San Isidro of El Guarco, Cartago
On route 1 (Interamerican Highway), on the 37.8 kilometer, going from Cartago to San Isidro de El General, there is a left turn that leads to the small town of Palmital. The distance between the main road and Palmital is approximately 4 miles (6 kms) and the road is in gravel, but in good condition.
It is important to mention that by the middle of the 20th Century agave fibers were next to cotton in importance in America. By 1952 their value sometimes amounted to over 36 million dollars per year. But due to labor costs and the availability of synthetic alternatives their production declined thereafter. These plants are stemless perennials with basal rosettes of erect fleshy leaves. The leaves contain fibers that are removed either by hand or machine. There are numerous species of local occurrence. They are very drought tolerant and flourish in dry sterile soils.
Sisal (Agave sisalana) is very similar in appearance to henequén but the leaves bear few spines. Native to Mexico and Central America it was cultivated in Hawaii, the East and West Indies and in several parts of Africa. The plant is very drought resistant and will grow where other species fail. Little cultivation is required. The coarse, stiff, light yellow to white fibers are removed, cleaned, dried and packed in bales for shipment. Synthetic fibers also largely replaced sisal by the 21st Century. (Source Sisal, available october 12th 2010). In Costa Rica you can find sisal in the Santos area, near Palmital.
(This is a map of how to get to Palmital de El Guarco in Cartago. The link will take you to a detailed map of Costa Rica).
Mapa turístico de la provincia de Cartago
(Touristic map of the Cartago province)
Mapas turísticos de Costa Rica
(Touristic maps of Costa Rica)
Vista de Palmital desde la Carretera Interamericana
(View of Palmital from the Interamerican Highway)
Escuela construida en 1962
(School build in 1962)
(Current chapel condition)
(One of the many signs in our country)
Este es don Marco Tulio Quesada Romero y una muestra de su trabajo
(This is Mr. Marco Tulio Quesada Romero and a sample of his work)
(Photograph of the house Mr. Marco Tulio built 45 years ago. Sitting on the stump is one of his daughters)
(Current condition of the house)
Árbol de eucalipto
(View of Palmital Sur)
(Flowers and vegetation of the zone)
(Views of the surroundings)
(At the entrance of Palmital, the road slopes downwards toward the church and on the right side there are a hedge of Stachytarpeta jamaiciensis, a plant that is specially attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. At this point I took the photographs of the hummingbirds.)
(On the hedge there were at least 10 birds. There are very friendly and they get near were you are. I had no inconvenience to photograph them.)
(It is a very difficult bird to photograph. It is very small, flies vey fast and it is not friendly. On the hedge there were about 5 birds. This is one of the most beautiful hummingbirds I have ever seen.)
(On Route 1, after Palmital Sur, on the 43 kilometer, I photographed this beautiful bird that was on the lower branches of a tree.)