On Friday, we collected GPS waypoints and observations along the local creeks and rivers around the Bahia community. There were 6 of us split into 2 teams: Amy, Christian, Wayner then Luz, Jovino and I. Each group had 2 GPS units and cameras to take photo’s and observe the proximity of vegetation and houses to the waterways. The section we followed had many forks and bends making it difficult to map and understand the flow direction – I can see the importance of producing maps of the town’s water systems and better understand where the water flows during the annual wet season here in Costa Rica.
While I am volunteering, I am staying with a Costa Rican host family for the month – Rafa, Angie, Sofia and Kendall. Rafa (my host father) is the manager of Bahia Aventuras and on Saturday he offered for me to go on a full day boat tour out to the CorcovadoNational Park. From a tourist perspective, I can see why these boat tours are the towns major income generator – the wealth of both marine and land wildlife in the area are amazing and it’s special that the community will share it with tourists. From the Geoporter perspective, there are many future uses of GPS and GIS within the tours for instance mapping the birds, monkeys, sloths, snakes, lizard and frog locations within Corcovado or mapping other marine wildlife such as the dolphins we spotted so that their location is better understood and guides can predict where they will see these animals for other tours.
As Amy first said; It’s not just volunteering but voluntourism – there are plenty of opportunities to be a tourist and enjoy Costa Rica not just work the whole time. While I have only been here for a short while, I have experienced the beauty of Costa Rica to the full through swimming at the local UvitaRiver, visiting the local beach and walking along the famous whale tail formation or swimming at the waterfalls up in the nearby mountains. I can also see many uses for GPS and GIS in mapping these locations for other tourists to visit too!
Hasta Luego for now but I will be back next week to share more of my Costa Rican adventures!