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Southern Costa Rica, the Area That Is Home to Sanctuaries for Whales and Hundreds of Bird Species ⋆ The Costa Rica News



From large humpback whales to small birds and amphibians, southern Costa Rica is home to a rich biodiversity that its inhabitants try to protect and show to the thousands of tourists who visit the area each year.

The canton of Osa, province of Puntarenas, is home to the humpback whale watching sanctuary in the Marino Ballena National Park, where the authorities allow tours under strict rules to guarantee the conservation of the ecosystem and the integrity of the cetaceans that use Costa Rican waters for their breeding rituals and the survival of their calves.

“They use Costa Rican waters because they are shallow, have the ideal temperature and a line of rocks that serves as protection against predators. Here they mate and give birth. They come from the polar parts, others are already pregnant and come to give birth,” guide Dylan Monge said.

In the southern Pacific of Costa Rica these large cetaceans remain from July to October and with luck tourists can watch them jump or show their tail, or simply come out to breathe from time to time with their young.Humpback whales measure between 14 and 16 meters and weigh more than 40 tons and their average life spans between 60 and 80 years of age.

An essential part of the economy

Whale watching is an essential part of the economy of southern Costa Rica, especially in Bahía Ballena, where tour operators meet a series of requirements to protect cetaceans and avoid impacts on their habitat.

A bird sanctuary

In the south of Costa Rica is the Sierpe wetland, one of the largest in Central America, which is another of the area’s attractions due to the scenic beauty of its canals and lagoon, and for the biodiversity that can be appreciated, especially crocodiles and waterfowl.

The town of San Vito, canton of Coto Brus, is also located in the southern area, a high area at more than 1,200 meters above sea level where dozens of species of birds live in forests and mountains.San Vito is one of the 12 points that make up the “Bird Route”, a guide that shows tourists and scientists the ideal places to observe and study these animals.

In this place you can see everything from toucans, hawks and hawks, to smaller birds such as several species of hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world, and of which 53 species live in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is considered one of the most important tourist destinations in the world for bird watching, since in its 51,100 square kilometers of land surface there are more than 900 species of birds, which is equivalent to 9% of the total known in the world.

According to data from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute, by 2019, 924 species of Costa Rican birds had been identified, of which 7 are endemic and 220 are migratory species.The National Bird Watching Route is made up of 12 nodes or main bird watching sites, which involve national parks, private reserves and surrounding communities.This route covers 4 large areas: the dry tropical forest, highlands, the humid tropical forest of the Caribbean and the humid tropical forest of the South Pacific.

The local governments of the south, entrepreneurs, tourism businessmen, the Chamber of Tourism of Osa, the Chamber of Tourism and Commerce of Coto Brus and the Chamber of Tourism of Sabalito (CATUSAB) came together to promote the attractions of the area through a campaign that called “Between Quetzales and Whales”, alluding to two of the emblematic species.

“The South has it all. We want to show the world that they can enjoy whales, the sun, quetzals, the clouds, as well as the essence of their people and traditions,” said the president of the Osa Chamber of Tourism, Luis Centeno.

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OECD Will Hold Its First Environmental Sustainability Summit in Costa Rica



On October 5, Costa Rica will host the Ministerial Summit of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Environmental Sustainability.  This will be the first edition of the event and will have the theme “Economic resilience, green and fair transition.”The meeting will take place at the Costa Rica Convention Center.

 Among the guests are government officials from the areas of Environment, Commerce; Economy and Labor of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and members of the OECD.  Also from international organizations such as banks, United Nations agencies and organizations.

 The Summit is co-organized by the OECD, the Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX), the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) and has the support of the European Union.  It also responds to the OECD Regional Program for Latin America and the Caribbean (PRLAC), which concentrates regional efforts on sustainability and achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

 The OECD keeps an eye on the environment

The Summit is part of the OECD Environmental Sustainability Week, which will be hosting a series of events linked to environmental issues, focused on issues of youth, trade, employment, regulatory policy;  circular economy, contribution of the private sector to the green transition, role of civil society,

A rapid and fair transition towards a low-carbon economy in the region

 “The meeting aims to enrich the exchange of points of view and experiences between policy makers and, in this way generate contributions on how to guarantee a rapid and fair transition towards a low-carbon economy in the region,” the organization announced.

