Monday, August 9, 2010

Economic Group...Enjoying the last few days



The last few days of our journey throughout Costa Rica have been both educational and memorable. We had the privilege of visiting a palm oil plantation at El Silencio, a small co-op farming community. It was amazing to see all the work that went into getting the fruit out of the trees that contains the palm oil. It definitely brought about a greater appreciation to something we all take for granted. The next day we visited Si Como No, a hotel that has earned the highest level of sustainable certification by CST standards. This hotel was very advanced in their practices including solar panels, water conservation, employee transportation, and even a wildlife refuge. The part that we were most impressed with, however, was the employee benefits. Besides giving free transportation, once a month, the hotel brings in a masseuse for the staff, free of charge!

The last two days were spent relaxing at the beach and then driving back to San Jose. No one objected to spending time splashing in the waves or laying out on the sand with monkeys in the trees overhead. We went to the beach at Manuel Antonio National Park, which has earned Blue Flag Certification for its eco-friendly practices. With our last day of driving, we are prepared to head back to the United States. This is a bittersweet moment for us all as we are excited to see our family and friends back home, yet we are sad to be leaving such a beautiful country. This trip has far exceeded all expectations and has given us a chance to learn and grow not only as people but as conscious consumers and travellers.

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