For live links, click to: riverhouses.org/2019-costa-rica
Cocos Island National Park includes not only small Cocos Island itself, but also a large reef area surrounding the island that is home to many rare tropical marine organisms:
“Cocos Island National Park is located in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, covering an area of 202,100 hectares some 530 kilometers off the Costa Rica mainland. The island itself, “Isla del Coco,” also known as “Treasure Island,” is the only landmark of the vast submarine Cocos Range. With a surface area of 2,400 hectares it supports the only humid tropical forest on an oceanic island in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. The remaining 199,700 hectares protect not only diverse marine ecosystems, mostly pelagic, but also the most diverse coral reefs of the entire Eastern Tropical Pacific. Thanks to its remote location and conservation efforts, the biologically highly diverse property constitutes one of the best conserved marine tropical waters, well-known as a world-class diving destination. The property belongs to the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor, a marine conservation network, which also includes World Heritage properties in Colombia, Ecuador and Panama.
“Natural population densities of large top predators indicate a near pristine conservation status of a property that is among the most important sites in the Eastern Tropical Pacific for the protection of large pelagic migratory species, such as the endangered Scalloped Hammerhead Shark and the near-threatened Silky Shark and Galapagos Shark. Due to its geographical position, the oceanic island of volcanic origin is the first landmark met by the North Equatorial Countercurrent and a point of confluence of other marine currents. This makes it a dispersing centre of larvae of marine species from various parts of the Pacific Ocean. In its land portion, the property hosts a remarkable degree of endemism across most diverse taxonomic groups. There are, for instance, three endemic bird species, two endemic freshwater fish and two endemic reptile species. Cocos Island National Park is of irreplaceable global conservation value, reminding us what parts of tropical oceans historically looked like.“ (UNESCO World Heritage Centre #820)
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we post one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list online at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The UNESCO World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites (riverhouses.org/2019-wh-map), available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures will you be exploring in your homeschool this week? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books) for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 745–852; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s one-paragraph description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇨🇷
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historic sites of international importance. Download your own copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our free weekly mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌎