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Alaine Berg
Sign protesting offshore drilling
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Alaine Berg: A new life in Old Harbor

Where and what Alaine was BCR (Before Costa Rica)
A native of North Dakota, Alaine moved to Houston in 1995 to work for the Earth Foundation, "the only environmental job in that big polluted city."

How Alaine came to be in Costa Rica and what she's doing now
Houston wasn't far enough south for her tastes and in 2001, she headed to Puerto Viejo ("Old Harbor") on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. Alaine had studied Latin American culture at North Dakota State, and Noble, her "husband figure," as she puts it, had a longstanding connection to Puerto Viejo, having visited his father there every summer since 1975.

Both became involved with ATEC http://www.ateccr.org , the Talamanca Association of Ecotourism and Conservation (the southern Caribbean coast area is also called Talamanca). ATEC's office in Puerto Viejo is also a bookstore, internet café, and a place to arrange for eco- and community-friendly tours to nearby national parks and indigenous reserves.

Alaine, do you have any advice for people thinking of moving to Costa Rica?
"I sure do. First of all,
• Rent before you buy.
• Hire locals and pay fair wages--better than fair even. Support local business.
• Examine your intentions for wanting to invest here. If you've got an idealized image--rethink it, or you'll get disappointed.
• Learn about the area, the language, customs, history--it shows respect.
• Cultural Sensitivity!  English is not the national language.
• If you want to come here and make it just like home--just stay home."



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