Tercera Semana en Costa Rica

Submitted by Elsley Hazell on the 2024 Winter SPAN program in Costa Rica

Birds in the mangrove forest

Our entire group spent the weekend at Tivives beach in Puntarenas, and it was so beautiful. The sand is black because of all the volcanoes and there was a Mangrove Forest by the beach, so a couple of us took a Mangrove boat tour! There were so many cool animals to experience! There were monkeys, iguanas, little lizards, minnows, macaws, and some more. I had never seen Mangroves before, nor did I know a lot about Mangroves before this weekend. But it was so cool to see how the roots of the Mangrove trees overlap each other in an attempt to get enough water. They have special adaptations to take in extra oxygen and to remove salt, which allow them to tolerate conditions that would kill most plants. Mangrove forests stabilize the coastline, reducing erosion from storm surges, currents, waves, and tides. Fernando, our boat tour guide, told us that the Mangrove roots are good protection for small baby fish and they help to keep the older fish that preys on them away. There was so much unique life in the Mangrove that we weren’t able to see, but also so much that we were able to see! I’ll never forget how it felt to watch the sunset behind the mountains over the ocean, and there were so many visible stars!!! (Submitted on January 23, 2024)