Aida and Fredi are a humble, hardworking couple. Their family exudes positivity. Their kitchen is a neighborhood gathering place where laughs can be heard starting at sunrise. Despite the physically taxing nature of both the farm work and house work they do, it is rare for Fredi or Aida to admit to being tired.
Otilia is a native of the remote Bribri community, Boca Uren, Talamanca. As a respected elder she has in depth knowledge about the history of this area. Her late husband, Guillermo grew up in a family of subsistence farmers here in Yorkin. He used to brag that he was often allowed to spend days fishing instead of working on the farm since he was the only son who was guaranteed to catch enough fish to feed the family. Otilia's family is currently in the process of building a cacao processing plant in order to shorten the supply chain from the producer to the shelves. They are driven and determined to create a system in which the farmers can benefit from selling their products at fair prices.
The Bribri indigenous community of Yorkin is located within the Talamanca Indigenous Reserve, on the Yorkin river, which forms the border between Costa Rica and Panama. The community is home to 300 residents of mixed heritage. The local economy is based on cultivation of bananas, cacao and plantains as well as subsistence farming. Ecotourism also began to take hold in Yorkin in the late 1990s and and early 2000s. Despite the presence of tourism here, the community has not lost its authenticity. On the contrary, ecotourism in Yorkin has fostered pride in the local culture and a sense of empowerment among the locals. Yorkin has limited electricity through solar panels. Its main forms of transportation or horse, walking and motorized canoe. Despite Yorkin's lack of resources relative to outseide communities, the locals exhibit great appreciation for what they have. Many have little desire for change and instead are more focused on environmental and cultural conservation. Located far into the jungle, visitors to Yorkin can enjoy swimming in various waterfalls, hiking and excellent wildlife and bird viewing.
The road to Yorkin is not transitable by car. In order to arrive a traveler can take a bus from Bribri to Bambu (6 per day, 30-50 minutes). It is also possible to take a taxi ($16-$20) or arrive by car and park the car in Bambu safely. The entrepreneurs listed on vayando offer transportation to Yorkin by motorized canoe (about 30 minutes) and have included the costs in their prices. The ride is extremely beautiful. However, if you would like to visit Yorkin on a tight budget it is possible to arrive by crossing the river at Bambu and hiking 1.5 hours. There is also a car (which is only available when in working condition) that costs about $14 and arrives to the end of the main road, about 30 minutes walking away from Yorkin. Ask the entrepreneur you visit about price adjustments if you should opt for one of the cheaper transportation methods.
Yorkin has 4 pulperias (one room convenience stores selling basic supplies), an elementary school, a high school, a soccer field and 2 ecotourism organizations, which both have rooms available for rent.