Getaway to Costa Rica - Connected to the land

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Evidence of human existence in Costa Rica dates back more than 10,000 years. The Bribri tribe was the first to inhabit what is now Costa Rica. Their efforts to maintain their original language, traditions and independence firmly linked to a totally self-sufficient life in the jungle are truly exceptional. Their social system is also remarkable, with matriarchy playing a fundamental role, as well as an interest in the wisdom of nature, which they have carried into their daily lives. The Bribri's natural respect for nature was even adopted by the foreigners who settled permanently in Costa Rica, and whose stories are also part of this documentary. Nature itself dominated them, and they learned to listen to it, understand it and perceive it naturally. It unconsciously acts as a guide for all of us on how to treat our home, to ensure that its life is not extinguished.

but with new possibilities to achieve new goals

We hope in the future we will be able to build on Director Spr Foch's You You Because it won't make it you know That's all quadro Can you know get away? Yes, but okay can't go a care way according to the bri-bri Nothing in this world was created by chance in the beginning

There was only darkness and rocks Our God Cibo needed soil in which to plant seeds He sacrificed his niece Eryria a little taper girl and from her blood and skin The soil was formed Eryria isn't dead

We must remember that she is the very ground that we walk on The soil is a living thing it sees hears and feels through us the spirits of the animals The forest and the sea if we protect her she will nourish us Over 10,000 years ago, Costa Rica was already inhabited Those original local inhabitants were a tribe of natives called the bri-bri Keshe was raised by his aunt Juanita a teacher I'm sad because here in Costa Rica Our children must go to school from age 7 that's the age at which they start to learn the bri-bri language its traditions and its values When you go to school and learn another language it gets a little confusing You're a bri-bri, but you're not If we want to maintain the traditions We must learn the language If we want to maintain the traditions, our children must first become aware of their own culture We belong to Cebo He cares for us just as other supernatural forces care for plants and animals If we kill a wild animal to sell it we will be punished We can sell pigs and chickens that we raise Nothing that comes from living creatures can go to waste Otherwise Cebo will punish us In this way he teaches us how to coexist with all the creatures of the world Cebo gave us the jungle We need it to live We can have small fields where we grow vegetables But we can't clear more than we need For us, large pastures don't make any sense But the jungle is like a natural nursery for crops that we depend on to live We cultivate some on small farms for our own use and to sell We're poor, but finally once again self-sufficient We carry on our traditions thanks to tourists that come here Take interest in our culture and buy our products Our men work for themselves and don't have to toil on banana plantations from which they brought home only diseases because of the poisonous sprays they used Children learn handicrafts typical for their mother's clan Important plants and animals are considered to be female Cacao tree According to the legend, the cacao tree was a woman who was transformed into a tree For that reason, cacao tree branches are never used as kindling The pods are harvested by men, but only women are allowed to make the drink made from it Before the traditional drink can be prepared, the cocoa pods must undergo fermentation to eliminate acidity and bitterness Unlike the hot chocolate we know now, they use the entire pod and don't add anything except for brown sugar Vanilla While in the West hot chocolate or other chocolate drinks are considered mainly for children, they fear it's even drunk during ritual ceremonies







Kesh says that if you really want to understand nature, you need to be a bit childlike


Feel what it's like to touch the soil and water

To feel the breeze

According to Aunt Juanita, he knows how to listen to nature and has all the prerequisites to become a shaman

But first, he'll have to spend 20 years in the jungle without the company of women

But he prefers to guide the jungle, especially women

Kesh loves animals, so when his aunt offered to let him take on a special project, he didn't hesitate for a second

When the sun rises, dozens of iguanas from far and wide meet for breakfast in the place where they were born, attracted here by young females

This project started in the 80s because in Costa Rica the iguana population was almost extinct

Kesh told us the story of how they started breeding iguanas and releasing them into the wild here on the farm in the 1980s, after logging almost completely eradicated the species

He said that with the help of biologists, that they were able to return thousands of iguanas back into the wild

In the late 1980s, Kesh was able to return thousands of iguanas back into the wild

In the late 1980s, Kesh was able to return thousands of iguanas back into the wild

