The (Ir)responsible Tourist” Procedure: 1. these two students present the skit to the class. interpreting. lead a short discussion about reactions to the two distinct roles. 3. Create a song/rap set to a given tune that reflects the do=s and don=t=s of a conscientious eco-tourist. Social Studies. formulating an original song. The skit should be given to two students (of the teacher’s choice) the day prior to this activity. Draw a T-chart on the board--one side for eco-tourism “do’s” and the other for “don’ts. 36 . Identify the qualities that distinguish a responsible from an irresponsible tourist. critical thinking. gestures. anticipate enthusiasm.” Fill in the chart with student ideas. They may move across the room or remain stationary. Objectives: Students will: 1. etc. voice inflections. cooperative groups. 2. 3. 2.

You Are My Sunshine. some are clearly more detrimental and should be avoided above all else. A “2nd” and “3rd” place may also be given. Row Your Boat. The midpoint on the line will be labeled as “It depends” or “Unsure. Using the T-chart of “do’s” and “don’ts”. Be divided into groups of 4-5 (dependent on class size).4. etc. Next to the T-chart of eco-tourism “don’ts. cooperation. Yankee Doodle Dandy.” create a rating continuum--ranging from and labeled as “Most harmful to the environment” on the left to “Least Harmful to the environment” on the right. (Prior to this. This activity may work especially well with some type of reward (however small) to prompt student motivation and involvement. Close with a short reflection of the qualities of an ir/ responsible tourist as presented in the songs. Relate this to how each student can employ the positive qualities whenever he/she may be a tourist. instruct the students that they will: a. one group at a time. 37 .) A discussion can follow. etc. Extensions: 1. Decide on a “1st place” award for the group that demonstrates the most creativity in content. Have 10-15 minutes to write their song. reflecting the idea that while all of these listed activities have a negative impact on the environment. Students will perform their song or rap. this could be to a familiar tune or an original one that they create. (Provide students with a familiar song tune such as: Brady Bunch theme. Row. there is a gradation within the “don’ts” whereby some activities are more or less harmful to the environment than others. A supplementary activity can be added to extend this understanding. b. d. Perform this song to the class after this allotted time.” Ask students to place the “don’ts” on the continuum.) 5. 2. Row. While a T-chart can be made for eco-tourism “do’s” and “don’ts”. c. Should the students decide to do a rap. Closure: 1. Take Me Out to the Ballgame. enthusiasm. Create an “original” song or rap reflecting the qualities of an (ir)responsible tourist. in front of the class. the teacher may choose to have each student rate the “don’ts” on his/her individual paper. Gilligan’s Island.

let’s go see where this ‘Do Not Enter’ area goes.” (Loudly) “Hey. yeah. we’re the tourists--he should speak our language. the trees are so thick that there’s not much sunlight coming in.. Abby.” Abby: “Billy.we could light a small fire and send up a smoke signal if we get really lost. LOOK!” Abby: (Whispering) “Billy. A forest fire here would destroy not only the trees.” Billy: “Why? He didn’t speak that much English.” 38 . what are you doing with that lighter?” Billy: “It’s dark way in here. and I never paid enough attention in Spanish class to understand him..” Abby: “But what if we get lost?” Billy: “Who cares? Come on.Skit: The (Ir)responsible Tourist Abby: “I’m so glad our class decided to come to Costa Rica to study the environment! This rainforest is really neat!!” Billy: “Yeah. big deal.” Abby: “I’m just thinking that we probably should have stayed with the guide and the others.” Billy: “Yeah. keep your voice down! The guide said to be quiet to respect the animals. it’s pretty cool. Besides. Who are you--Smokey the Bear?” Abby: (Sarcastically) “Very funny.” (ha ha) Abby: “Don’t you know anything? This is the dry season here. Hey-. I figured a little light would be in order. and the signs said no fires of any kind!” Billy: “Oh. but all of the animals and birds that count on the forest as their home.

. well. But a monkey is! Look in that tree! See him?” Abby: “Neat! That must be the white-faced monkey that the guide was talking about. Let’s go back to the hotel. pollution. and it disrupts their natural habits.I have my pocket knife along.It’s all connected.” Billy: “Who cares? Quick--do you have anything to feed him?” Abby: “You’re not supposed to feed them.” 39 . The chemicals will wash off all this bug repellent I’m wearing.” Abby: “Cocobolo wood? That’s the tree that the guide pointed out to us as one of the most endangered in all of Costa Rica!” Billy: “So what? It was cool. They didn’t even stop to think how it would affect the environment or the local community!” Billy: “Yeah. I heard that our hotel was actually built by foreign investors who cut almost 100 acres of forest to clear the land. They have this big sculpture made of this rare wood called Cocobolo (co-co-BEAU-lo) that I want to buy. but they have a neat gift shop. we’re the visitors here. We can swim in the pool.’” Abby: “Get real! This tree is at least a hundred years old.” Billy: “Hey—wouldn’t he be neat to take home with us? So would this plant! Cool. (Mushy sounding) That way..” (Billy drops something.remember. everyone could see that ‘Billy loves Abby. he’s not here right now. They become too used to tourists. Does our hotel even care? You know. Billy.” Abby: “The guide said not to really touch anything-. We could carve our initials into this HUGE tree here. We don’t have the right to do that!” Billy: “I’m bored.” Abby: “Chemicals.) (Leaning over to pick it up) “Which is exactly why you shouldn’t be littering!” Billy: “I just remembered-.Billy: “Yeah.

