Getting to San Rafael, Costa Rica.

The main road from the center of San Rafael climbs north to where the majority of residents, both Costa Rican and retired foreigners, call home. This well maintained asphalt road continues north all the way to Poas Volcano. The further one travels up, the cooler and wetter the air becomes. Less populated due to privately owned large parcels of land, this higher elevated area is known as Tirol. 

With the emerald green pastures dotted with cows and sheep, tall evergreen pine trees, and many A-framed homes, one might easily think they had landed in Europe's Swiss mountains.  Costa Rica's history points out the large European influx of peoples between the late 1940's and 1950's.  Immigrants were offered parcels of land to clear and farm, and many came from as far away as Holland and Italy. Hardworking and industrious, these people brought with them knowledge learned from home, including farming. Over time, their imprint would be seen in the A-frame constructed homes and the animal husbandry applications around the country.