For the second year in row, Costa Rica has been left off the “World’s 10 Best Ethical Destinations” list posted by the Ethical Traveler Foundation.
This year’s list valued the country’s natural beauty and wide variety of options for ecotourism. However, Costa Rica failed to make the cut overall because of its “lack of freedom for environmentalists and the issue of child prostitution,” according the report.
Costa Rica has traditionally appeared on the annual list, but was removed in 2010 for similar reasons.
In 2011 it reentered the list and remained for two years, even topping the 2013 list before being removed from the 2014 list, and now the 2015 edition.
The countries that made the 2015 list — “in alphabetical order, not in order of merit,” warns the report — are Cabo Verde, Chile, Dominica, Lithuania, Mauritius, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Uruguay and Vanuatu.
Ethical Traveler draws up the list after researching the quality of developing countries on social and environmental issues, focusing on four general categories: environmental protection, social welfare, human rights and animal welfare.
They also take into account reports from nongovernmental organizations such as Freedom House, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Reporters Without Borders, UNICEF, the World Bank and various LGBT resources.
Ethical Traveler is a nonprofit organization founded by the San Francisco-based Earth Island Institute. According to their website, it works “to empower travelers to change the world.”