Monteverde Costa Rica has a diversified economy
Monteverde is no different from most of Costa Rica and agriculture has long been the main source of income for the inhabitants of this town including the Quakers actually who founded Monteverde. Subsistence agriculture was the business of the regional Creole populations inhabited these lands because they were restrained by poor infrastructure.
Many years ago they initially hunted several different animals like deer, monkeys, tapirs and birds but for those populations were diminished they turned to other mammals and different foods, like pigs, corn, beans, vegetables, fruits, herbs and livestock. All the way to the 1950s most native Costa Ricans in the Quakers who founded this town produced garlic, beef, flax and some types of cheese.
In the 1960s there were many infrastructure improvements which the Quakers took advantage of the export the cheese and beef they produce to the rest of the country. However because of the overgrazing the dairy industry declined in the 1970s which was a major problem for the inhabitants of Monteverde, this basically led the population to turn to coffee, the most popular crop of Costa Rica throughout history.
It got to the point in the mid-1990s when coffee farmers and producers were receiving the highest prices in the world for their coffee beans and in the same period of time as mentioned before, 210 families were contributing milk to the local dairy factory but to the point was reporting revenue of $5.2 million.
But agriculture is not the only way of income for people of Monteverde, actually I know it’s far from being the number one source of income. Tourism is a nonstop growing sector in the economy of this region, having grown from less than 100 yearly visitors in 1975 to around 50,000 in the mid-90s and to 250,000 in recent years, and this is why the economy is turning increasingly into one dependent on the tourism industry.
There has been a big increase in hotels taxis tour guides and many other tourist related services that have appeared in the last 20 years. It has gotten to the point that two bilingual schools have been founded to provide the English essential to take care of the number one business in Monteverde.
Tourism is definitely going to be the principal source of income of this town for many years to come and this is why people take care of nature with high hopes and much love.