Although the main focus of my trip was to study Avian Biology, I also learned an amazing amount of information about Costa Rica, especially their efforts on conservation. Many species found in Costa Rica are hard to find anywhere else in the world, which makes conservation an issue of great importance to the people. It is even more important when you take into account that tourism makes up around twenty-two percent of the country’s GDP! Everywhere we went, I saw different ways Costa Rica was trying to conserve its forests. In almost every place we stayed, there were signs reminding guests to turn off the water or lights. Extensive recycling was set up near dining locations with separate bins for leftover food, aluminum, paper, and plastic. One of the most shocking things I learned was that Costa Rica had actually banned the drilling and research of oil until 2050 out of a desire to preserve their ecosystems! It was amazing to see a country focus so much on the well being of its environment, and I can only imagine the difference it could make if other countries started following Costa Rica’s example!