(With determination) Right now. so that we don’t lose it.Abby: “Billy. and lose you!” 40 . and not just about yourself. I’m going to improve my environment. I’m starting to think that you’re not cool. We need to take steps to conserve and improve our environment. How would you like it if people came to our area and had such little respect? You need to start caring about the environment.

Remind students that it gets 41 . some of that land is farmland or city now. This may be used as an out of class assignment or as reinforcement. a narrow strip of land along the U. What does the term “tropical” mean? (On a world map.Activity 3: Eco-tourism A TOURIST’S SNAPSHOT OF COSTA RICA’S BIODIVERSITY Subject: Social Studies. some of it is so mountainous that no trees grow. Are all rainforests in tropical areas? (No. map comprehension Duration: 20 minutes Purpose: To understand that there are many types of tropical forests. Identify high elevations where bushes and stunted trees would grow.) b. Language Arts. Ask students in pairs to define the term “tropical rainforest. Spanish (extensions) Grade level: 6-9 Group size: individual or pairs Methods: individual or pair map reading & matching of four biomes Skills: reading.” Listen to definitions and extend with these questions: a.) d. xvixvii. This lesson introduces them to tropical dry forests. northwest coast could be called a middle latitude rainforest. Science. Objective: Students will be able to correctly match four tourist descriptions of Costa Rica’s life zones. Do all tropical areas have forests? (No. coastal forests and mountain rainforests. some is savannah. identify the “belt” which is about 44 degrees of latitude wide which extends from about 22 degrees north to 22 degrees south latitude. but not necessarily a rainforest? (Determined by the amount of rain. Procedure: 1. It’s where the famous Redwood trees grow. Materials: Handout: A Tourist’s Snapshot of Costa Rica’s Biodiversity Maps of Costa Rica’s life zones (See “Exploring the Geography of Costa Rica” pp. especially if the other map activity has been used.S.) Large world map (helpful in introduction) Background: Students often use the term “tropical rainforest” as though it were the only type of forest found in the tropics. not the temperature) c. What makes an area a forest.

the short readings on the worksheet will illustrate the differences.) 2. cost. Ask why the term “tropical rainforest” is sometimes inappropriate. Language Arts) Draw/write postcards from each of these types of forest. activities. Distribute worksheets and maps.colder in high elevations. Are all tropical forests the same? (No. Also. (Spanish.” 42 .) e. read directions. Closure: 1. Art.” Extensions: 1. some tropical areas may have such poor soil that trees might not be able to grow. Design a complete brochure for the lodges or cabins described in A. and D. 2. Things to include in the brochures include: location/map. Ask students to define the term “tropical forest. C. information on why this lodge is “ecology friendly. B. Check papers for accuracy: Written Descriptions: 1 = D 2=A 3= B 4=C 2.

(Your state may only have one or two different life zones. using the map match the forest type to its location.Name: _______________________ A Tourist’s “Snapshot” of Costa Rica’s Biodiversity Background: The term “tropical forest” can be used to describe 12 DIFFERENT life zones in Costa Rica. Directions: Read the descriptions of the four areas and lodges. Lodge Match 1. coastal wet tropical forest 4. Costa Rica’s twelve zones have been generalized into four forest types.) Each life zone includes unique plant and animal life. wet tropical forest 2. dry tropical forest 3. “cloud forest” mountain rainforest 43 . On the map. Then.

