By Daniela Vidal
Definitions can stir up emotions and sometimes conflict. “Sustainability” doesn’t lack for either. This is the fourth in a series of looks at how Ticos define sustainability and what it means to them.
GUACIMAL, Costa Rica — Veronica Sheehan,45, innovates. She is the first in the Guacimal area to begin a successful rural tourism venture. She hopes others in the community will begin rural tourism as well, because she has seen its economic and environmental benefits.
“Sustainability is to have practices we can always have in harmony with the environment. It’s really easy for [my family] to define. It’s part of the reason why I’m telling people to find out where their food comes from. Some things are not sustainable for us as a human species. We are the environment. There is no distinction in the way nature sees it. When we do something to contaminate nature, we do it to us. When we pollute, it comes back to us. When thinking about sustainability we need to ask, ‘Will we be able to keep this [practice] up forever?’ If we continue this practice 100 years from now and it improves quality of life, then it is sustainable.”