Population and demographics in Monteverde-a study of Guacimal and San Luis

Population and demographics in Monteverde-a study of Guacimal and San Luis

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Population and demographics in Monteverde-a study of Guacimal and San Luis
Translated Title:
Población y demografía en Monteverde-un estudio de Guacimal y San Luis
Barton, Susannah
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Subjects / Keywords:
Education--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Population--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Demographic reports--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Sustainable Futures 2008
letter ( marcgt )


The goal of this report is to provide a better understanding of the population and demographics of Monteverde, Costa Rica, and two small towns in the district, Guacimal and San Luis.
El objetivo de este informe es facilitar una mejor comprensión de la población y demografías de Monteverde, Costa Rica, y dos pequeños pueblos en el distrito, Guacimal y San Luis.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
M37-00414 ( USFLDC DOI )
m37.414 ( USFLDC Handle )

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Poblacin y demografa en Monteverde-un estudio de Guacimal y San Luis.
Population and demographics in Monteverde-a study of Guacimal and San Luis.
c 2008
The goal of this report is to provide a better understanding of the population and demographics of Monteverde, Costa Rica, and two small towns in the district, Guacimal and San Luis.
El objetivo de este informe es facilitar una mejor comprensin de la poblacin y demografas de Monteverde, Costa Rica, y dos pequeos pueblos en el distrito, Guacimal y San Luis.
Education--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Population--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Demographic reports--Costa Rica--Puntarenas--Monteverde Zone
Sustainable Futures 2008
7 655
Born Digital
1 773
t Sustainable Futures
4 856
u http://digital.lib.usf.edu/?m37.414


Population and Demographics in Monteverde A Study of Guacimal and San Luis Prepared by: Susannah Barton and Jesse Reiter University at Buffalo, Department of Urban & Regional Planning Map provided by : Tim Madden University of Maryland, Department of Pl ant Sciences and Landscape Architecture


2 Executive Summary: The goal of this report is to provide a better understanding of the population and demographic s of Monteverde, Costa Rica, and two small towns in the district, Guacimal and San Luis. Data wa s gathered and analyzed in relation to rural Costa Rica as a who le. P opulation, education, and labor statistics were compared. It was determined that the data available was insufficient to perform a full demographic study or to p roject future population levels; i t is recommended, therefore, that full population data be gathered and tracked in Monteverde in future years. Introduction: Information on population and demographics is integral to effective planning. An area such as Monteverde, which has expe rienced a recent surge of development and growth, needs an accurate idea of the size and characteristics of its population in order to provide proper services for its people and set a framework for sustainable growth. Population data provides a basis for population projections and forecasts which are utilized to plan for the future provision of education, health care, building permits, employment services, utilities, and numerous other social services. The recent development of Monteverde has been exceedi ngly intense and rapid, making such projections and planning especially important. The provincial government in Puntarenas, however, has not accurately tracked population in the region, and dress the matter either. This report consists of the compilation of population and demographic data for Monteverde as a whole and for the sub regions of Guacimal and San Luis, small peripheral towns that may experience growth in the near future, particu larly if the highway through the area is paved. Comparisons of Guacimal and San Luis are made to each other and to Monteverde, as well as all of rural Costa Rica. No population forecasts or projections are made; the data is insufficient for this to be un dertaken with any confidence. Annual updates to the information provided, however, should enable planners to perform these tasks at a later date. Data Sources and Methodology: Data for this report was obtained from two sources: the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos (INEC) and Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS). INEC published a nationwide census in June 2000, and this data was obtained in order t o compare the condition of rural Costa Rica to that of Monteverde, Guacimal, and San Luis. 2007 reports for Guacimal, San Luis, and the aggregated district of Mo nteverde provided the information on population and demographic characteristics. The clinic delineated the town into two areas: EBAIS 8 and EBAIS 9. EBAIS 8 consists of Santa Elena, Monteverde, Los Llan os, Cerro Plano, and Rio Negro. This data was only available for the full district and not its component towns. EBAIS 9 consists of La Guaria, Guacimal, Santa Rosa, Los ngeles Alto Fernandez San Luis, and part of La Lindora. This data was subdivided into two categories for this report:


