The Negative Impact of Tourism in Costa Rica

Sergio Cueto
December 8, 2014

While taking my Spanish course during the beginning of my semester abroad, I watched a documentary called Quebrando los Huevos de Oro. This documentary highlights the negative impact of the tourism industry in Costa Rica. Though it may contribute to the growth of the country’s economy, the tourism industry damages communities and the environment. Similar to what is happening on the islands of Bocas del Toro, foreigners come to Costa Rica and buy land for the purpose of building extravagant hotels, golf fields, and condominiums. Along with taking land, these foreigners take vital resources away from local communities; such as water. Another major problem, is the privatization of beaches. Though it is illegal to privatize a beach in Costa Rica, foreigners purposely build their hotels in front of beaches. The intent is simply to exclude local community members from accessing beaches. Hotels built in front of beaches also disrupt animals living in the area. One example, is the Leatherback Sea Turtle, which lays its eggs along the beach shore. The tourism industry also increases pollution and waste. Here are four simple ways in which you can alleviate the negative impact of the tourism industry:Be aware of the current social issues that plague the country you are visiting.

Be aware of the current social issues that plague the country you are visiting.

Stay in eco-friendly hotels or hotels that hire local natives.

Boycott privatized beaches that exclude local natives.

Be an active participant in the preservation of the country’s natural habitats.

Though I have used these photographs before, I am sharing them again as a reminder of helping preserve the natural beauty of Costa Rica. Below I have posted the link to the documentary, Quebrando los Huevos de Oro:

Rio Celeste Waterfall. A view in the province of Alajuela. Arbol de la Paz (Tree of Peace), one of the widest trees I have ever seen! It was so wide and tall I couldn’t capture it all in one photo. The two crystalline streams in Rio Celeste. A Green Iguana in INBioparque. One of the sights by playa Manuel Antonio. Sighting of a crocodile in Tarcoles River. The crocodile was really close to our boat! A butterfly in Carara National Park. The river shore while on our way to the Bribri Indigenous community.

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Sergio Cueto

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hello! My name is Sergio Cueto and I was born in the city of Juarez, Chihuahua located in Mexico. I came to Chicago when I was two years old and currently reside in the Logan Square neighborhood of the city. I am an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, majoring in Latin American and Latino Studies with a minor in Sociology. I am also a volunteer for the Chicago Latino Film Festival. I love photography, films, reading, writing, video games, and spending time with friends and family.</span></div>

2014 Fall
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University of Illinois at Chicago
Latin American Studies
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