Taylor Clarke is a rising 4th year student majoring in Statistics who studied abroad on the UVA in Costa Rica program in Alajuela. Enjoy her pictures!
Needless to say, soccer is the most popular sport in Costa Rica. If there is a soccer game in Costa Rica, you can bet money that nearly every tico is watching. These pictures were taken in the Juan Santamaria Park in downtown Alajuela during the Costa Rica versus Italy game of World Cup. This picture depicts part of the passion and excitement of life in Costa Rica, and if nothing else, everyday life in Costa Rica during a soccer game. Soccer is a huge part of life here.
One of Costa Rica’s main goals is to preserve nature while achieving a harmonious relationship between her and humans. Bridges like this are common in the forests of Costa Rica as they effectively achieve this goal. The trails throughout the forest include many bridges to minimize ecological disruption and provide a unique experience for visitors. You walk through the forest using both dirt trails and bridges, but mainly bridges. The bridges vary in height and length, this particular bridge was one of the tallest and longest at this park.
Welcome to the Jungle! I took this picture standing in the middle of the cloud forest at Monteverde. It was very hard to get a good picture without getting my camera wet, but the views and sounds were amazing. This picture looks out into miles and miles of untamed wilderness – home to thousands of species of plants and animals. This kind of environment is part of what Costa Rican culture is built on.
This is something you rarely see nowadays in the United States and many other places – people making goods by hand. This is a picture of a typical workday at the wood factory in Alajuela. These workers make hundreds of beautiful, unique items every day in this tiny workshop the old fashion way. All the employees were relaxed, having fun, working, and listening to music. It’s still Pura Vida, even at work!
This is a picture of the most traditional lunch in Costa Rica – Casado. Casado is a staple meal in Costa Rica consisting of rice, beans, potatoes, and meat. Trust me, like all the food in Costa Rica, this meal will become your new favorite food. The meal is typically served with a cold fruit drink, or refresco del dia. The best part, the food is all natural! All of the food in Costa Rica is amazing and it is a huge part of the culture and family life.
This is one of the best views you can find near Alajuela. It overlooks the city of Alajuela and the partnering city of San Jose. If it’s a clear day you can also see Grecia and Tacares. Views like this are quite common up in the mountains, and the landscape is truly breathtaking. All the city lights make looking out at night particularly spectacular. You will often see locals here enjoying themselves and the beautiful views Costa Rica has to offer.
Costa Rica strives towards using as much clean, renewable energy as possible in hopes to conserve the countries (and the planets) natural beauty. Costa Rica is one of the top users of wind energy in the whole world. Seeing these while I was living there really made me proud of Costa Rica. Clean energy should be a big part of every culture.
This photo was taken on a beautiful afternoon in the Gulf of Nicoya. The water was vibrant blue, clear, and warm … pure paradise! This is just a glimpse at the beautiful pacific coast of Costa Rica. A large part of the culture involves taking care of the earth and embracing nature. If you like the outdoors you need to go to Costa Rica! Ticos take a lot of pride in the beauty and protection of their environment.
Cattle and oxen are another important part of early transportation and global trade. These animals are a national symbol right along with the carreta and coffee. Livestock remains one of the main sources of income for the Guanacaste region aside from tourism. Costa Rica is also known for having very good meat and dairy products.