Cuericí Biological Station is a conservation area that protects primary and secondary cloud forest in southern Costa Rica and serves as an example of sustainability. Encompassing roughly 750 acres of mountainous tropical forest, this area acts as a refuge for a number of threatened or endangered animals and acts as a biological corridor for migrating species or those fleeing habitat destruction.
Don Carlos Solano, the founder, owner, and manager of Cuericí, grows blackberries and raises trout on the property to generate income for the station. He has invested his future and that of his family into Cuericí, so that future generations may learn from and explore a forest that survived the increasing pressures of commercial agriculture, industrialization, and population expansion. Moreover, he believes that
education and integration of the local community in this effort is crucial
for the preservation of Costa Rica's stunning biodiversity.
Don Carlos welcomes local school groups and leads nature walks through pristine oak forests, home to species such as the resplendent quetzal and the endangered Baird's tapir. He additionally receives students from the University of Costa Rica, the Organization for Tropical Studies, and other institutions to educate about the efficacy of sustainable practices and their interaction with a natural landscape.
Unfortunately, several financial problems call into question the future of Cuericí. Funding has dwindled over the last five years due to a reduction in the amount of students and researchers that visit. Concurrently, both the blackberry and trout markets have become saturated with commercial production, diminishing the continual revenue that Don Carlos depends on. Without additional methods to generate income or ways to lower expenses, Cuericí may no longer exist.