In What Happen, the people of Costa Rica’s Talamanca Coast talk about everything important to them – how they came from the islands of the Caribbean to the unpopulated shores where they founded the communities of Cahuita and Old Harbour (Puerto Viejo); the survival skills, values, and customs that sustained them; shipwrecks, snake doctors, crickets, and cocoa farming; and the uncertain future of their communities as tourism develops on the lovely coast that is their home.
Paula Palmer is a North American sociologist who lived on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast from 1973 to 1993. There she helped Afro-Caribbean and indigenous Bribri communities analyze and publish their own accounts of their histories and aspirations as unique peoples. For three years she directed a Community Research Project at the regional high school, where her students published their own oral histories of the region. Since 1996 she is executive director of Global Response/Environmental Action and Education Network, based in Boulder, Colorado.