In the last century, the south-central Pacific coast of Costa Rica evolved from a wild, remote strip of land to one sparsely populated by homesteaders who cleared the forests to live off the land. Now it is a popular tourist destination filled with diverse wildlife in the abundant rainforests. Join author Jack Ewing, president of two environmental organizations, as he reveals the ever-changing and fascinating history of the area and recounts his 45-year journey from managing a cattle ranch to developing Hacienda Barú into a National Wildlife Refuge. And discover how his efforts with the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor may one day bring jaguars and tapirs back to the area.
In 1970, Jack Ewing and his family left Colorado for Costa Rica where, over the decades, he helped convert a former cattle ranch into Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge, now a well-known eco-tourism destination on the southwest coast of Costa Rica. He is currently president of two environmental organizations, ASANA (Association of Friends of Nature) and FUNDANTA (Foundation for the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor). His books include Monkeys Are Made of Chocolate, and Where Tapirs and Jaguars Once Roamed.
"The Costa Rican conservation story is a fascinating one and Jack Ewing has been an incredibly effective participant in its success. The book gives a very real and personal context to it. And he's a great story teller as well."
– Richard Andrus, Binghamton University, NY
"For Jack's many fans, the stories recalling episodes of his 45-year, personal evolution from cattle rancher, to emerging naturalist and conservationist, to renowned environmentalist will be equally enlightening and entertaining. This book will appeal to a wide range of readers; anyone who has had the pleasure of experiencing the natural Costa Rica."
– Dorothy MacKinnon, travel writer
"Transports the reader into Costa Rica with an intimacy born from the author's life there and with a vividness that would be difficult to match even seeing it for yourself. It is fascinating and personal, never dry or academic, yet by the end there's no denying it's a thoroughly educational read."
– Ray Kruegar-Koplin, Toucan Maps
"Because of Jack Ewing and people like him we are sure to see the return of the tapir and jaguar to this extraordinary biological corridor, keeping this part of Costa Rica truly the "rich coast" as it was meant to be. This book is a must read for those who love Costa Rica and those yet to discover this beautiful country."
– Pat Cheek, Quepolandia