By Hansel Herrera Vargas
Hansel Herrera Vargas, a Costa Rican biologist with a Bachelor's degree from Berry College, Georgia, USA, is Osa Conservation's new volunteer coordinator. The following is his first-hand account of his move to the Osa. Hansel has been very busy this summer, as the 2012 Sea Turtle Volunteer Program is well under way. Apply today for this opportunity to experience the wonderful Osa Peninsula!
[caption id="attachment_4049" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Mamon Chino (Photo: Mario Melendez)"]
I embarked on my first journey to the Osa Peninsula just before sunset on a rainy July afternoon. The road south brought glimpses of a magical landscape where the jungle mixes with the sea. My lungs filled with dozens of new scents: the sweet smell of Mamon Chino (Nephelium lappaceum
), the soft smell of Carambola (Averrhoa carambola
), the stench of Nonis (Morinda citrifolia
), the Mimbro fruit (Averrhoa bilimbí
), guava (Inga edulis
), cocoa (Theobroma cacao
), and many others.
The road to Puerto Jimenez brings one across many rivers and many histories. There are dozens of towns and cities dotting the road from Costa Rica's capital to the Osa, and the nine hour bus ride is filled with sightings of beautiful mountains and valleys, exotic birds, and ancient trees.