In the late 1980s, Kesh was able to return thousands of iguanas back into the wild

In Costa Rica, distances aren't expressed in kilometers, but rather in hours

Journeys here go a long way towards testing your adventurous spirit

From Talamanca on the Caribbean coast, we head for Cabagra on the Pacific coast to meet other Bribri tribes

If we traverse the rivers, we'll save three hours and be able to catch the sunset

But what man proposes, God disposes

The most commonly used expression in Costa Rica is pura vida

Translated literally, it means pure life and is used as a greeting, as well as a universal answer to every problem

In short, everything's cool

With this kind of attitude towards life, it sometimes happens that the locals will throw themselves into something with gusto, even when it's plain to see that it can't possibly turn out well

Thankfully, this time we could depend on pura vida

Someone always shows up at the right moment to help you out of a tight spot

We didn't manage to film today's sunset, but this lesson was well worth it

While the local natives have a relationship with nature based on the nature of their lifestyle and religion, others need a reminder of the interdependence of humans and the forest

National parks and reserves make up a fourth of Costa Rica's land area

The sign says you are entering the territory of the Cabagra indigenous people

With every forest fire, something of yours burns

Help prevent forest fires

To a certain extent, life in mountainous areas is rather solitary, and people who live here must rely exclusively on themselves

Along the way, we stop to visit Ayrum and his family

I'm a farmer, a small farmer

I work with the earth

I grow beans, corn, rice, so my family is completely self-sufficient

We don't need hospitals

We have medicinal plants for free

You just have to find them in the forest

My wife taught our children to speak Bribri, and I taught them how to work with nature

They go to public schools, but I don't need to know much of that, just what I use

Most of all, how to understand nature, how to use it, but not abuse it

According to Bribri legend, the white man came into existence during the day

And just as the leafcutter ant chews up all the leaves around and brings them back to their anthill, white men too collect things for themselves

But he is more clever

He knows how to build airplanes in cars, but he doesn't know much about nature as they do

Cibo created the Bribri at night and gave them knowledge for them alone to use and care for

The Bribri came into existence during the day

The Bribri came into existence during the day

The Bribri came into existence during the day

In recent years, Costa Rica has become a favorite destination for tourists, who like the Bribri have come to realize the importance of the man-nature balance

And like Lura, a yoga teacher, they've created a functional society here

I came to Costa Rica about 23 years ago and I fell in love with it

It was pure and clean and the jungle was just alive

I'd been to other tropical places, but this place spoke to me

And so for many years I came just a little bit each year and it was my respite, my place away from the busy world to catch up on reading that I wanted to do, to do my own yoga and meditation practice, to have time by myself and with my family, to deepen everything in my life

And the jungle seemed to make that even deeper, purer

It was easy to spend time doing these things here, uninterrupted by our busy schedules

So it's my goal to help people find ease and grace in their bodies, in their breath, to learn to have a deeper connection, to relax

And doing that in nature just makes it easier

There's no, you're out of your everyday world, you don't have your schedule, you don't have busyness, you're not loaded up with thoughts of the past or the future

We have to remember that nature only lives in the present moment

The birds that we hear, the animals that we see, are only doing what they're doing

Sorry, all of a sudden the ants found me

So the ants included only live in the present moment

Nature only knows this moment, it's not thinking about the past or the future

And when we're not thinking of the past or the future, we don't have a deeper connection to our beings

So here in Costa Rica, when you lay on the platform, I'm close enough to the ocean, you hear the waves coming in and you can move the length of your breath, lengthen it to go in with the wave and slide back out

As you breathe, you hear the bird songs, you hear the little whisper of the wind in the bamboo trees

Everything is happening around you and ever changing moment to moment

That's what true nature is, that's where our true nature is and it gives us the peace and quiet to know our inner being

When I'm here, that's why I love it

Music Music Music Music Music Costa Rica literally means rich coast

And it's said that the number of animal and plant species per square kilometer here is unequaled in the world

Traveling along the Cierpe River is an ideal way to get deep into the jungle and quietly observe its diversity

Music Music Music The space traveling squirrel monkey makes its home in the palm groves and riverbanks

