Culture and Climate Change: Molding Perceptions through Costa Rican Folklore

Open Access
Barnes, Lauren Natalie
Area of Honors:
Interdisciplinary in English and Geobiology
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Lisa Ruth Sternlieb, Thesis Supervisor
  • Shirley Moody, Honors Advisor
  • Timothy Bralower, Honors Advisor
  • folklore
  • climate change
  • Costa Rica
  • culture
  • literature
  • tradition
  • mitigation
As a developing, prosperous country in Latin America, Costa Rica is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This vulnerability is due in part to geographical location and a lack of formal education to deal with these issues. In order to gain greater insight into the opinions of the local people of Costa Rica, I conducted surveys pertaining to various climate change topics. They aimed to uncover the most common views and level of understanding of the topic in the country, as well as community ties to cultural capital, such as folklore. These surveys were conducted in the cities of Santa Cruz, Santa Teresita, and Colonia Guyabo. I found that there was a general understanding of current effects, but a lack in understanding of the future implications. The first-hand opinions and perceptions of these people on the situation in Costa Rica are the most valuable resources for mitigating climate change in the area. Through studying the ways in which folklore informs Costa Rican’s perceptions of climate change, we can better understand how to implement mitigation efforts that will be supported by the people of the country.