Organically Caribbean

One of the great places we visit with our students on the Costa Rican Field course is Finca la Isla Botanical Farm in Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast. Its a really wonderful place and the farm has an amazing botanical garden consisting of 10 acres, housing many important tropical fruit and ornamental trees: Their stunning collection contains of over 150 different species of fruit, nut and spice trees, plus diverse collections of tropical palms, heliconias, bromeliads and rare tropical species.

Walking through the forest and enjoying the abundance of bird, animal and insect life you would never know you were walking through a farm. The pure environment and natural farming means that this is one of the best places in Costa Rica to see poison dart frogs, and Kiawe, our host and guide, is so knowledgeable about every aspect and is a wonderful communicator. The farm itself celebrates 30 years of farming organically on the Caribbean coast and is a model of sustainable, commercial, organic farming working in harmony with the rainforest. The students were overwhelmed by their experience here, learning in detail about all the species of plants and associated animals, having new fruits to try, and finding out how probably the best organic chocolate in the world is produced here!

 

The Chocolate Plant

Finca la Isla

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Highland highglights

The University of Manchester’s Field course is fully underway at the moment and we have a really good group of students, who are working very hard and enjoying each day and night here in Costa Rica. Currently we are based in Turrialba, high in the highlands, and staying at lodge that overlooks the Turrialba volcano. Its a wonderful place to work and the past few days we have mainly been investigating the insect, bird, and amphibian fauna of the area.

We have been up early birdwatching, insect collecting, and had nightwalks at the nearby Costa Rican Amphibian Research Centre (CRARC), all of which have bought some wonderful experiences and opportunities for studying highland and mid-elevation species in this highly biodiverse region of the world. Tomorrow we visit the Tropical Agricultural Research Center before heading to the Caribbean lowlands and on to further adventures..

 

Costa Rica 2016 – A Tropical Expedition

Budding Bioliterates

Currently I am in Central America supporting the University of Manchester’s undergraduate field course in Costa Rica, which offers many of our zoology and biology students their first taste of being in a tropical rainforest. Although many of our students will have had an interest in nature from a very early age, I am sure that over the next few weeks they will all experience some highly individual special moments within this wonderfully biodiverse environment we find ourselves in.

(c) Panama Wildlife Conservation Charity

As with all our environmental education related programmes, and particularly those developed with Manchester Museum, it is fully recognised that the only way to really make a difference in supporting the future conservation of the natural world is to stimulate young people’s interest in it as early and as often as possible. One of our new programmes being developed in Panama is a fine example, and thanks to the support of Professor Amanda Bamford and the Panama Wildlife Conservation Charity’s collaboration with us the conservation-related work in Central America now expands.

PWCC    Print Booklet (English)   Print Booklet (Espanol)   La Selva (OTS)