These monkeys from the Cibidé family were the first primates that humans sent into space back in 1958

Music Music Although a large part of the country is cultivated by multinational companies, traditional methods for clearing agricultural land means that only a small controlled part of the rainforest is burned

The ash releases minerals into the soil, nourishing cultivated crops for many years

The field is then moved and the original field is left to be overgrown by the jungle and the nutrients returned to the soil

Agriculture is the primary source of income of most Costa Ricans and their organic crops are exported worldwide

Coffee connoisseurs consider Costa Rican coffee to be some of the best on the planet

Music Music From the dock where the Bri-Bri farmers bring their fruits and vegetables, we head out on a long journey to visit a shaman who can heal as well as communicate with the spirit world

We're curious to hear what he will have to say regarding the future of his culture

We have no idea if the meeting will even take place

Keshe says it's difficult to meet with him as he spends entire days in the jungle or performing healing rituals

Music Before he became an awa, the Bri-Bri word for shaman and healer, he had to study for 20 years, adhering to strict discipline

Nowadays, the young people don't study the stories and knowledge of their own culture

The older generations took rituals very seriously

But awapas still exist and continue to heal using plants, barks, roots that Sibo gave us along the way and good places for living and learning

He also taught us the value of communication and solidarity

Now we're influenced by foreign knowledge, which creates confusion

Diseases have appeared here and we are losing the battle

The elders warn that the wisdom of the awapas is disappearing

The planet will then wither, and people will become extinct in places

The water is not being cared for properly, and this could be fatal

God never wanted to punish people

Everything is only our fault

With the condition the earth is in, we must cooperate and help each other

We can only maintain balance together

Then we can change the world for the better

We can change the world for the better

We can change the world for the better

Badly maintained roads are a sure sign that we're in a place that the tourist industry hasn't reached yet

No one maintains the roads in places they hope to protect from the heavy pressure exerted by travel agencies

We've been invited to visit a fellow Czech from Prague who found his life purpose here

We head to Arenal, one of the most famous volcanoes in Costa Rica

When Thomas arrived on Easter in 1999, he left his fate to chance and hitched a ride in the first car that went by

He had no idea that he was being carried along like a seed on the wind to the place where he would later put down roots and become a farmer

We live in the small village of El Castillo

El Castillo is located between Lake Arenal, Arenal Volcano, and a big section of protected forest and mountains in the northern part of Costa Rica

El Castillo became kind of a little island with its own special island

It has an incredibly unique geographic position

Thomas invites us on a trip to the mountains to show us the place where, in his own words, he has his own garden forest

Shortly after he ended up in El Castillo, he made friends with a local family that soon adopted him and taught him how to grow and use mountain plants and crops

On hillsides that were once pastures, he built a small hut and began planting fruit trees, cacao trees, herbs, and pineapples

Today, most of them grow wild here

While learning to grow crops, Thomas came to the realization that every plant has its own place in the world

A weed is only a weed until you discover that plant's potential

The same is true in life, when one has the feeling that they've found themselves in the right place and that what he does begins to make sense

Like his friend Mike, he left his life as a successful motorcycle racer and trainer when he realized that he was no longer willing to risk his life

Although he left all his worldly possessions in America, it's here, working as a guide, that he truly feels rich

When we live close to nature, where everything works in cycles and begin to merge with it, a calmness descends on us and we realize that we are part of a greater whole

To the world that we belong, to the world we belong Coming home You could find at least two or three medicinal plants in every family's garden in Costa Rica

Thomas and his wife took a liking to a plant with strong antiparasitical effects, from which they also make a healing tincture

So they named their little shop and cafe after it

Gavilana is a medicinal plant that grows here in the wild

It grows in something called the light gap, along the roads

We chose gavilana as the representative of all the plants that grow wild or are cultivated here

Plants that represent a source of some type for humans, whether as medicine or food or to build with, or some other material

We work hard to maximize the natural diversity we have here

One thing we are working on is creating tree canopies or sheafs

When you plant trees and other vegetation, they grow together upwards and outwards, where they conjoin

