Long before hordes of tourists and biologists began flocking to Costa Rica for its amazing biodiversity, the country’s native people became the area’s first wildlife experts. Through close observation during frequent close-encounters with animals, Costa Rica’s indigenous people built up extensive mythologies surrounding the country’s wildlife. These beliefs are best preserved among Costa Rica’s Bribrí and Boruca people, who had animals featured prominently in their religion, healing ceremonies and even their dreams.
It’s not easy for humans and wildlife to live next to each other, and in Costa Rica, one of the primary examples of this has long been the conflict between people and jaguars. However, a new project is trying to ease tensions.