Caminos de Osa at TedXPura Vida
Earlier this year, Caminos de Osa was featured at TedxPura Vida. Daniel Villafranca, Executive Director of RBA, Presented Caminos de Osa. The talk, entitled “The real color of gold is green”, inspires the listener to understand the transformational power that Caminos de Osa is having for its participants.
Daniel's talk starts with the presentation of Juan Cubillo, an entrepreneur who is a part of Caminos, and who in the past has made a living gold mining. Daniel describes the challenging life of the gold miner, and how being a part of Caminos de Osa has required the commitment of the whole family.
Corcovado National Park is presented as an incredible asset, rich in biodiversity, that we must not take for granted. Daniel describes the current conditions: that there are over 300 goldminers currently in Corcovado National Park, and animals like the chancho de monte are in danger of becoming extinct in the region due to poaching. In addition to poaching and goldmining, illegal logging is also having an impact.
Caminos de Osa is described as a solution, a small-scale rural community tourism product built upon the richness of the local culture and the biodiversity of the region, which addresses the socioeconomic needs of local families. The first step in creating Caminos de Osa was to “believe again” that change would be possible, after decades of complex efforts to bring development to the region. Not only did financial backers have to believe that a different outcome was possible, but communities had to believe that if they made the commitment to this new effort positive change could occur this time.
In order to create the tourism destination Caminos de Osa, the effort involved a great deal of knowledge sharing related to tourism. Improving the quality of the business, installing signage, customer service, establishing a strong connection with national and international markets, and the creation of a destination management organization. The effort itself was supported by a very large public-private partnership, the most important actor being the local communities.
In concluding, Daniel proposed that it is more important to fill your passport with experiences than to fill up your life with things. He reminded us all that it is up to you to decide: whether we would like to go yet again to an all inclusive resort and sit by the pool, or if we’d like to have experiences that would take us out of our comfort zone and challenges us, help us grow, and change our perspectives.
The value that is created by Caminos isn’t just for the entrepreneurs who have participated in the program, but there is an incredible benefit available for each and every person who comes to experience the Caminos de Osa. To close his speech, Daniel introduced Juan Cubillo, as a representative of all of the entrepreneurs who participate in the program, who invited everyone to visit Caminos de Osa.