Construction of a Costa Rican ecolodge is where the respect to the ecology and environment begins. It is known in the ecolodge industry that when building, supplies and labor should come from nearby communities or the same property you plan to build on. This can be seen in many different Costa Rica ecolodges. One example of this is the Lapa Rios Lodge where the actual steps on the hotel grounds are old pieces of the nearby railroad. They might not be the most beautiful looking steps but it is recycled wood, from a nearby abandoned railroad, built into their project with local labor.
One way to find out how much an ecolodge followed the “Golden Rules” of ecolodge-construction is to ask how long it took to build the lodge. Real ecolodges are projects that take time to build. When all labor and supplies are local this means that creativity and thought must take place and takes a lot more time than your conventional construction. It is important when using local labor that the wages are fair and time off is important. Giving your employees proper time off and not working them like slaves is a simple reminder of “community service”. The best service to a community is giving family members time to be with each other and building a community atmosphere. When people are over worked the money might come in but the principles of family and community are eventually lost. Indians of ancient times worked on food and survival just two hours a day and the rest was considered time for spiritual practice or just socialize time with family. This all goes to show that building an ecolodge should not be a rush to get finished and how long it takes is a good indication of just how eco-friendly a lodge might be.
When the building gets going and supplies come in, the main idea is to use wood as it is a complete renewable source. If you can use recycled wood from other projects that would be best and replace any trees that had to be removed to offset your constructions. The construction of a Costa Rican ecolodge should have all of the modern day technologies of operating a business in a “green” manner and this is not just pretty badges and signs on your brochures and websites. The most important modern day technology which few people seem to be able to afford because they are drowning in debt from the “Time Bank” is education on building and living eco-friendly. The construction of an ecolodge should be done by the owners. Building an ecolodge is meaningless if the owner is just writing the check and not mandating eco-friendly construction policies and following through on a lifelong commitment to the principles of eco-tourism.
With all this mentioned above you should be on your way to enjoying a real Costa Rican ecolodge, most of which, at least on this site, are what we consider real Costa Rican ecolodges and suitable for your next Costa Rica family adventure.