Lodge A Kick off those tennis shoes and try on a pair of cowboy (vaquero) boots at the Hacienda Los Inocentes! As you horseback ride through the forests and pastures of this working ranch. emerging finally at the ocean. Once fire was a common element during the dry season (January to April) when virtually no rain falls. we have worked to maintain the home’s architectural integrity while still providing modern conveniences. the symbol of our province. uninhabited beaches. You’ll find the wide verandas decked with comfortable chairs perfect for viewing sunsets and the changing color and light surrounding the Orosi Volcano. which stand at the ocean’s edge. The savanna is a mix of grassland and large. Lodge B Take a quiet boat ride through Costa Rica’s maze of inland waterways. Or. Mangroves are pioneer land builders too! With their roots. flat topped guanacaste trees. 44 . It’s an unforgettable place. trees here turn a brilliant yellow and lose their leaves. Scientists are just now learning about how mangrove trees can filter salt water. You’ll come away understanding the reason machetes are sold in local hardware stores. You’ll see all stages of succession on this private reserve: where grassland meets the savanna and the savanna meets the forest. you’ll find our comfortable lodge. The Spanish who settled here maintained that open-space feeling with cattle ranches which you’ll still see today. You’ll pass through miles of lush lowland forest in a small boat or canoe. At Sabina’s Cabinas. Fire kept grasslands free of trees. where you’ll be rewarded for your silence by the sight of a sloth. With dry grasses. you can don a pair of rubber boots and explore rare forests. Take a guided night hike to see giant sea turtles nest on sandy. they catch soil which washes into rivers and protect themselves from tidal erosion. look for toucans where forest meets the pasture. Explore estuaries. Study the storied canopy and you’ll see whole trees in bright flower. or monkeys bouncing from tree to tree. featured on our flag. you’ll fall asleep listening to the sound of the surf. where trees can survive with roots submerged in water. clams and crustaceans. In the area of Costa Rica longest settled by the Spanish. the area has a golden glow. where the mixing of salt water and fresh water creates an environment favored by mussels. Learn about the tangled mangrove forests. Near the end of the dry season. Built by the Inocentes family in the 1800s. This environmentally sensitive area produces life forms that form the base of the ocean food chain. Look for monkeys moving in the tree tops in thick forest cover.

which means “the forest” in Spanish. This moisture--over six feet of it yearly--feeds the farms and forests below. Stay at El Bosque. This is the region of greatest biodiversity in Costa Rica. Give birds and beasts time to become accustomed to your presence. means “the jungle” in Spanish. Take time to search the canopy for birds and monkeys. leaves as large as umbrellas.” Here. ferns taller than you. You’ll find an area bathed in abundant moisture which rises from both of Costa Rica’s coasts. A tree called the strangler fig uses a host tree for support and eventually claims the life of that host. Located along the Sarapiqui River. 45 . and toads you would need two open hands to hold. Lodge D Step into the green cathedral for a lifetime of inspiration.500 feet of elevation. At 4. Look inside a bromeliad. you’ll find the air has cooled and hiking temperatures are comfortable. which overlooks the river or you might decide to sign up for a white-water rafting excursion. but stop frequently to listen and look. Our cabin “walls” are really screened windows. designed to catch water. dwarfed trees are buffeted by high winds near the continental divide. Look for the colorful quetzal. You’ll be within walking distance of the Monteverde Reserve and the Children’s Rainforest. huge neon blue butterflies called morphos. Give your eyes time to adjust to an endless green profusion. you might see otters playing outside the screened-in dining room. you’ll see fluorescent fungi hard at work if you take a night hike. La Selva. Be sure to bring a sweater and rainwear for your climb into the “elven forest. land purchased by donations from school age children worldwide. the national symbol of Costa Rica.” constantly adjusting their position to get more light. You’ll find towering trees which support themselves with thick buttresses. to observe the lush greenery and vines stretching tree to tree. Our goal is to bring the sounds of nature inside while insuring a comfortable night’s rest. unique wide bases. It’s a struggle for plant species living here. who fight for light.Lodge C Keep climbing and you’ll enter a realm of green stillness. as they search for nutrients from the forest floor. With this much moisture. “Walking” fig trees actually “move. Walk along the trails of our private reserve. and you’ll see a small universe of insects. Our knowledgeable trail guides will tell you about the diverse life forms and interrelationships between plants and animals. Life seems to take its most extravagant size and shape: giant trees like the ceiba. a plant with a cup at its top. the name of our lodge.

2. and the economy. environment. Objective: Students will be able to explain positive and negative effects of tourism. Procedures: 1. Language Arts. Mark opposite sides of your chalkboard “positive” or “negative” or hang appropriate signs at opposite ends of your classroom. 3. classification. Ask students where they have traveled and what the area was like.Activity 4: Eco-tourism VOTING WITH YOUR FEET: THE EFFECTS OF TOURISM IN COSTA RICA Subject: Social Studies. Tourism is an example of one service industry which has been promoted in developing nations. Materials: Handout: What Do You Think? (one per student) Pencil. Distribute the worksheet “What Do You Think?” and ask students to respond to the items listed after reading the instructions and background. Math (see extensions) Grade level: 6-9 Group size: whole group Methods: individual worksheet. evaluation Duration: 1 class period Purpose: To understand that promoting tourism has complex consequences. discussion Skills: discussion.” Ask if they think tourism is good for the people. calculator (for math extension) Teacher Notes: What Do You Think? Rubric/Guidelines for Presentations Background: Many economies have shifted from industrial to service-based economies. or use the activity “The Ir-Responsible Tourist. analysis. Explain to students when they “vote with their feet” that where they stand will show the strength of their opinion: 46 .

