Monday, January 9, 2012

Coopesilencio: Palm Oil Plantation and Wildlife Rescue & Manuel Antonio NP

The drive from Monteverde to Coopesilencio was very scenic with the highest mountain valleys I have seen in CR and neat to see the cloud/air transformation.  Coopesilencio is cooperative town now of 550 people, 125 families, founded in 1973. People own their homes while the cooperative owns the surrounding land and business. There are 42 associates who make up the cooperative; the others are workers with no ownership.

In 1955 the land was owned by an outside banana company. The river wiped out the crops and the land was abandoned. CR has interesting squatter rights. Landless people came on this land to squat but the company called the police. After a year of this, CR finally gave the land to the people on one condition that they form a cooperative. The government saw that squatters would get the land and then sell it a few years later. They also noticed rich people hiring local people to squat to obtain the land cheaply.
A cooperative means no one person owns the land. Since 1985 their main source of income is African palm with 2,500 acres. The remainder 25% of income comes from other projects a small marker, forestry, cattle farm, tourism and volunteers.
Manual Antonio NP is a beautiful park to protect the wildlife and scenic beach views. You get a close up view of the monkeys. It was pretty hot so we did not hike around much and chilled at the beach. Click here for more pix.

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