Costa Rica: The heart of the Empress

by | Feb 26, 2020

World Tree have been growing Empress trees in Costa Rica since 2016. Growing a business takes grit, ambition, creativity and sometimes a bit of luck. Meeting Mariana Alfaro was one of those pieces of luck that have made the Eco-Tree program possible.


We originally hired Mariana as our driver and translator. For two days she drove us around the mountains of Costa Rica, visiting Costa Rica coffee farmers. She patiently explained the Eco-Tree program to them, translating our answers to their very detailed and technical questions about roots, soil, the tree and its compatibility with coffee plants. By the end of two days, she was could speak fluent Empress and we offered her a job as our Costa Rican representative.


Mariana has loved trees since she was a child and was already quite an expert in plants, growing systems and nurseries when we met her. She took the Empress tree into her heart and single-handedly brought dozens of Costa Rican farmers into the Eco-Tree Program, planting tens of thousands of trees.


Wendy and Nick travelled to Costa Rica last summer with University of British Columbia professor Trevor Jones to visit some of our Costa Rica farmers. Here are some of the pictures from their trip.

Expanding our Team in Costa Rica

This year we are expanding our planting in Costa Rica. Our research  has shown us that we can plant in the lowlands of Costa Rica and be successful, and we have been testing out new varieties of trees that have been performing extremely well in the field.

To assist in this expansion, we have brought on some new team members: Alejandro Quesada and Juan Luis Quiros Valenciano.

Alejandro has worked in many areas related to forestry and plantation operations including plantation management, forest management, design of agroforestry and silvopasture systems and soil studies. He is a qualified Agricultural Technician and has a university degree in Forest Engineering.

Juan Luis operates our nursery in Costa Rica and previously worked with the Eco- Paulownia company. He is a certified technician in Organic Agriculture and Livestock and is currently finishing a university degree in Business Management.

Welcome Alejandro and Juan Luis!