) Assessment: Ask students to write about the positive and negative effects of selected items from the list. Closure: 1. Try to get responses from all students. to rank order these goals and explain their reasoning to the whole group. Connect: ask students about local tourist attractions. protect the environment b. Create a rubric which will score quantity and quality of responses. (See Glossary for definition. Allow students to move if they change their minds after hearing the opinions of others. (mathematics) Assign numeric ratings to each of the twenty items on “What Do You Think?” and determine class averages. In what positive or negative ways has that area been affected by tourism. provide jobs and economic growth Ask students. Invite students to extend their written ideas on “why” on their worksheets during this discussion. Ask: is it possible to have economic growth and protect the environment? Explain that this is the idea behind sustainable development.-- ++ very negative undecided very positive 4.” Continue until all students have had an opportunity to “vote with their feet” and explain their reasoning. either individually or in small groups. (See sample provided. 2. Compare with other sections or assign each student to interview one adult and compare student responses with adult responses. 5. Ask students to explain why they voted as they did. Or. After discussing two or three items on the worksheet. so that both sides of each topic are explained. See “Teacher Notes” to aid in discussion. Introduce these two goals held by many communities and nations: a. Voting With Your Feet. ask those students to take their seats and bring a new group to the front to “vote with their feet. (language arts) Assign students to write an essay on tourism. modify the worksheet to collect student averages on responses before and after discussion of each item. 2. Invite seated class members to add their comments. Direct them to move to the “negative. Use computers to generate bar graphs on data. Begin discussion by asking one or two rows of students to stand with their worksheets.” “positive” or “undecided” area of the classroom to show how they voted on worksheet item #1. It could relate to 47 .) Extensions/Interdisciplinary Connections: 1.

48 .tourism in your area or what you learned in this activity about tourism in Costa Rica. In the letters (or fax) ask officials to list ten positive and ten negative effects of tourism in that area. (language arts) Draft a letter or letters to area Chambers of Commerce or city administrators in areas with popular tourist attractions. giving specific dollar amounts generated by tourism if possible. 3. Find out if one of these essays could be published in your school or local newspaper. Investigate how many jobs and how much income is generated in your state by tourism.

Private organizations like The Nature Conservancy provide money to train park rangers and guides who lead tourists on forest hikes. about the size of West Virginia. The following items are facts about Costa Rica. Briefly explain each choice after the word “why?. Directions: Items 1-10 describe some of the effects of tourism on Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a small country in Central America. Tourism provides jobs for maids.Name: ____________________________ What Do You Think?--The Effects of Tourism Background: Many countries (and maybe even your community!) try to attract tourists to help their economies grow.000 in 1994. WHY?: 49 .” 1.000 tourists in 1989 to 700. Read each item and decide if you think this effect is positive or negative. Foreigners own most of the large resorts in Costa Rica. WHY?: 2. use “?” for undecided. with a population similar to the state of Iowa. waiters and taxi drivers. If you cannot decide if the item is positive or negative. Classify each item as “P” for positive effects or “N” for negative effects. Tourism increased from 20. WHY?: 3. WHY?: 4.

5. Hotel beach lights confuse turtles hatching on the beach. WHY?: 9. WHY?: 6. WHY?: 8. Volunteers come to Costa Rica each year to build and maintain hiking trails in parks and reserves. WHY?: 50 . tourism is the number one source of income for Costa Rica. WHY?: 7. Denmark and the U. WHY?: 10. Since 1993.S. which is usually the moon reflecting on the ocean. Costa Ricans who once worked on banana plantations find higher paying jobs with less physical work by working in the tourist industry. Women formed cooperatives to create souvenirs like hand painted T-shirts and woodcrafts for tourists to buy. Their instincts direct them towards the light. Citizens in nations like Sweden. have provided money to preserve tropical forests in Costa Rica.

