The earliest peoples of Talamanca that we are aware of were the Bribri and Cabecar Indians. These indigenous people were part of the Amazon Basin culture that lived for the most part in the interior, along watercourses. Later, Afro-Caribbean people settled along the coast. They brought with them knowledge about farming, fishing and culinary arts that can be traced back to their African origins. For generations everyone has coexisted in harmony, trading with each other, successfully living off the land. Many are trying to maintain their traditional customs and beliefs as much as possible given the development of tourism in the area over the last few years. It is important to remember that it was only in 1979 that a road was built to connect the Caribbean Coast villages to the port city of Limon, and in 1986 that electricity brought lights and refrigeration to the region. Prior to this the indigenous poeple lived in virtual isolation, except for the few brave surfers that made what was then a 4 day trek from San Jose to the area for the big waves.
The local people are among the most warm and kind folks you will ever meet. In the past our guests have asked how they might be of assistance, here are a couple of ideas and links. The Escuela Rio Cocles (K-6, little blue building by the soccer field) is always in need of school supplies. Their wish list includes; pencils, pens, colored pencils, notebooks, metric rulers, chalk, books (English and Spanish), art supplies and soccer equipment. If you wish to do so it is also possible to make donations of other goods or money or arrange to volunteer by contacting The Bridge, a nonprofit in the area. Here’s their link; El Puente - The Bridge Anything you are able to do to lend a helping hand would be greatly appreciated!