History and philosophy of the Finca Köbö
I visited the Osa Peninsula first time in 2002. It is an area almost unknown to the majority of Costa Ricans even though it is home to one of the most complex ecosystems on this planet.
I will always remember the deep impact this beautiful nature had on me. I had never seen anything like it before. Not only did I encounter impressive primary rainforests with their gigantic trees and abundant wildlife, but I also experienced the peace and tranquility of Golfo Dulce.
Only eight months later I and part of my family came to live here permanently.
This was the birth of Finca “Köbö", which in the language of the Guayami -
the only indigenous people on the peninsula - means "dreams".
It is my dream to create a model farm, where the conservation of the
rainforest and sustainable agriculture co-exist and benefit all living
things, humans and animals alike.
Originating from a farmers family, I was lucky to be given the opportunity
to take part in a course, which tought me and now enables me to start
working in eco-tourism. I found a way of not only sharing my experiences
and dreams with my neighbours and other farmers in the area, but also of
opening the doors for visitors, students, and everybody else, who might be
interested in our project.
We are aware and hope to live up to the greatest of responsibilities: to
save as heretage for the generations to come one of the most precious
living treasures on our planet...our tropical forests.
Alex Retana Mena
Half of Finca Köbö's territory is dedicated to protect various natural ecosystems
as there are:
Primary Forests have never been cut down and exist in their natural form without any human interference. Here a great variety of wildlife, which only develops in these ecosystems, can be found: plants, frogs, insects, mammals, and birds. There are also giant trees, which harbour small, hidden worlds in their foliage. These realms are forbidden to us as they tower 50 metres above our heads.
Costa Rica is privileged for its immense variety of species. Even though small in size, an estimated 5% of this planet's biodiversity is concentrated here. Hidden in Costa Rica's forests there are still many living things waiting to be scientifically discovered, mainly plants and insects.
Secondary forests have in some way or another been altered by man. Mostly wood has been extracted, sometimes they were cut down completely. Their recovery is a lengthy process. But these woods have their own natural characteristics, which result in special conditions and a different type of flora and fauna.
These parts have been cultivated previously by other farmers. Due to their location within the farm we have decided not to use them. Now a natural regeneration process can set in. These places give us a chance to watch new growth and the colonisation of these areas by various so called pioneer species of plants and trees. Pioneer species are responsible for creating the right conditions of humidity, temperature, and fertility for the species to follow. This marvellous process will take centuries but in the end it will be a forest again. Many plants with medicinal properties are found here.
These corridors connect different habitats within Finca Köbö and the surrounding farms. Animals can get safely and in a natural way from and to feeding grounds and resting places. Some of our corridors allow us to watch a daily increasing number of passing monkeys, sloths, coatis and other animals. We are convinced that installing and protecting these connecting areas is a fundamental part of the conservation process.