3 Guacimal and Sa n Luis. The data was organized into tables, charts, and graphs and compared to the national data. The usefulness of the comparisons must be qualified, however; the national data is seven years older than the local data and is not organized in precisely the same manner. Care was exercised in not drawing erroneous conclusions from inconsistent collection methods, and ambiguities and problems are noted within the report. The local data includes only Monteverde residents who participated in the CCSS survey s, as well as those who are uninsured. It is unknown how many people are thus left out, but it is likely that the population, especially that of immigrants, is undercounted. Disaggregated data for the other sub regions of Monteverde Santa Elena, Cerro Pl ano, Los Llanos, Rio Negro, and Monteverde was not utilized as it was determined to be incomplete. Population projections were not attempted because of the lack of reliable information for earlier years. Continued tracking of this demographic informatio n by the Monteverde Institute or the local government will provide future planners the opportunity to forecast the growth of the population of Monteverde. Background: Monteverde is in rural Costa Rica but has developed in a manner different from much of t he nation. Since the 1980s the area has experienced an explosion of growth due to its popularity as an ecotourism destination. This growth has not been accompanied by effective central planning; the region is far removed from the provincial capital and i ts fledgling local government has not developed a strong power base. There are fears that the region will become overdeveloped, spoiling the natural splendor that draws tourists and capital. In addition, residential overdevelopment may deplete water supp lies. The towns of Guacimal and San Luis, located on the periphery of more densely developed road conditions; the towns are not far from the central district, but the poor condition of the unpaved highway running through the area makes travel difficult. Increasing property and rental costs in the central area and plans to pave the highway, however, could make Guacimal attractive to residential and commercial d evelopers in the coming years. Figure 1 is a map of the Monteverde area. It depicts the boundaries of EBAIS 8 and EBAIS 9.


4 Figure 1


5 Findings: Population Costa Rica The population of Costa Rica, according to the 2000 census data, is primarily compr ised of individuals under the age of 44. The largest age cohort for the nation in 2000 was the 10 14 age range, accounting for over eleven percent of the total population. The majority of the population was made up of individuals between the ages of 15 a nd 44. The population size decreased significantly after the age of 55. The male and female populations were evenly distributed in each age cohort in the year 2000. This data reveals that Costa Rica is a very young nation, with a large percentage of ind ividuals under the age of 25. This inform ation is represented in Figure 2 FIGURE 2 Rural Costa Rica Similar to the population of the entire nation, the population in rural Costa Rica is very young. In the year 2000, the majority of the population was between the ages of 10 14 years; the 10 14 year age cohort was comprised of slightly more males than females. Unlike the national figures, population volumes began to decrease after the age of 39 in the rural areas of the country, with a significant drop after the age of 55. In general, there was a higher number of males than females in each age cohort, according to the 2000 census data.


6 FIGURE 3 Monteverde (EBAIS 8 and 9) The population of the Monteverde region has grown steadily over the last dec ade due to increased tourism in the area. According to the CCSS 2007 report, the largest single age cohort in the region was the 20 24 age group; the majority of the population was under the age of 40 in 2007. The population of Monteverde dropped off sig nificantly after the age of 49. Each age cohort included slightly more females than males. In addition to information regarding the age break down of the region, the CCSS also tracked the total number of homes in 2007. This information can be used in con junction with future home figures in order to monitor the growth patterns of residential development in the region. The majority of homes in the region were located in EBAIS 8 accounting for 75% of total homes. Guacimal accounted for 18% of total homes, while San Luis accounted for only 7%. The CCSS also tracks nationality; however it is important to note that the existing method of tracking provides very limited information. The current tracking system only allows for the association of nationality wit h the individual household, which does not take into account mixed nationality households. Therefore, the information presented in Figure 5 is of little value. However, this information, if presented in an expanded form, would be valuable for future trac king purposes.




