Costa Rica’s Terraba Tribe Might Hold Cures, Might Also be Eradicated

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Tilo, used in a relaxation tea ©

The Terraba tribe in Costa Rica might be small, but their plans are big. The tribe consists of just 750 people, and they live in an area of wilderness threatened by the construction of a hydroelectric dam. The government of Costa Rica doesn’t recognize the threat the tribe feels, so a group of students from Elon University (South Carolina) chose to help by taking a modern approach. With a guide, they spent some time with the tribe learning about their traditional medicinal remedies. The Terraba can trace their roots though Central America back over 10,000 years, and their homeopathic recipes have been with them longer than any of the members can recall.

Maybe the government of Costa Rica is right and the Terraba will be able to sustain their way of life. But maybe the hydroelectric dam will irrevocably alter their ecosystem, destroying some of the plants they harvest, and limiting their resources to cure ailments. Cures that they are willing to share, that could change the way we treat everyday issues.

Or … maybe everything will be cool, I’m being dramatic and they’re overreacting.

Read more about the tribe on the student-built website here.

About The Author

Melissa Hennessey (@BlueMorphoBlog) is your standard Midwestern-would-be-vagabond with a penchant for all the little things that make travel even more excellent. Melissa has a day job she actually likes, and fills the rest of her day with writing, hot yoga and photo making. She travels as often as she can, usually with her fiancé. Unfortunately, their 3 cats don't care much for travel due to the lack of cat-centric hostel search website.

2 Responses

  1. Amanda Sturgill

    Thanks for the pointer to our site. My students and I went from North Carolina in January to spend time to document the story of this lovely and fascinating group of people.

  2. Sofie

    Hey Melissa,

    I’m planning on going to Costa Rica next year, so I’m gathering all the info I can, not only about places to visit, but also about life there.
    Will definitely check out the sudents’ site!


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