It's a very significant moment

Once the tree canopies grow together, they provide shelter for birds and mammals

The garden becomes maintenance-free and protects the earth just like the forest

Squatters from America were behind the birth of the famous Monte Verde cloud forest near Arenal

They moved here in the 1940s to distance themselves from the American war campaigns

On pieces of land that were very cheap to buy, they renewed part of the original rainforest

Costa Rica has no mineral wealth, so it has never had to protect itself from stronger nations in the struggle for resources

In 1948, the government abolished the army and formed instead an army of teachers

In remote locations, you can ask the government to provide a specialist who will train you in the necessary skills

A myriad of ways to use natural resources and not deplete them lies dormant and undiscovered

Even the trees themselves offer experiences that, according to Peter, can save the entire forest

I came to Costa Rica 16 years ago

I stayed a year and built some homes for German tourists

Then I began coming back regularly, two or three times a year, and then finally I stayed for good

I like the simple life, the beautiful nature, and there's very few places like this where the rainforest grows right next to the coral reefs

The sea is always warm here

Costa Rica is one of those places with the greatest diversity of animals on the planet, and the rainforest is incredibly captivating

It's my second home

For me, living in nature isn't just about breathing fresh air and going for walks

It's a whole lifestyle in which one can learn new things and be inspired by everything you do

For example, as a builder, I find more and more new inspirations for how and from what things can be built

From nature, from birds who build their nests in the tree canopies, we take something and learn something from every living thing

After traveling halfway around the globe, it's kind of funny to find out that places that no one has ever been has always been within somebody's reach

For the Indians who helped Peter choose a suitable tree in the rainforest, climbing into the canopy was a tremendous experience

Climbing to such an amazing observation point where we're even going to sleep tonight requires using muscles that we had no idea we even had

The jungle is at its most lively at 25 meters above the ground, and it's definitely worth getting over your fear of heights to take a look

The people that I showed the designs to and how it was going to be built, they didn't think it was possible

It was as if I told them we were flying to Mars and that we'd be building something there

When you consider that you have to carry the entire house through the forest, but I didn't want to

I didn't want to have to chop down trees in lianas, lianas in particular, it's completely forbidden to cut them

You have some larger elements that you have to push through the lianas or under them or head in a different direction through the forest and drag it uphill, and it just poured down rain

It took us 10 days to bring it all up the hill and it rained the whole time

One who helped us was from the Nasata River tribe

They are a forest people and they came with their shaman

So when we had finished bringing up the entire structure and we were just about to hoist up the first part, they all sat down and began to chant

What's the problem? What are they thinking up? Consecrating the tree, to ask for permission and ask the tree spirit to accept us

They lit a fire, some shaman smoke, then sang something

I didn't understand what was happening, but I went along with them because it was for the sake of the building and the sake of the tree

Because the tree is a living thing

We estimated it's 350 years old

It's been through hurricanes and storms

And we need to have the permission of the tree spirit to let us build this structure

The entire construction is suspended

It starts on nylon straps

There's eight of them

They're hung from a ring

From the ring cables are suspended, and from these the second floor

And from these other cables are suspended, another floor is created

Third floor, fourth floor

There could be a whole apartment here in the tree without damaging it

I came up with the idea of the tree house when I climbed up in the treetops and saw this gorgeous view

Animals, flowers, fruit, bromeliads, orchids, a completely different world

For me, it was a beauty that I wanted to show people, for them to come and experience it

So we built this tree house, and people can stay

Not just view the forest from below and walk around, but actually get up in the treetops and spend a night or two, or even a week if they want

And the money they pay us to sleep in the trees is used to buy more forest land

This living tree that has no fruit, that would otherwise be cut down, they'd saw planks from it, and then hear some pasture for cows, and the flora and fauna would be destroyed

This tree, from which we've borrowed a bit of its life, a tiny little bit

It could live a thousand years or more, and we've been here for seven years

It's less than one percent of its life, without damaging it in any way, because this tree earns money

It saves more trees, which saves more of the forest

Nothing in this world was created by chance

Sambo's little niece Eiriria is not dead, she hears and feels, and if we protect her, she will protect us

Audio and subtitles


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