8 FIGURE 6 Guacimal Like the figures from Costa Rica and rural Costa Rica, the population of Guacimal was also heavily weighted in 10 14 age cohort, with a larger representation of females than males in this coh ort. As the age of individuals in Guacimal increased, the division between males and females became more equitable. The population figures reveal an interesting difference between Guacimal and the rest of the nation; unlike its Costa Rican counterparts, Guacimal did not see a steep decline in population until after the age of 80. According to the population pyramid seen in Figure 7 there was a greater percentage of individuals over the age of 55 in Guacimal than in the nation, as compared to the 2000 na tional census.


9 FIGURE 7 San Luis Consistent with national figures, the population of San Luis was most concentrated in the 10 14 age cohort, according to the 2007 CCSS report. San Luis also reported a large percentage of its population between the ages of 20 24 and 35 39, reflecting again a young population. The population decreased between the ages of 70 79, however, there was a noticable increase at age of 80 and over. The distribution of males and females remained consistent throughout all age groups. FIGURE 8


10 Education Level The following summary of education levels obtained examines that of Guacimal and San Luis in relation to the greater Monteverde region, as well as to that of the greater rural population in Costa Rica. The data has been divided into categories based on the level of education obtained, which have been defined as (a) less than primary, (b) primary, (c) secondary and (d) university or technical. It is important to note that the data for the Monteverde region was obtai ned from the Santa Elena health clinic and represents figures collected and compiled for 2007. The data for rural Costa Rica was obtained from the 2000 national census data compiled by INEC. FIGURE 9 FIGURE 10


11 Rural Costa Rica According to the 2000 national census, the majority of the population in rural Costa Rica had completed primary school, however, only a small minority of the population completed a secondary school. Less than 10% of the population received a university or technical education. Monteverde (EBAIS 8 and 9) The Monteverde region compares favorably to rural Costa Rica in all of the categories of education level attained. The education figures for the region reflect a notably higher rate of completion for primary, secondary and univ ersity or technical education, as compared to that of rural Costa Rica. In Monteverde, a higher percentage of the teenage population attended school and fewer worked in the home, as compared to rural Costa Rica. Guacimal Guacimal reported more individua ls that had not completed primary school relative to the Monteverde region; however, this figure is slightly lower, at 31%, in comparison to the same figure for all of rural Costa Rica, which is approximately 36%. Guacimal boasts higher figures for both p rimary and secondary education level completion than all of rural Costa Rica. While the town does have proportionally more residents that completed primary school than the total Monteverde region, this number is slightly less than that of the surrounding communities. Guacimal reported a notably lower rate of university or technical school attainment than both Monteverde and rural Costa Rica. While Monteverde and rural Costa Rica reported an 8% and 6% attainment rate respectively, Guacimal lagged behind w ith a mere 2%. While Guacimal did benefit from a higher percentage of its population with a primary school education, it lagged behind its surrounding communities within the Monteverde region in regards to higher levels of education attainment, specifical ly the completion of secondary and university or technical school. San Luis Like Guacimal, San Luis also reported a higher rate of individuals with less than a primary school education in relation to the Monteverde region. In comparison to rural Costa Ric a, however, San Luis reported a lower figure for individuals who have achieved less than a primary school education. While the number of individuals who had completed primary school in San Luis was lower than those of the same education level in the Monte verde region, it was consistent with that of rural Costa Rica. Similarly, the number of individuals who completed secondary school in San Luis mirrored that of rural Costa Rica, however it was lower than its immediate neighbors in the Monteverde region. Formatted: Highlight