 Additionally, issues from the environmental agenda and the green trade agenda will be analyzed.At the event, it is expected to show progress that Costa Rica has had in projects such as climate adaptation and environmental services.

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Costa Rica and Panama Seek Joint Strategies For Migrant Crisis :



President Rodrigo Chaves will travel to Panama on October 6th and 7th for meetings with President Laurentino Cortizo focused on addressing the migrant crisis unfolding in the Darien Gap region along their shared border.

After discussions between the leaders, Chaves and Cortizo plan to visit a migrant camp on the Panamanian side that provides humanitarian aid to the influx traversing the perilous Darien jungle seeking to reach North America.

Minister of Communication Jorge Rodriguez stated the visit will allow Presidents Chaves and Cortizo to engage directly with migrants and demonstrate joint efforts between the two nations to handle significant population flows.

Rodriguez noted the trip aligns with Costa Rica’s commitment to the U.S. to maintain safe, orderly migration while respecting national sovereignty. Chaves will depart for Panama on October 5th.

Over the weekend, Panama’s Security Minister Juan Manuel Pino met his Costa Rican counterpart Mario Zamora. Both countries aim to establish concrete measures to alleviate pressures from record numbers crossing the Darien Gap this year.

Data shows over 390,000 migrants, primarily from Venezuela and Ecuador, have entered Panama through the lawless jungle in 2022 thus far. The sheer volume has strained resources and services in border regions.

Minister Rodriguez acknowledged limited capabilities to manage an unprecedented situation. The large migrant presence has burdened local communities like Paso Canoas, where residents have protested negative impacts on security, health services, and more.

By witnessing realities firsthand and coordinating responses, Presidents Cortizo and Chaves hope to mitigate fallout while upholding migrant protections. Their discussions will address deploying resources efficiently and securing international assistance.

With migration flows expected to remain high in coming years, experts call the leaders’ engagement a positive step. But successfully balancing border stability and compassionate policies will require sustained regional cooperation and aid from developed nations.

As nearby transit hubs, Panama and Costa Rica’s futures are intertwined. Joint strategies arising from Chaves’ upcoming visit can set the tone for the cooperative spirit needed to confront mounting shared challenges.

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An Essential Component of Tico Society ⋆ The Costa Rica News



The Afro-descendants of Costa Rica have played a significant role in shaping the cultural and historical landscape of the country. With a rich and diverse heritage, they have contributed to the social, economic, and political development of Costa Rica.

The presence of Afro-descendants in Costa Rica can be traced back to the colonial era when African slaves were brought to the region to work on plantations and in the mining industry. Over time, these individuals formed communities and established their own cultural traditions, which have been passed down through generations.

Music and dance

One of the most notable contributions of Afro-descendants in Costa Rica is in the field of music and dance. The vibrant rhythms of Afro-Caribbean music, such as calypso, reggae, and salsa, have become an integral part of the country’s cultural identity. Traditional dances like the Limón dance and the PuntoGuanacasteco showcase the unique blend of African and indigenous influences.


In addition to their cultural contributions, Afro-descendants have also made significant strides in the political arena. Despite facing historical discrimination and marginalization, individuals of African descent have fought for their rights and representation. In recent years, there has been an increase in Afro-Costa Rican politicians, activists, and leaders advocating for social justice and equality.


Economically, Afro-descendants have made notable contributions to various industries, particularly in agriculture and tourism. The province of Limón, located on the Caribbean coast, is known for its banana plantations, which have been a major source of employment for Afro-Costa Ricans. Additionally, the vibrant Afro-Caribbean culture and natural beauty of the region have attracted tourists from around the world, contributing to the local economy.

Despite these contributions, Afro-descendants in Costa Rica continue to face challenges and inequalities. Discrimination and socioeconomic disparities persist, limiting access to education, healthcare, and employment opportunities. Efforts are being made to address these issues through affirmative action policies, awareness campaigns, and community empowerment initiatives.

The Afro-descendants of Costa Rica have left an indelible mark on the country’s history and culture. Their contributions in music, dance, politics, and the economy have enriched the nation’s identity. However, it is crucial to recognize and address the ongoing challenges faced by Afro-Costa Ricans to ensure a more inclusive and equitable society for all. By celebrating and embracing the diversity of its population, Costa Rica can continue to thrive as a multicultural nation.

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