1 MVI Course Duarte/McGee Jesseka McGee/ Roberta Duarte April 9, 2014 Environmental Sustainability Horse Power/ Caballo de Fuerza Abstract: Horses pass through Monteverde every day, and while they are mostly for tourists, a few country folk still ride them around town. They are almost unknown across Monteverde these days; they are rare enough that children point and wave when a horse goes by. When we mentioned the possibility of using horses for a sustainable future in Monteverde, colleagues and a few community members tended to burst into Â€ well, horse laughter. That will never be necessary, they told us Â we will just use bio fuels as easily as we do petrol now, or create something new. This project proposes to offer Monteverde an alternative way of living sustainably. Although horses would be difficult to introduce into todayÂ‚s traffic in Monteverde; we decided to accomplish this goal. After working closely with El Refugio, a local horseback tour company, we concluded that the main difficulties are the courage of investing in a new project and time commitment. El Refugio staff mentioned that even though h orses and nature are not always a good mix, turning out too many horses on small acreage results in denuded pastures which is neither attractive nor environmentally friendly, h orses have several obvious advantages over cars. Horses require no fossil fuel imports and contribute nothing to clim ate change. El Refugio staff also stated that it is cheaper to maintain a horse than an automobile. Overall, horses are not the fastest transportation option, but neither are cars and huge bus tours in downtown Monteverde traffic Â and in a crisis, slow mo vement is better than none. Together, we believe horsepower could continue to move tourists and community
2 MVI Course Duarte/McGee members in the area. This, then, is our modest proposal. We believe that fossil fuels are running short, and horsepower is the kind of transportation we would like to see the Monteverde community using in a few decades. Introduction: Throughout the world, Costa Rica has a reputation as a country that is actively involved in efforts to conserve its national heritage Viv a n c o 2006 In our Environmental Sustainability class we pose the question of how do we balance human needs with conservation? Though Costa Rica has made a diligent try at answering this question, we will attempt to look at ecotourism in Monteverde with a critical eye and decided whether it is a tool of destruction or a viable option for sustainable development. We hope to accomplish this by looking at both sides of the argument and then assess the ecotourism industry with our horsepower proposal in Montev erde. According to Scheyvens year ecotourism ventures impact on the lives of people living in and around the environments which ecotourists frequent. For instance, when business is the main driving force behind ecotourism it is not surprising that the ventures which emerge may serve to alienate, rather than benefit, local communities. Scheyvens year suggests that a community based approach to ecotourism recognizes the need to promote both the quality of life of people and the conservation of resources. While analyzing Scheyven Â‚ s year research paper, we came to the conclusion that if horsepower is implemented in the community as a community based approach, there is a high
3 MVI Course Duarte/McGee probability this might bring economic benefits for a local community, without damaging the social and cultural systems usually affected by ecotourism. Our idea of recommending horsepower in Monteverde will acknowl edge the importance of social dimensions of the tourism experience, rather than primarily focusing on environmental or economic impacts. On the other hand, Buchsbaum year mentions that although sustainable development may be an abstract concept, it aims to provide a balance between the economy, the environment and society. Sustainable development stresses the idea that all sides are interdependent and must coexist in orde r to promote successful long term development. Essentially, we believe horsepower in Monteverde can work as a form of sustainable development that will bring benefits to current and future generations. There is evidence that Monteverde went through an ecot ourism project that has had great economic success. Buchsbaum year states that the Monteverde Cloud Forest private reserve generates more income from tourism than all of the Costa Rican National Parks put together. There is also strong evidence that in M onteverde has been contributing to higher household income and better overall standards of living for local people. Ecotourism has now surpassed dairy farming as the communityÂ‚s main source of income. These evidences indicate that Monteverde has experience on working towards a sustainable developed community. For this reason, we believe that our idea of implementing horsepower in the community can be a sustainable tool, if handled properly, honestly and with intelligence. We can learn from our mistakes, and we do, but we are now in a situation where we need
