Talamanca: cacao, indigenous culture and rainforest

Talamanca is the region of the Bri-Bri people and the Cabecars two of the most important indigenous cultures in Costa Rica. It is located in the south Caribbean side of Costa Rica, next to the Panama border and it is rich in indigenous culture and amazing nature. Despite this wealth, Talamanca is one of the poorest regions in the country and now some local initiatives have begun to attract tourism to the area. Tourism could be a good input to this socially unprivileged area but the lack of marketing knowledge and support from other organizations have made this task difficult.

Things you'll be doing

The area is just amazing, there are multiple tour options inside the mountains trough the rainforest. Lots of birds and animals of different species live in the mountains of Talamanca. Green tropical rain forests and beautiful rivers and waterfalls make this place a natural paradise.

Here you'll have the chance to see the real cacao trees and be part of the traditional methods to make chocolate as indigenous people have done during centuries. Here you'll try the chocolate in the real cacao lands.

You can stay in an original indigenous lodge, a very interesting structure made on natural materials using the traditional indigenous construction methods. It is located in a small town inside an indigenous reservation around 30 minutes from the main town, BriBri. Besides this lodge there are some other lodge options in different parts of Talamanca all of them owned and runned by local families or if you prefer you can also stay with a host family. Depending on how deep you want to get inside of Talamanca the options varies.

Once on this area you can take some of many tours: from visiting waterfalls, riding a horse, take a hike inside the rain forest, take a boat trough a river between the Costa Rica and the Panama border, take a bird watching tour, go fishing, play with the kids in the community, learn some BriBri words, or just to relax and "disconnect" from the world in an "exclusive Talamanca indigenous-style lodge".

How this project makes a difference

The main lodge owner is a community leader who dreamed to attract tourists to this region as an alternative method to generate an income to the families in his community and to promote an intercultural exchange. His dream came true and now, thanks to this project he supports many families: All the ingredients on the meals that you'll try come from small local farmers (some of them are organic farmers), the tours that you'll take are runned by local people, the small staff on this lodge is a family who depends on this project to live. He also supports the community by sending tourists to local families where you can stay in case that you prefer to stay with a host family. All this means a very important income to the local economies.

This is what a newspaper in Costa Rica (La Nación) said about this place:

No comments: