Just five years shy of retirement, he lost his job when the world shut down. Like so many in the world, in Costa Rica, in tourism, he found himself suddenly motionless. His feet—a tourism leader’s feet, used to constant journeys—had nowhere to go.
He thought of his great-grandfather’s farm, now a reserve.
He thought of walking.
A few years before all this, he’d started making trails there. He learned about another group of walkers, even more restless than he—walkers who cross the country, from sea to shining sea. Those hikers started using the trails through the farm, and the groups grew, and the trails grew.
Now, more people craved a good walk, shut into their homes and apartments. They came out of the cities and towns to walk two kilometers, four, 11, 15. He’d walked his way into a new tourism enterprise, its own Facebook page, its own story growing out of the woods that shelter quetzals and bellbirds.
They made this place by walking: he, those who came from the city, those who came from around the world to tramp up hill and down. One entry fee at a time, they made sure this place would remain intact. By moving, always moving, they let the trees and birds stay right where they were meant to be.
Inspired by José Masís Masís and his story as part of the Palo Verde Cloud Forest, or Bosque Nuboso Palo Verde. Learn more about how to visit this private reserve on its Facebook page and its Directory 506 profile. The Cloud Forest forms part of El Camino de Costa Rica, a trail that crosses the country from sea to sea. Learn more about. El Camino de Costa Rica in El Colectivo 506 here.
Our stories this month are a joint effort between the editorial team of El Colectivo 506 and the entrepreneurs and organizations that participate in our national directory of rural tourism. For more information about Directory 506, send a WhatsApp message to 8506-1506, join our WhatsApp chat, or email us at [email protected].