After a short ride on the bus, we arrived at INBioParque, for one of our cultural activities. The first thing we did was watch a video about biodiversity and the formation of Costa Rica which covered things such as: the shift from a hunter/gatherer society to an agriculturally based society, the increasing need for food with the arrival of Europeans in Costa Rica, and the creation of INBioParque to preserve the unique nature and wildlife of Costa Rica.
Upon beginning our tour of the park, the first thing we saw were sloths in the canopy of the trees surrounding the entrance. The tour guide informed us that the sloths only come down once a week to dig a hole and take care of their bathroom needs. We also learned that are very territorial, so there are sloth fights in the canopies.
We continued through the park, learning about various types of trees and their characteristics before going into the spider and frog exhibits. That led to the Humid Forest, where we saw a type of tree that Costa Ricans refer to as “Pelo de Rasta” because of the appearance of its berries and a type of parasitic tree called “Matapalo.” This type of tree steals the nutrients of the tree that it hugs. Next came the preservation of wetlands, where we saw turtles in the water and ducks walking around. Then the tour guide took us past pigs and birds and into the goat cage, where we could pet the animals. We were each given a tiny bunny in a basket and instructed to not let the bunnies escap e. One kid even got a hedgehog in his basket!
The bug exhibit had cockroaches and stick bugs, which were quite creepy, but that led into the butterfly garden which was majestic and beautiful. We slowly walked through the exhibit, hoping that a butterfly would land on one of us. There was one type of butterfly that was especially bright and beautiful, known as the “Blue Morpho” (as seen in the picture below).
We could have all agreed that we could have spent more time in the butterfly exhibit, but the next was one to look forward to as well. The last area of the tour was located in the Dry Forest, where we saw a deer, more types of trees, and snakes, of which there are 150 types in Costa Rica.
– The above post was contributed by Ikumi Yano, Jamie Klapp, Catherine Amado, and Adair Garrett, who went abroad in 2015 with ISA High School in Heredia, Costa Rica. They visited InBioparque on one of their many cultural activities, that are designed to help them learn more about their host country and culture.
INBioparque is a “one-stop introduction to Costa Rica, offering an interactive experience through its ecological park.” It is a creation of the National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio), which is a non-profit association whose mission is “to promote a greater awareness of the value of biodiversity, thereby ensuring its conservation and improving the quality of life of human beings.”
For more information about INBio and INBioparque, check out their website by clicking here.