51 . then what? 5. Hotel beach lights confuse baby turtles hatching on the beach. Negative Effects 2. restaurants and many other businesses grew or started. Most of the income created by tourism flows out of Costa Rica to these other countries. Some tourists are very rude to local people. The economy comes to depend on outside sources for funding education & training. attacks on people by monkeys have resulted. Local people have gained a clearer understanding of Costa Rica’s forests and wildlife. unskilled jobs usually without much chance for advancement. Costa Ricans became more interested in preserving forests. Tourism provides jobs for maids. further endangering many species. Forests were cut and habitats changed to build high-rise hotels.000 tourists visited Costa Rica. Some locals come to resent “rich tourists” and thefts become an issue. These are traditionally low paying. Foreign income helps Costa Rica pay off international debts because the tourists pay to see the environment. which is usually the moon reflecting on the ocean. laws regarding lighting were created. Some people secured better paying. In 1989 about 20. water systems. 3. Foreigners own most of the large resorts in Costa Rica. if the funding stops. Additional income helped Costa Rica develop its infrastructure (roads. Hotels. Increased human traffic frightened some animal species into the more remote areas of the forest and fewer wildlife sightings are reported. Tourism has increased. Employment provides a means of earning a living and supporting a family. 4. Their instincts direct them towards the light. Private organizations like The Nature Conservancy have provided money to train park rangers and guides who lead tourists on forest hikes.Teacher Notes: “What Do You Think?” Positive Effects 1. Awareness of these problems rose. some Costa Ricans feel “invaded” by foreigners. This was a very rapid increase which resulted in huge changes almost overnight. electricity) as well as schools and medical facilities. Prostitution and drug trade increased. In 1994 about 700. therefore increasing the number of tourists who come to know and enjoy Costa Rica’s tropical forests and beaches. Turtle protection zones were established in many areas. Uninformed tourists feed animals.000 visited Costa Rica. waiters and taxi drivers. Trails became damaged and eroded in some areas by overuse. Foreigners advertise in their home country. Turtle nesting was greatly affected. more skilled jobs. 80% of Costa Rican beaches are developed. Small communities experienced rapid unplanned growth.

tourists could tire of a place and want to go somewhere new. Denmark and the U. Many Nicaraguans have fled to Costa Rica. This makes it difficult for local farmers. 10. Forests reduce soil erosion. Biodiversity has been maintained and international attention about the importance of biodiversity has occurred. If free labor is available local people may not be able to find work. food becomes more expensive and more would need to be imported. Since 1993. to retain land for agricultural use. 7. volunteers also need places to sleep and food to eat. Programs may become dependent on outside help. 8. Forests provide oxygen for the planet and clean up air pollution.S. “ Two problems occur then: the people have no way to earn a living and. Volunteers work for free and often pay their own way. tourism is the number one source of income for Costa Rica. half of Costa Rica’s land is in some type of private or public park or reserve. as they may want to sell out their farm land for a one time “payoff. Women formed cooperatives to create souvenirs for tourists to buy like hand painted T-shirts and wood crafts. most people want to have an easier day than working from dawn to dark under very hot and dirty conditions in rural areas where there is risk from pesticide-related illnesses and cuts by machetes. called campesinos. which means more land is developed. Some women’s cooperatives have become an Working outside the home has created changes and important source of money and self esteem for sometimes conflict and envy within the home and women in an area where they have been community. 9. the banana industry may cease to exist or pass along higher costs to customers. Locals do not learn to maintain the trails. Free labor is especially valuable in a country with restricted monetary resources. bad publicity could seriously damage a tourist industry and many people’ livelihoods and social services would be affected. see Tourism can be a fickle business. Currently. They have taken these low paying plantation jobs. Citizens in nations like Sweden. Volunteers come to Costa Rica each year to build and maintain hiking trails in parks and reserves. traditional child care practices have undervalued and under-educated. Foreign money has actually “bid up” the price of land. More money is available for a variety of uses. to escape war and worse economic conditions. Many acres of land have been put into private or national parks and reserves. 52 . that money is spent and respected within the economy. if less is grown. Central American tropical forests provide winter homes for birds commonly found in North and South America. Many research projects are in progress which may find new medicines. social tension has increased as some prejudice and hard feelings have resulted. See #1 & 2. legally and illegally. have provided money to preserve tropical forests in Costa Rica. This protects rivers. Many of the information advantages expressed in #3 also apply. If the price of labor becomes too high. Costa Ricans who once worked on banana plantations find higher paying jobs with less physical labor by working in the tourist industry. Like tourists.6. it’s possible that #2. Most people want to earn higher wages. been changed.

answers in discussion only volunteers ideas. asks when called on to respond questions of others or connects this discussion to local area with questions like.. uses topic sentences. no topic sentences evident. distinct ideas are paragraphed Writing identifies positive or negative effects of tourism but not both essay is not easy to read.. no paragraphing of distinct ideas Discussion involved in class discussion.Rubric/Guidelines for Presentations Good Job Areas to Improve Quantity of Effects explains 3 or more results of explains 2 or less results of tourism tourism of Tourism identifies positive and negative effects of tourism Seeing Both Sides essay is legible. “but what about.” or gives examples 53 .

2. 54 .Activity 5: Eco-tourism YOUR FAVORITE PLACE Subject: Language Arts. Ask students to describe in writing a special natural place they know (or might have seen on a video). Materials: pen or pencil. and paper Background: This writing/discussion activity is meant to be a short. Share these places with the class. They will discuss and come to some tentative decisions about how local and global natural areas are affected by conscious choices. Social Studies. Procedure: 1. critical thinking Duration: 1/2 class period Purpose: To demonstrate how groups make choices about the use of natural areas. It is important that students first consider a local area that could be affected by change before they think in terms of how eco-tourism changes areas in Costa Rica. pairs Skills: decision making. Objectives: Students will describe a natural place special to them in some way. Spanish Grade level: 6-9 Group size: whole class Methods: discussion in large group. To help students make connections between local special places and regional or international natural areas. quick activity for a lead-in to the town meeting simulation on eco-development in Costa Rica.

like national parks or state reserves. Formalize the discussions. ask them to choose any special place they know. How we use these natural places. Pose the following question: If your favorite place were to be developed--perhaps as a hotel for tourists--what would you do? How would you feel? How would these changes affect individuals? the environment? the economy? Closure: Continue with “A Town Meeting Simulation. How would they feel if someone decided to change it? 2. 3. Sometimes the choices we make are good. writing up the discussion questions for small groups to discuss and afterwards share with the large group. is decided by groups and these choices can help or hurt the environment. If students do not have a special natural place. if you were to make a stand about how a natural area should be used. Include a drawing in the description of a favorite place. Follow the procedure of: think > ink > pair share > group share. people.” This activity asks students to look at many points of view about using a natural area in Costa Rica. with their descriptions. Ask the students. Lead toward the idea that we choose special places for different reasons. sometimes bad.3. 55 . Some choices we make as individuals. 4. Extensions: 1. Discuss why many of these places are “special” to us. and the economy. what would you say? 4. others we make as groups.

Spanish Grade level: 6-9. Materials: Interest Groups paragraphs Butcher paper. Teachers should realize that there are no "right" answers about tourism development wherever it is promoted. Objectives: Students will: 1. decision making. discussion. By allowing 56 . adaptable for secondary school Group size: 25-30 Methods: role-play simulation. who provide needed economic stimulation.Activity 6: Eco-tourism ECO-DEVELOPMENT IN COSTA RICA: A TOWN MEETING SIMULATION Subject: Social Studies. analyzing data. 2. cooperative groups Skills: group cooperation. 3. Evaluate outcomes they and other student participants discuss during the role-play simulation. Interpret arguments and analyze situations for and against developing eco-tourism in a semi-fictional Costa Rican community. In talking to many local Costa Ricans involved in eco-tourism businesses. Language Arts. the students should be able to identify with how Costa Ricans feel as eco-tourism is developed in their country. critical thinking Duration: 2 class periods Purpose: To help students understand that eco-tourism in Costa Rica is a complex issue with positive and negative viewpoints. The "Ticos" have come to value their country as special because of its preserved natural areas and beaches. what kind. or large paper sheets for presentations. eco-tourism development is a complicated issue. generous people. it is apparent that there are many viewpoints in regards to whether eco-tourism should be promoted and if so. However. Formulate viewpoints and express their opinions related to positive and negative aspects of tourism development. markers Rubric/Guidelines for Presentations Background: Costa Rica is a unique country with great biodiversity and friendly. By role-playing as different local community members. Many realize that their country's beauty is appealing to nature-oriented tourists.

" The mayor of the town is a non-voting member whose job is to maintain the order of the meeting. and almost 400 bird species. about 140 mammal. The rainforests that remain are teeming with lush vegetation and bird and animal life. peccaries. found at the end of this activity." in our opinion creates more controversy than would a smaller. is designed to encourage students’ involvement during the presentations and to provide grading guidelines for group presentations. Some of the names are actual people and places. including the hotel investors who present their project as "environmentally friendly. Read this background to the students: Puerto Jiménez is a small coastal city of approximately 5. A large part of the Osa Peninsula includes Corcovado National Park and other reserves. Before the cooperative group activity.000 people. there live 500 species of trees. crocodiles. Mangroves are important bird nesting and marine life areas where the tree roots grow right into the salt water. It is home to Costa Rica's largest population of the beautiful scarlet macaw.5 acres) Within Puerto Jiménez there are many voices either supporting or opposing the project. One visit to Corcovado is an unforgettable adventure for those who want to enjoy a real experience in the rainforest and admire one of the greatest biodiversities of our planet. sloths. These council members will vote for or against the project after all have spoken. 57 . These people will all get a chance to express their opinions in front of a community council. The "Osa Dulce Company" wants to buy 100 hectares of forest in their coastal community and build a 100-room "eco-tourism" hotel. It has a nice beach coastline of gray sand with some mangroves. It is located in the southern Pacific region of Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula. (1 hectare = 2. they will be learning valuable skills in critical thinking that will help them be better world citizens in the future." The role play is based on interviews made with real Costa Ricans. 2. The rubric. giant anteaters. Within the park. presumably lower impact "eco-lodge.students to make their own decisions here. Some forest has been cut and burned for cattle grazing and cultivation. The climate is characterized by humid rainforest. by proposing a 100-room proposed "eco-tourism hotel. the teacher should plan which students will work effectively in groups of 3 or 4 (considering mixed ability levels). five cat species. and monkeys. Procedure: 1. Explain to the students that they are involved in a controversy about tourism being developed in Puerto Jiménez. while others are fictionalized. Currently the forest continues to be cut. and timing the presentations. Other important or endangered rainforest species found here are: tapirs. calling on the speakers. This simulation.

