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San José and Heredia

Viewpoint: Causes behind illegal gold mining

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Although illegal gold mining has been an ongoing problem in Costa Rica for centuries, recently it has come back into the public eye. Juan Figuerola, an environmentalist and forestry engineer at the University of Costa Rica, worked in the Osa Peninsula area near the Corcovado National Park where most of the illegal mining is occurring. Figuerola says that economic problems such as government overturning of farmlands is causing low-income Costa Ricans to resort to oreando to make ends meet and support their families. Oreros – people carrying out these illegal activities – are only part of the problem, Figuerola says; if Costa Ricans had more government support and if the government paid more attention to Corcovado National Park, the problem could be greatly reduced.

Figuerola explains his view of the situation in detail in an interview with EcoChronicle.

COSTA RICA’S GOLD MUSEUM

The Pre-Colombian Gold Museum in San Jose provides the history of gold in Costa Rica and gives visitors a peek at centuries-old artistry.

All the information and gold artifacts in the video above are displayed at the museum.

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About Shelby Marra

My name is Shelby and I'm a senior at the University of Arizona. I'm a journalism student and I love creating content whether through writing, photography, videography or news! I was inspired by Humans of New York and created Humans of Tucson in hopes of showcasing and cataloging, through photographs and short stories, the vibrant faces of the desert dwellers in Tucson, Arizona. I will be graduating in May and hope to pursue a career as a television news reporter! Enjoy!

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