The Sierpe-Terraba Wetlands is a cause for great celebration, and the town of Sierpe knows how to celebrate!
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Music, food, dance, soccer, cultural art and The Tope (a gorgeous horse parade) were alive and in living color during the Festival of the Mangroves in Sierpe July 24-26. The purpose of this annual Festival during July is to highlight awareness and to acknowledge the importance of preservation, sustainability, and conservation. The Mangrove Wetlands area is the largest untouched mangrove forest in Central America and was designated as a Forest Reserve in 1977.
The Mangrove Forest contains the largest Red Mangroves in the world, and the eco system provides a haven for wildlife;additionally, it serves as fish and shellfish hatchery sanctuaries.
Not only is the healthy survival of the mangroves important from the ecological standpoint, but it is important economically, too.
The main income comes from harvesting the ‘piangua’ clams, crabs, and fishing. Many people correlate great fishing with off-shore fishing in Drake Bay; however, fishing the mangrove lined banks of the Sierpe River, and light fishing in the Mangrove Forest, is also an incredible experience.
Touring the gorgeous Sierpe River and on into the Mangrove Forest is a great half-day or full-day tour. Out of Sierpe, there are many eco tour companies whose guides speak English, German, and of course Spanish.
By Jeane Brennan