Have groups choose their role out of a hat. indigenous . Also. 5. Give twenty minutes for each group to formulate a position. To aid this process groups should fill a T-chart with positive and negative aspects of the proposal. eco-tourism ecoturismo. (Next class period) Starting with the hotel investors' proposal. Community group members explain what they felt was the strongest argument made by their group. 58 . or timer. 6. 8. Give each group the description of their background and considerations. the teacher may want to translate some of the vocabulary and community positions into Spanish. 4. After all the groups speak.Groups: 1 mayor (could be teacher) 5 or 7 council members (should be odd number for voting) 3-4 hotel investors 3 campesino-cattle farmers 3 indigenous native people from the Osa Reserve 3 tourist-based small business owners 3 non-governmental community development project directors 3 women artisans 3 grassroots environmentalists 3. Meanwhile. assign each student to write a paragraph. facilitator. They should provide four reasons to support their position. each group's speaker gets five minutes to express his/her position. Extensions: For the Spanish class.alcalde. Hotel developers write how they might compromise and which group influenced them the most and why. students choose to be either their group's speaker. Council members justify their vote. 7. the council members review their notes and vote individually (out loud) explaining their position. For example: mayor .indígena. Assign students to groups. Closure: After the discussion. The mayor writes his/her opinion. A short teacher-led large group discussion follows the role-play. the investor group prepares its proposal and the council members and mayor review the voting procedures and background information.

Patricio(a) Rojas. Manuel(a) Hernández. The beach area will have to be cleared of some mangroves. You also value reserving more forest land since you are concerned about deforestation in Costa Rica. HOTEL INVESTORS. Francisco(a) Alarcón. and providing taxes and income for the government.Interest Groups (NOTE: The (a) after each name makes the name feminine. You do not want short term solutions. This means meeting the needs and wants of this generation without risking those of the future. timing each speaker (limit 5 minutes). but interrupting is not allowed. This means your group wants to focus on low impact (not much change) to the environment and promoting tourists that are nature-oriented. Juan(a) Higuera. 59 . José Molina. if the name ends in -o.) MAYOR AND COUNCIL MEMBERS. and introducing each one in turn. You realize the locals may have opposing views on upgrading tourism in the area. The community council members are to listen and take notes during all the presentations. giving reasons for voting as you did. Jorge Faustino. Luis(a) Vargas BACKGROUND INFO: The mayor is a non-voting member of the community council and will maintain order throughout the meeting. and tennis courts are in the plans. Since the large Corcovado National Park and several other reserve areas exist in the area. encouraging agriculture. and realize that the Osa Peninsula area is underdeveloped for tourism. CONSIDERATIONS: Your group also wants to concentrate on the benefits of tourism to the local community: employment. Your concern is for the betterment of the town. so you try to present your hotel as "eco-friendly". TOWN OF PUERTO JIMENEZ NAMES: Juan(a) Bravo." You have tourist facilities located in other areas of Costa Rica. it is dropped before the -a is added. Paco(a) Chávez. CONSIDERATIONS: You want to consider the reasons given during each speaker's presentation. Luis(a) Castillo. you will tell how you vote out loud. A nice pool. "OSA DULCE COMPANY" HOTEL NAME: "Lapa Roja" NAMES: Antonio(a) López. industry. John (Joan) Johnson BACKGROUND INFO: You are a group of Costa Rican and American business people who have formed a company called "Osa Dulce. You may ask polite questions of the speakers. but sustainable development in Puerto Jiménez. and business. you decide to upscale the tourism appeal and propose a 100-room hotel near Puerto Jiménez. Some girls might have to play male parts. providing employment opportunities for its members. golf course. After the speakers are heard.