12 Labor Conditions Monteverde is classified as a rural area by both CCSS and INEC in spite of its recent surge of development. The sub regions of Guacimal and San Luis are unquestionably rural in nature. It is therefore worthwhile to compare the character istics of the labor force in those towns to Monteverde as a whole and to all of rural Costa Rica. The data from CCSS and INEC are from different years and the characteristics of the labor force are measured differently. Nevertheless, several useful concl usions can be drawn from the information. The first is that the unemployment rate is reasonably low, especially in Monteverde. Less than 4% of the workforce in Monteverde was unemployed in 2007. The rate for all of rural Costa Rica was slightly higher i n 2000 at 5.5%, and the rate of school enrollment was lower. The data for rural Costa Rica in 2000 is displayed in Figure 1 1 Rural Costa Rica FIGURE 11 About 70% of children aged 12 to 14 across rural Costa Rica are full time students. 15% work at hom e and a smaller number is employed outside the home. Older teenagers attend school in much smaller numbers are more likely to be employed. Half of the working age population in rural Costa Rica is employed while slightly fewer work in the home. Between the ages of 60 and 64, one third of this group is still employed while a tenth is drawing a pension. A third of the eldest category is made up of pensioners while almost half are considered home workers. An increasing percentage of the older population i s classified as Other. Unemployment is not high


13 among any of the groups but the people in the 60 to 64 range appear to be grappling with diminishing employment opportunities while waiting for their pensions. Monteverde (EBAIS 8 and 9) The classification s of the labor force differ in the 2007 CCSS report for Monteverde, Guacimal, and San Luis. The Quehaceres del Hogar category is replaced with the roughly analogous Ama de Casa category. This classification refers more to housewives than to children work ing in the home, however. In the reports on Guacimal and San Luis this category is not measured for the population over the age of 59. Children aged 10 to 14 are included in the youngest category whereas those under 12 are not included in the national da ta. The aggregated data for working age adult s is shown in Figure 12 FIGURE 12 Employed workers are divided into permanent and occasional workers. The most striking characteristic here is the extremely low level of permanent employment in Guacimal. T he town has far more occasional workers and Amas de Casa than either San Luis or Monteverde as a whole. The employment situation in the rest of rural Costa Rica appears to be more stable than that of Guacimal. Its employment situation appears to be more deficient than the rest of rural Costa Rica. The level of unemployment in all of Monteverde is lower than in the rest of rural Costa Rica. Labor conditions by age group are displayed in Figure 13 Formatted: Highlight Comment [D1]: Reword


14 FIGURE 13 A higher percentage of the teenage populati on attends school in Monteverde than in most of rural Costa Rica, although the data is skewed a bit due to the inclusion of children aged 10 and 11 in the CCSS report Between the ages of 20 and 59, Monteverde residents are more likely to be employed per manently or occasionally, as well. Correspondingly fewer work in the home. After the age of 59, however, unemployment is a greater problem. Members of the 65 and older group are more likely to be drawing a pension: almost half of Monteverde residents in this age group are pensioners, compared to only a third of the overall rural population. Guacimal Labor conditions in Guacimal differ significantly from those in other parts of Mo nteverde. The data in Figure 14 makes this apparent. Comment [D2]: Ccss cata vs enoc


15 FIGURE 14 Th e level of permanent employment is surprisingly low in Guacimal across all age categories. Teenagers tend to leave school earlier than in the rest of Monteverde to become Amas de Casa but fewer of them find steady work. In the 44 59 age group, fully half of the residents of Guacimal are classified as Amas de Casa while only 28% are permanent workers. This compares unfavorably to Monteverde and rural Costa Rica. The situation of residents aged 60 to 64 is especially dire. About a fifth of this group is unemployed, and occasional workers remain the largest cohort. Most residents over the age of 64 are considered to be pensioners. This extremely high percentage may be explained by the absence of the Ama de Casa category for this age group. It is likely that wives of pensioners are grouped into this category, resulting in a double counting that distorts the data. San Luis The workforce in San Luis appears to be better off than that of Guacimal but lags behind that of Monteverde as a whole. The informatio n for th e town is displayed in Figure 15


