Coming Soon: Podcasting from Talamanca

The South Caribe Roots Archive will soon welcome a new form of documentation to its collections: podcasts.

Podcasts are digital audio stories made available to stream or download online. Our first series of podcasts were co-produced by student volunteers from the Indiana University Media School, local story facilitators from Talamanca, and members of the Rich Coast Project staff.  The story facilitators were responsible for selecting topics relevant and important to the story of the South Caribbean, and the student volunteers helped to collect interviews and audio footage and edit the stories into podcasts. 

The podcasts are currently in post-production and will be released in 2017. See below for a preview of the topics, and join the Rich Coast Project mailing list to be notified when they are available.

Thank you to the Indiana University Media School and our local story facilitators for making this project possible!

Courtney interviews Tirza in Bribri, Talamanca, Limón, Costa Rica. November 2016.

Courtney interviews Tirza in Bribri, Talamanca, Limón, Costa Rica. November 2016.


1: Why Community Archiving in Caribe Sur?

This podcast will act as a “story about the story,” and will aim to describe why the work of community documentation is vital to the preservation of a people’s history, and what impact it can have on the formation of identity and enjoyment of rights. Team 1 will speak with a variety of project participants (other story facilitators, etc.) to uncover the root of why a public archive is an appropriate response to this community’s particular situation and make a case for community storytelling in Caribe Sur.

2: Indigenous Communities of Talamanca

Story Facilitator: Tirza Morales Sanchez

This podcast will introduce listeners to the culture and history of the two indigenous communities of Talamanca, the Bribri and Cabecar. Team members will travel to KeKoldi Indigenous reserve to learn about Bribri history, culture and traditions, visit a waterfall and iguana sanctuary to discuss indigenous views and practices regarding natural resources.  

3: Pros and Cons of Development

Story Facilitator: Markus Brown

The South Caribbean has witnessed many changes in recent decades, evolving from a small coastal village into a multicultural tourist destination and experiencing a wide range of new opportunities and challenges. This team will explore some of the major aspects of those changes (i.e. electricity, the road, internet, increased tourism) and interview various stakeholders to understand how the local community views them, both positively and negatively. 

4: Recovery from Monilia

Story Facilitator: Kelly Brown Stangland

This podcast discusses the community’s response to the cacao fungus monilia that caused widespread crop failure in the 1980s. At that time cacao was the primary industry of the Talamanca coast, and nearly everyone was either directly or indirectly involved in its production. Many people watched their livelihoods disappear in front of their eyes. As a result, many were forced by necessity to sell their lands or leave Talamanca in order to survive and seek prosperity. This story speaks with various residents about their memories of that time, recalling how their communities responded in the immediate aftermath of the crisis and how they have changed to embrace a new reality in the thirty years since.

5: Land Tenancy in Coastal Communities

Story Facilitator: Edwin Patterson

This podcast introduces listeners to the complicated status of land ownership along Costa Rica’s coastlines and how different conservation restrictions have complicated efforts toward local development. The history of Puerto Viejo’s settlement and development are recounted as several local residents discuss how land use restrictions in the Maritime Zone have a special impact on coastal communities. They consider what has been and is being done to find a balance between ecosystem conservation, economic development and the preservation of local history, culture and property rights.

6: Preservation of Afro-Caribbean Wellness Practices

Story Facilitator: Rachel Thomas

This podcast investigates access to information about traditional Afro/Caribbean wellness practices as observed historically in the coastal lowlands of Talamanca. Through conversations with ethnobotany specialists, local healers and plant practitioners, this podcast assesses the community’s access to information about its culture, identity and rights regarding traditional wellness practices.

The SCRA Podcast Project is produced in collaboration with the Indiana University Media School through their Alternative Break Program.