As I mentioned before, one of the most interesting parts of travelling is meeting people along the way. While language is an issue (even though my Spanish is getting better, I still find it hard to have a proper conversation with anyone), I was lucky and could at least get to know some of our guides better. In Costa Rica, I already did an interview with Ricardo, whose family was involved in the founding process of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. But I also got the chance of meeting Harvin, a young guide who helped us find a red-eyed tree frog in La Fortuna.

Harvin’s story is an interesting one and I am very happy that he agreed to do an interview with me.

Hello Harvin! Why did you become a guide?

Because I love biology. In fact, what I wanted was to study to be a biologist, but it was impossible for me due to my economic situation. Plus, nobody wants to help others reach their goals.

How did you become a guide? Is there any special training involved and what would you advise to people who want to do your job?

I learned from my life experience, my surroundings and by reading a little bit of everything. There are many pieces of training involved with being a tourist guide. Here in Costa Rica, you should be a professional to be hired, and even what I did was to be an English teacher. People who want to do this job should be able to stand all or at least almost all human behaviour and have professional ethics aside from knowing about nature and loving it.

In the middle of the jungle, Harvin managed to find this well-camouflaged frog.
What do you like most about your job? And is there anything you don’t like?

I like to share what I know. Every time I learn something new about the wild and I get to meet new people. I love this.

You are not from Costa Rica but from Nicaragua, right? Where in Nicaragua do you come from and what made you move here?
Yes, I am. I come from a little town not known in google maps, its name is San Miguel. You find it by going to the Caribbean Coast.
I came to Costa Rica as a child when my mother and brother were sick and trying to get better. My mother is better now, but my bro is still suffering epilepsy.
The same frog as above. Look at how different it is once it woke up.
Could you imagine staying here forever or do you eventually want to move back?

If things get better in Nicaragua, I would like to move back. But every day, Nicaragua jumps from bad to worse, so I´m going to be here for a long while.

What are your three favourite places here in La Fortuna? What are the places that visitors should not miss?

Well, more than places I´ll say activities here in La Fortuna; rafting, rappelling, hiking. People shouldn’t miss those three activities. And another option, Choyin (the hot real natural river), it’s perfect if they want to go natural and clean. The best is, the place is open to the public.

What are your three favourite places in Nicaragua?

Actually, I don´t know very well Nicaragua, but I´ve heard people recommending San Juan del Sur (this is astonishing), OmetepeVolcán Masaya and Corn Island.

Thank you very much for the interview!
Harvin sees this view of the Arenal volcano every day at work.


As already mentioned, I have done other interviews with locals. I try to talk to as many people as possible along the way, even if it is sometimes difficult. But getting to know Harvin opened the eyes for me about the many workers from Nicaragua who come to Costa Rica, to work hard for a couple of years and then go back. Many pick coffee beans, and while Harvin’s story is very different from theirs, I wouldn’t even have known about this migration within Central America if I hadn’t met him.

So next time you travel, try to get in touch with some of the locals. What was the last interesting bit of information you learned from one of them?



Like it? Pin it!



Ilona is a world traveller passionate about sharing her experiences and giving advice to fellow travellers. Having visited over 70 countries, she is always excited about her next trip.

Write A Comment

Pin It