An environmental tour many years in the making

Sister Jeannette Filthaut in a boat

BY SISTER JEANNETTE FILTHAUT

This year, my dream came true when my brother and his wife decided to take their family of three children, their spouses and their eight grandchildren to Costa Rica to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. My sister-in-law’s sister, brother and I were also invited to be guests for this occasion.

Even though I broke the fibula in my right ankle just before Christmas, my cast was off and I managed to travel to Costa Rica with the family in February. This Central American country is absolutely beautiful and is very focused on sustainability and education, so it was a real education for all of us. The resorts where the family stayed were very committed to environmental sustainability, serving local fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. 

Typically, tourguides in Costa Rica must pass exams in order to serve as guides for environmental tours. My tour took me to Rio Frio – a full day of driving and boating through the agricultural areas, observing much of the wildlife of this country. We passed fields of pineapple, papaya, oranges and sugar cane, observing the factory where sugarcane was processed and the additional pulp saved for cattle – thus the sweeter milk. 

Driving on the bus through the lush rainforest areas made me ever so much more aware of how some of our Canadian companies are trying to bring change to this country, taking some of the riches of the land for themselves. With my camera I tried to capture some of the beauty of this country that has over 200 volcanoes. There were countless numbers of wind turbines on the hills utilizing the strong wind currents that came off the two oceans. 

I never got to the wedding of my brother and his wife 50 years ago in 1966, but I have beautiful memories of their 50th wedding anniversary celebration in Costa Rica this year.

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