4 MVI Course Duarte/McGee to learn fast. We know what can happen if we do not progress, and once the beautiful ecology that attracts people to Monteverde is damaged, in most cases, it cannot be recovered. Our time in Monteverde has made us very aware of the ecotourism and sustainability aspects that this community is influenced by on a daily basis. As mentioned before, this community is known for being one of the worldÂ‚s largest eco friendly sites Vivan c o 2006. However, we fee l that Monteverde can do more to reduce the impact of tourism on the environment. The purpose of this project is to give back to the community. Our project consists of a series of interviews to locals and tourists, a website to promote and leave a legacy i n Monteverde, and a photo gallery. We feel that using more horsepower in Monteverde will be a great alternative option to reduce carbon footprints, attract more tourism and economically efficient. We have found scholarly sources and secondary articles abo ut the pros and cons of using horses in communities Our question is, do people think that horsepower as a means of transporting tourists actually be implemented in Monteverde? If so, what are the steps to making this possible? We feel that this is a plan t hat is possible because this area is already educated in ways to becoming environmentally sustainable. We feel that people in Monteverde will be receptive and willing to at least listen to our idea of using more horsepower. As we stated earlier this coun try is already much further ahead of other countries in being educated about ways to achieve environmental sustainability McKeone 2011. Some people in the community who own farms would be more likely to consider the idea because it would benefit them mor e directly and they have more knowledge in this area. We also feel that some people would like this idea
5 MVI Course Duarte/McGee because community members mentioned there is great debate about paving the roads because of tourism. More people would be inclined to visit if the road s were paved which would be beneficial for the economy in Monteverde. We thought this idea could easily be implemented into the society because of what we learned from scholarly sources, out interviews, and the history of horsepower being used in the past. As a result of our preliminary observations we hypothesize that people in the Monteverde area will be receptive to the idea of using horses more for transportation, and building a sustainable development withi n the community. Materials and Methods: We began our project by contacting two men, Cristobal Quesada and Martin Madrigal, who own a horse company in Monteverde. We asked them a set a question about the different aspects of their business such as the number of horses they own, how many horses th ey believe are in Monteverde, the areas they do their tours in, and the number people they take on tours. We also asked them what they do with the horse manure, how tourism has increased/decreased and if they think our project is sustainable. The opinions of people that work with horses gave us a sense of the multiple ways they are currently used in the Monteverde area. We also asked them how they felt about the idea of replacing tourist vehicles with horsepower as a means to cut down fuel emissions and red uce the motorized traffic on roads. When we met up after interviewing the locals
6 MVI Course Duarte/McGee and tourists about their thoughts we shared our findings with Cristobal Quesada Since the idea received such great feedback he offered to take a group of 7 on a horseback tour around Monteverde. We even stopped during the tour to look at the sunset from a gazebo in the forest. This part of our project was to actually see if our idea would work if we physically did it as opposed to only talking about it. Our collea gues that went on the horseback tour with us said that they enjoyed themselves and enjoyed getting watching the sunset because it was a way to interact with nature. Results: Table 1: would go at the end with its own heading and referred to withi n the text. NAME ORIGIN Relation ship with Horses Good for the environ ment Time Consu ming Horses vs. Car Attr act mor e touri sts Smith USA Tourist X X Parker USA Tourist X X Murphy Montever de Horse Trek Monteve rde X X Car X Duarte Montever de Cab Driver X X Car Lopez Montever de Haciend a Monteve rde X
7 MVI Course Duarte/McGee Rodrigu ez Montever de Haciend a Monteve rde X Araya Montever de Co owner of El Rodeo Caballeri za X Horse James USA Tourist X X Depend s on destinat ion X Field USA Tourist X X Depend s on Destinat ion X Hayden USA Tourist X X X Li USA Tourist X X X Rizzi USA Tourist X X X Levenst ein USA Tourist X X Quesad a Montever de Owner of El Refugio X Horse Martin Montever de Owner of El Refugio X Horse Birara Italy Tourist X Qualitative research 60% Foreigners 40% Locals Time consuming: 46%
8 MVI Course Duarte/McGee 13% think cars are better 60% attract more tourism After completing our interviews and discussions with tourists and members of the community we realized that this idea could be applied to Monteverde. People were very receptive to our idea although they were surprised when we initially asked the question. After thinking about the question they decided that it was would be a very interesting idea to implement into the community. We also found that some people who live in Monteverde have already thought about using horsepower within ecotourism. There were a f ew challenges that have prevented them from developing this idea further. For example, Martin and Cristobal said that they economically this would be challenging. They were not willing to fully invest in this idea because they were not sure if everyone in the community would be receptive and they would lose money. Overall, our hypothesis and results were similar. Now we know that in order for horsepower to be utilized as a part of ecotourism and sustainability there needs to be an economic investment, time to train the horses and making the community realize that horses are economically beneficial to the community.
9 MVI Course Duarte/McGee Figure 1 Horsepower transportation trial in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Also would go at the end of the document. Link to the website: http://monteverdehorsetou.wix.com/el Discussion: From talking with the locals, tourists and most importantly Cristobal and Martin we discovered that this idea could be achieved. However, they would need to train the horses for the roads, get the policies and municipalities in order, do paperwork and need economic support. Training horses for the road is one of the most important steps because if they can not cooperate and share the roads with automobiles then this idea would not work at all. In an article I read about New York City wanting to abolish hors es the roads, one of the arguments was because the horses are a distraction. Drivers are distracted by
10 MVI Course Duarte/McGee the horses and the horses are distracted by the cars and loud noises. They become startled and cause accidents as a result Gay 2014. This is a really i mportant point to keep in mind because if there is no harmony on the streets then this idea is a lost cause. A concern that Cristobal Quesada had in actually putting this plan to action was the economic part. He has been hesitant to carry out the id ea because he does not have the financial stability to completely follow through. This was not only a concern with Cristobal but with the co owner of the El Rodeo Cabelleriza. She has spoken with her husband about trying to develop this idea but he was hes itant to invest money. People feel that there is not enough community support when it comes to using horses in the community. We understand why he feels this way because as we mentioned in our results, people are most likely to use cars. People want to use more cars because they feel that they are more reliable and faster. People are also not willing to lend out their land because the horses cause a lot of damage to the pasture. However, having a car is cheaper and more sustainable for the environment. After completing our interviews and discussions with tourists and members of the community we realized that this idea could be applied to Monteverde. People were very receptive to our idea although they were surprised when we initially asked the questio n. After thinking about the question they decided that it was would be a very interesting idea to implement into the community. We also found that some people who live in Monteverde have already thought about using horsepower within ecotourism. There were a few challenges that have prevented them from developing this idea further. For example, Martin and Cristobal said that they economically this would be challenging. They were not willing to fully invest in this idea because they were not sure if everyone
11 MVI Course Duarte/McGee in the community would be receptive and they would lose money. Overall, our hypothesis and results were similar. Now we know that in order for horsepower to be utilized as a part of ecotourism and sustainability there needs to be an economic investment, ti me to train the horses and making the community realize that horses are economically beneficial to the community. As a result, Cristobal has been encouraged to rethink the idea of using horsepower in the community. He has been encouraged to promote the use of horsepower through his website that we have made for him. References : should be in alphabetic order and formatted according to Ecology Bekhechi, Mimi. ÂƒBusy city streets are no places for horse drawn carriages.Â„ Independent.ie. PETA UK. 27 March 20 14. Web. 29 March. 2014. Gay, Mary. ÂƒCarriage Horses, Now Controversial, Have a Long City History.Â„ The Wall Street Journal. Metropolis, 24 March 2014.Web. 29 March 2014. McKeone, Emily. ÂƒEcotourism in Costa Rica: Environmental Impacts and Management.Â„ Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Theses. Nebraska, 01 May 2011. Web 07 April 2014. Scheyvens, Regina.ÂƒEcotourism and the empowerment of local communities.Â„ School of Global Studies, Massey University. Palmerston North, New Zealand. 1991. Web. 0 7 April 2014. Buchsbaum, Bernardo DuhÂ…. ÂƒEcotourism and Sustainable Development in Costa Rica.Â„ Master of Public and International Affairs College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Virginia. 2004. Web. 08 April 2014. Vivanco, Luis Antonio. ÂƒGreen encou nters: Shaping and contesting environmentalism in rural Costa Rica.Â„ Vol. 3. Berghahn Books, 2006.