however. You need to clear more cattle pasture and room for cultivation. You also realize that your children could possibly be employed as hotel staff in the future. Ronald Quesada. Francisco Vargas BACKGROUND INFO: You are a group of local farmers. Many of your people have knowledge about the use of tropical forest plants for food and medicinal purposes. CONSIDERATIONS: Tourism might prohibit the use of resources from the forest (like cutting trees. Gabriel(a) Roblezo. and planting fields). You have hunting rights in your reserve. hunting. Laura Rivera BACKGROUND INFO: You are from a group of indigenous people from the Osa Reserve near Corcovado National Park and the area that the Osa Dulce Company wants to buy. illegally panning for gold in Corcovado. Your farms consist of cattle pastures (beef). rice.CAMPESINOS (SMALL CATTLE FARMERS) NAMES: José Mora. Some of you grow tuber crops like yucca. and sugar cane. INDIGENOUS PEOPLE FROM THE OSA RESERVE NAMES: Benson Vanegas. the gold miners in your reserve may be opposed to bringing in more tourists because there will be greater restrictions and surveillance in the National Park. 60 . CONSIDERATIONS: You want to protect the forest upon which you depend in order to survive. You also value maintaining your rich cultural traditions and may feel threatened or fear exposure to foreign values and ways of living. You may fear losing the use of your cultivated lands near the forest and the opportunity to hunt there (although hunting is actually illegal). You could possibly sell your beef to the hotel for its restaurant. You value the forest for the wealth of resources it provides. Some of you are small-time gold miners.

61 . share materials. However. José. You have had some good and some bad experiences with tourists. WOMEN ARTISANS NAMES: Gladys Rodríguez.TOURIST-BASED SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS NAMES: Roberto Vásquez. but also change your way of life. Some tourists have been rude to Roberto. CONSIDERATIONS: More tourists would improve your businesses. José Varela BACKGROUND INFO: Your group consists of two small boat owners. you also realize that more tourists create more opportunities for yourselves and your children. one that promotes snorkeling and one that provides coastal tours and fishing to tourists. They do not spend money in the community and are often disrespectful of the locals. the small tour boat owner. you and your husbands realize that more tourists in the area would increase the number of people who would buy your creations. CONSIDERATIONS: Like the other local people in Puerto Jiménez. does not appreciate the young backpacking tourists who come to Costa Rica only to have "fun" and use drugs. Alberto. you would favor more tourists in order to sell more of your handicrafts. and a "pulpería" (small general store) owner from Puerto Jiménez. Currently it is hard to find the time away from your household chores to meet. You value your family and simple way of life. He was directly insulted by one such tourist. the pulpería owner. Carla Sánchez BACKGROUND INFO: You are members of a small group of women who meet during the afternoons to carve and paint wood and embroider cloth in forms of rainforest animals to sell to tourists. realizes that more tourists will increase the profits of his small general store. but you also fear the changes that would occur with exposure to foreign values. You may encourage a more educational type of eco-tourism to avoid drastic changes. Alberto Herrera. and work on your projects. refusing to respond when he politely offered them his snorkeling services. Tatiana Castillo. But.

funded partly by the Nature Conservancy. 62 . Walter Benavides. Also.NON-GOVERNMENTAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECT DIRECTORS--"BOSCOSA" PROJECT NAMES: Rogelio Vargas." a project supported by Fundación Neotrópica. an American Forest Products Company that rents area lands. The company plants melina. Another program you promote is a Youth Environmental Camp. Ramón(a) Cedeño BACKGROUND INFO: You are a part of a new ecological committee trying to protect the forests that remain in the area. The BOSCOSA project works with local people promoting sustainable agro-forestry projects and eco-tourism that benefit local people. You also think some consequences of tourism might harm the environment by changing natural surroundings. You do this because the local people have had a hard time making a basic income. Patricia Alba BACKGROUND INFO: You are directors of "BOSCOSA. like eco-tourism. You might want to suggest changes to the hotel proposal. CONSIDERATIONS: You feel tourism could be a source of jobs for the community. You also run a program to train local Costa Ricans to serve as guides for tourists hiking in the rainforest reserves. Often tourists educated about the tropical forest give donations to environmental projects. Your group successfully stopped putting the mill and docks near Puerto Jiménez. you feel large-scale hotel projects would destroy the mangrove coastline in the area. a tree that matures in three years and is ready to process for paper pulp. Last year Strong Products. GRASSROOTS ENVIRONMENTALISTS NAMES: Marielos Alarcón. but you also realize that much of the profit made by hotel companies goes to foreigners. producing more garbage. causing sewage problems. and not to the local people. not just beach use and golf. CONSIDERATIONS: You want to promote projects that provide more opportunity for local people's employment. You feel the hotel company should promote educational and natural tourism. proposed putting in a chipper mill and shipping docks in the area. etc. Pedro Porras.

Total points/grade _____ Teacher comments: _____ / 25 pts. The student's paragraph is well-written and thoughtful. considering the requirements explained.Rubric/Guidelines for Presentations 1. total _____ / 25 pts. total _____ / 25 pts. total _____ / 25 pts. total 63 . The individual student listened quietly to other presentations. The group recorded logical arguments on the T-chart and presented a clear position. (or took notes as a council member and supported his/her vote with logical opinions) 3. Students kept to their assigned role and contributed to the development of the group's argument. 4. not interrupting the speakers or class activity. 2.

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