My name is Renee, and I just finished my first year at Shimer College. This summer, I am completing a three month internship at the Montezuma Mariposario Bed & Breakfast and Butterfly Garden in Costa Rica. (www.montezumagardens.com)
It is an extremely diverse place to work, and truly gives meaning to the phrase “wearing many hats.” My main objectives while I am here are the following:
*To learn the inner-workings of the tourism industry in general, as well as eco-tourism
*To gain a better understanding of international business and advertising
*To learn about tropical biology
*To experience communal living
*To learn how to transition to a more ecologically sustainable way of life
In many ways, I feel like I am getting to know the proverbial “man behind the curtain” in this internship. Tourism and Hospitality are about creating an experience, which is a lot like putting on a show. When you are the member of the audience, the show is made for you. You do not see the techies working in the dark, aiming lights and responding to sound cues; you don’t see the hours of rehearsal each actor has to endure in order to be flawless on stage. You do not witness the usher sweeping the empty auditorium late at night after the show is over and everyone has left. You experience the final product, which is but a faceplate of the entirety.
Having been a tourist, I understand how places can seem magical. Any exotic place offers intrigue and an element of fantasy, if for no other reason than because it is free from the chores and monotony of every day existence that epitomize home. Personally, I’ve always had this quixotic dream of running away to a tropical country and starting an intentional community, living off of sustainable farming and extra income from a bed and breakfast or retreat center on the property. Tropical countries, intentional communities and farming all have their respective challenges, and it is a main objective of mine to get slapped in the face by reality a few times. So far, so good.
Oh, and since I’m introducing myself, here is a picture of me with some crazy jungle curls sitting at the desk in the front office. In Chicago, my hair does not do this.
Stay tuned for a virtual tour of the butterfly garden, the cooperative fruit and vegetable garden, and the communal living quarters!
Until next time!