The Museum, The US Embassy, and Dr. Pedro Leon Azofeifa
This is Julio one of our tour guides. I didn't get a picture of Isa, but I will. Julio is great, not only because he knows a lot about the history of Costa Rica and shares it with us in an interesting way, but because he is really funny. I had lunch with Julio and Isa and asked them a question my son Jesse had sent. Jesse said that in Brooklyn, where he lives, it's cool to be green. He said that it is very hip to be engaged in projects such as tree planting, rooftop gardening, local food enclaves called "Community Supported Agriculture" (or CSA), and others. He asked, "Is being Green cool in Costa Rica?" I asked Julio and Isa that question. They said yes and no. In the rural areas the people are not rich and it is a luxury to recycle or do other environmentally positive things. They did say however that in Costa Rica people focus on consuming less. They both said that although Costa Rica is perceived as being "green" there is still much change that needs to occur.
I have no pictures of the US Embassy in Costa Rica because no pictures or electronics of any kind are allowed. We met with four representatives of the embassy and they explained their roles. They also explained that the United States' role in Costa Rica is to promote security, democracy, opportunity and prosperity. They said that Vice President Biden's trip to Costa Rica last week did an enormous amount to signify change from past US involvement in Costa Rica. They said that when Obama was elected, the people of Costa Rica were incredibly enthusiastic. It was like the "president of the world" was just elected. The mood is cautiously optimistic.

This is Pedro Leon Azofeifa, scientific advisor to President Arias. He is passionate about the environment and combating global climate change. He believes that the extinction of certain kinds of frogs and salamanders in Costa Rica are like the canaries in the coal mines, they are signs of the trouble that is ahead if we don't make changes to reverse global climate change. He has helped President Arias develop his goal to make Costa Rica carbon neutral by 2012.

We even snuck in a quick trip to a marketplace and I bought a shirt for my little granddaughter Ruby. It's green - like my study tour!


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