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Forest Restoration and Reforestation in Costa Rica

forest

The Titi Conservation Alliance has planted over 55,000 trees to date, as part of our efforts to reforest the Naranjo River Biological Corridor on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. And this year’s reforestation season is about to begin!  The subject around reforestation in Costa Rica is so important but just as important are the types of trees planted.

So what species of tree does the Titi Conservation Alliance plant?

The Titi Conservation Alliance plants a range of trees which are indicative of primary forests in the area, and contribute in many ways to the ecological balance of the biological corridor. Other trees planted, such as cacao, mango, jobo and others, provide food for a wide range of wildlife, including the grey-crowned squirrel monkey, howler monkeys, agoutis, and white-nosed coati, known locally in Costa Rica as pizotes.

Some of the most amazing tree species, which are dominant in climax forests of the region include:

- Guapinol (Hymenaea courbaril). See more on this wonderful tree below.

- Ceiba (Ceiba pentandra), or kapok. The Kapok tree is a majestic, emergent tree of tropical rainforests.

- Surá, also known as guayabón, guayabo de montaña (Terminalia oblonga), a very heavy hardwood, one of the emergent trees in the canopy of the rain forests and very wet forests, extending all the way from Mexico and Honduras to the Amazon and southern Brazil, in South America.

Let’s look more at Guapinol – rooted in the history of Costa Rica, and Central America

In modern society, the power of money, globalization, and the frenzy for economic indicators can sometimes leave us little time to think about history and culture. But getting to know trees like guapinol opens a window into our cultural past.

The etymological root of the word ‘guapinol’ is from the wonderfully rich, pre-Columbian language Nahuatl. The Nahuatl words quauitl (tree) and pinolli (sawdust or powder) form the word ‘quauitlpinolli’, or rather ‘the powder tree’ that the indigenous ancestors of Costa Rica greatly valued because it produced the essential ingredients to prepare ‘pinolli’. ‘Pinolli’ was more precious than gold, which can’t be eaten and doesn’t nourish! Indigenous people right across Central America prepared a food consisting of a combination of maize, peanut, cacao and the powdery pulp of the guapinol. These were finely ground enough to be mixed with water to achieve a beverage with incredible physiological, nutritive, curative, religious, and even magical, powers. This drink is still prepared today in Costa Rica with the name ‘pinolillo’, with similar ingredients, too.

This story comes from website: http://www.elmundoforestal.com/elcorazon/guapinol/guapinol.html

Original version in Spanish

En esta sociedad moderna en donde el poder del dinero, la globalización, el frenesí por los índices económicos y las tasas de interés ya casi no dejan espacio para la historia y la cultura, conocer árboles como el guapinol nos abre una pequeña ventana a nuestro pasado cultural.

Pues resulta que la palabra guapinol tiene su origen etimológico en la riquísima y hermosa lengua Náhuatl. Las palabras quauitl (árbol) y pinolli (aserrín, polvo) forman la palabra quauitlpinolli o sea, el “árbol del pinolli” que nuestros antepasados indígenas apreciaban y valoraban mucho porque produce uno de los ingredientes esenciales para elaborar el pinolli, probablemente mucho más valioso para ellos que el oro, el cual no se come ni alimenta.

¿Y qué es el pinolli? Nuestros indígenas mesoamericanos elaboraban un alimento consistente en una mezcla de maíz, maní o cacahuate, cacao y la pulpa polvosa del guapinol, tan finamente molidos que se podían mezclar con agua para obtener una bebida con increíbles propiedades nutritivas, fisiológicas, curativas, religiosas y hasta mágicas.

El pinolli ha logrado sobrevivir hasta nuestros días como el conocido pinolillo con el que se elabora en nuestros países mesoamericanos el exquisito refresco del mismo nombre, con más o menos los mismos ingredientes.

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