This is the story of the simple beauty of Frog’s heaven. In February our first team of the Learn to Travel, Travel to Learn program visited a small family owned project. It was located in the foothills of the Caribbean slopes of Costa Rica. The project is call Frog’s Heaven. It is found in a small community named Sarapiqui about an hour and a half away from the capital, San José. It´s owned by a local family which for a long time relied on agriculture as their main income.
Where it all came from
One of the members of this family is José, who hosted and guided us during our visit to their project. His father was a heart of palm farmer for a long time. He had his ups and downs because of changing weather. Some years the prices for the product fluctuated so much that there was barely any profit after a long year of hard work.
José involved himself in tourism in the area after finishing high school. He became a local tour guide for foreigners that visited Sarapiqui. After a few years he went to a year long course by the Costa Rica Tourism Institute and got his accreditation as an official national tour guide. This has become a profession that he has being practicing for more than ten years. He does tours of all kind with many companies all over the country.
How Frog’s heaven came to be
José suddenly got interested in learning about nature and biodiversity. He realised that even his backyard was quite diverse. There were many birds visiting his garden during the day. Sloths came from the trees and during the night the songs of many species of frogs were all around their house. That´s when he asked for his father´s permission to take control over a small area of the farm which his father was planning to clear of vegetation.
His father agreed and they started working together on adapting the garden to attract as much local wildlife as they could.
At the beginning they started planting trees and bushes to attract birds. There were mainly hummingbirds, butterflies and a few different types of mammals. Later on they started to recreate ponds around their house hoping that frogs could find a suitable place to mate and reproduce. The area grew in diversity and the amount of frogs in their property greatly increased.
Since then this family has being supporting its agricultural activities together with tourism. They receive groups from different companies and tourists that just see their sign. Tourists get curious and stop for a quick visit to enjoy nature and take a break from driving from San Jose to the Caribbean coast.
Frog’s heaven is going strong
The project has being open now for the past six years and José´s family is going strong. They get more and more visitors every year. They improve their garden with toilets for their guests and give a complementary coffee and fruit for visitors.
Stories like this is what makes us believe in the importance of education. When people realise the full potential of what they have and how to exploit it in a sustainable way. This gives hope for a more green and clean future for Central American countries.
Do you want to learn more about Eco-farming? Our FWP-team can tell you all about it here.