16 FIGURE 15 As in Guacimal, residents of San Luis tend to leave school earlier than the average Monteverde resident. Many more of them, however, find permanent work. In the 20 to 44 cohort, in fact, a far gr eater percentage works permanently than in Monteverde or in rural Costa Rica. After the age of 44, though, the level of permanent work drops significantly. The number of Amas de Casa is high, but not as high as that of Guacimal. In the problematic 60 to 64 group, a third of residents of San Luis are unemployed. A fourth of the 65 and Over group is also unemployed, and only about half are pensioners. This rate of pensioners is higher than that of Monteverde or rural Costa Rica, for aforementioned reason s, but is much lower than that of Guacimal. Conclusion and Recommendations: The data compiled for this report shows that Guacimal and San Luis are more sparsely populated than Monteverde as a whole and that their residents have attained a lower level of e ducation and employment. This is unsurprising given the fact that the recent rise of development in Monteverde has not yet reached the two peripheral towns. In general, Guacimal and San Luis share more characteristics with the rest of rural Costa Rica th an with the larger Monteverde community. Some characteristics are consistent across all of the study regions, of course, including a relatively young population and an apparently difficult labor situation for people aged 60 to 64. At this time, however, Guacimal and San Luis are uncharacteristic of Monteverde. Rising land values in the center and the paving of the main highway may change this assessment in the coming years.


17 Perhaps the most important revelation during the compilation of this report was t he lack of reliable, accessible, and usable population and demographic data for Monteverde available to planners. The data presented here can and should be used a s a basis for monitoring the development of Guacimal and San Luis. A more important recommen dation, however, is for local entities to coordinate their efforts to collect population and demographic data on a yearly basis, perhaps utilizing this report as a starting point. Public and private organizations such as the Monteverde Institute, the Clin ica de Monteverde Enfermeria, the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados and the local government should lead this collaborative effort. development and will eventually allow for accurate population projection and land use planning. Conclusin y Recomendacines Los datos recopilados para este informe muestran que Guacimal y San Lus se encuentran escasamente menos pobladas que Monteverde como un todo y que sus vecinos tienen un menor acceso a la educacin y empleo. Esto no es sorprendente debido al exponencial desarrollo que ha sufrido Monteverde el cual no ha alcanzado aun estos dos pueblos. De forma generalmente, Guacimal y San Lus comparten ms caractersticas con el resto de las zonas rurales en Costa Rica que con las comunidades de Monteverde. Algunas caractersticas son consistentes en todas las regiones estudiadas, incluyendo una poblacin relativamente joven y difcil situacin laboral para personas con edades entre 60 y 64 anos. En este momento, de cualquier forma Guacimal y San Lus son lugares no caractersticos a Monteverde. El aument en el valor de la tierra y la pavimentacin del camino principal puede que cambie el desarrollo de esto s lugares en los prximos aos. Quizs el ms importante descubrimiento durante la elaboracin de este reporte fue el faltante de informacin fidedigna, accesible, y utilizable de poblacin y demografa para Monteverde accesible para planificadores. Los datos presentados aqu pueden y debe usados como base para monitorear el desarrollo de Guacimal y San Lus. Una recomendacin an mas importante de cualquier modo, es para las entidades locales en coordinar sus esfuerzos en recopilar datos de poblacin y demografa en un base anual, quizs utilizando este reporte como un punto de inicio. Instituciones tanto pblicas como privadas tales como el Instituto Monteverde, Clnica de Monteverde el Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados y el g obierno local deben liderar este esfuerzo cooperativo. Recopilacin consistente de estos datos proporcionara una comprensin mas clara del desarrollo de Monteverde y permitirn en el largo plazo proyecciones de crecimiento precisas y una planificacin ter ritorial mas acertada. Comment [D3]: I will like to see all the graphs in Spanish went you get this into power point, also the final recommendations.


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