A Selective Creature
The expatriate from the United States and other countries appears to be a selective creature. .Where he lives and what he does is usually known. But why he lives where he does is more difficult to determine.
The Quakers Cheese Makers
The Amish and Mennonites have a reputation of being hearty settlers willing to pioneer regions other immigrants find inhospitable. Another religious group, the Mormons, has been known to own large tracts of land in Argentina. And several Quaker families from Hope, Alabama, left home for religious reasons and established a thriving farm colony in the mountainous cloud forests of north-eastern Puntarenas Province of Costa Rica.
It was in 1952, when the U. S. Government put into effect the peacetime draft that the Quakers began to look abroad for a safe haven for their families. In making a worldwide search they found that Costa Rica had more teachers than police and that there was
no army or anything to do with anything military. Right then they decided their destination would be Costa Rica.
In the 50 years these Quakers have been in the country, they've proven to be avid and true ecologists. Peace, a simple life, honesty and the conservation of natural resources have been some of their main values. To survive financially, they chose dairying and cheese making as their main activity. Today the cheese they make is one of
the best in the country.
They offer a good example of successful agricultural colonization in a foreign country and exemplary development of the region surrounding them. Monteverde (green mount), the name given the area by those Quakers, is now a must-see tourist destination ideal for bird-watching and walking through the original cloud forest whose exotic flora and fauna that have been preserved.
But settling was not an easy task for them. In 1960, one of the founders, Cecil Rockwell, told me that their trek to Costa Rica had begun in the autumn of 1952 when nine families (a total of 40 persons) packed their belongings and journeyed to what they considered would be a paradise for them. Over the years, and after having overcome many obstacles, it eventually did become their true "Shangri-La".