Safety instructions for staying and working at Yuyo S.R.L.
Safety instructions for staying and working at Yuyo S.R.L.
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Safety instructions for staying and working at Yuyo S.R.L.

1.  Plants

2.  Animals

3.  Terrain

4.  Construction site

5.  Machines

6.  Machete

To 1. Plants

Here in the tropics there are inedible or even poisonous plants, prickly plants that can transmit diseases when they come into contact with blood, plants whose sap causes chemical burns or at least strong skin or conjunctival reactions. It is impossible to list them all here and we ourselves are still in the beginning of getting to know them better. Therefore: Do not try anything you do not know, even if it looks delicious. When working with plants or chopping (working with a machete) gloves should be worn, when chopping shrubs it is also recommended to use protective goggles so that no corrosive substances can splash into the eyes. Gloves and goggles are provided by Yuyo.

To 2. Animals

There are mosquitoes here in the tropics that can transmit dengue, leishmaniasis or other diseases. Here on the finca we have the privilege of having relatively few mosquitos compared to the situation closer to the sea or further down, but of course it happens. For a stay of a few weeks or months, such an occurrence is unlikely but cannot be ruled out. 2023 6 Persons had Dengue at the same time.

When working outdoors, tick bites can occur. The very common spiders here are the Golden Silk Spiders, which spin their impressive webs everywhere, and we often run into them. This spider species itself is harmless, but it is important to be careful not to accidentally inhale parts of destroyed webs that then float in the air, as this can lead to problems in the lungs.

There are some varieties of ants that can have very painful bites, which can have serious consequences in case of allergic reactions. We have heard of some varieties of large wasps whose bites can have life-threatening consequences. On our property we have discovered two nests of bullit ants. 2023 we had two incidents when persons get injured by these ants, heavy pain remains about 24 hours.

Less dangerous but somewhat annoying is the visit of driver ants, which invade in tens of thousands and work their way through the house once in several hours. We had since we are here 2 x, once violently once moderately. The best is to wait and drink tea in a corner that they just spare. They then leave as quickly as they came and everything is clean.

There are scorpions around here, since Dec 22 we have seen 3 in the house and 2 in front of the house, captured the former and taken them away. An internet search just done revealed that there is only one documented death of a girl from scorpion sting here in Costa Rica, the stings of the species found here are painful but generally not very dangerous.

Venomous snakes

The Central American lance viper (called terciopelo here, or fer de lance) is the most dangerous of Costa Rica’s 22 venomous snake species. This is because the snake has a rather irritable character and it also frequently stays near human settlements. Thus, the probability of encountering a lance viper is greatest than any of the other species. The so-called bushmaster has a similar life-threatening and large amount of venom as the lance viper, but it lives far from people, in the dense primary forest and has a rather quiet character. These two species of snakes belong to the pit vipers, along with 14 other species. Most of the other venomous snake species are not really dangerous to humans and no life-threatening injury occurs from a snake bite.

By far the strongest and most effective venom is found in the venomous snakes, or elapids. There are a total of five species of these snakes in Costa Rica, two of which live in the ocean off Costa Rica: the coral snake and the sea snake. Each of these five species has an extremely potent neurotoxin that can be deadly to humans even in tiny amounts.

But we can reassure you: Most of the time, there are no fatal incidents with these snakes. Annually, 500 to 600 bite incidents with venomous snakes are reported in Costa Rica, but thanks to the good medical care in the country, they are only fatal in barely 1.5% of the cases.

If a snake feels threatened by humans, the smaller and faster snakes usually flee into the safe thicket, many just rely on their good camouflage and others immediately show a clearly recognizable and species-specific threatening behavior. For example, the rattlesnake rattles its tail. With this, the snake warns its attacker not to come closer. Should the attacker come closer despite everything, the snake bites.

First Aid

What to do in case of snakebite?

  • Calm the person down and lay them on the floor.
  • Clean the bitten area with disinfectant soap.
  • Remove the tourniquet (if any).
  • Keep the person well hydrated.
  • Immobilize the bitten extremity.
  • And most importantly: take the patient immediately to the nearest hospital or health center so they can be administered the antivenom serum as soon as possible.

What should NOT be done in case of snakebite?

  • Do NOT cut the site of the bite; there is a higher risk of infection or bleeding.
  • Do NOT make any tourniquets. Tourniquets stop blood flow, causing damage to the muscle tissue.
  • Do NOT place cold compresses, they could worsen the local lesions caused by the venom, especially bites by species from the pitviper family.
  • Do NOT administer any chemical substance or plant/animal extracts by any route to the patient, so far their efficacy has not been scientifically proven and the time lost trying to use these types of treatments is counterproductive for the affected person.
  • Do NOT administer alcoholic beverages.
  • Do NOT suck out venom with your mouth. This could favor infections in the site of the bite.

Hospital Treatment in Case of Venomous Snakebites

  • It is not necessary to take the snake to the hospital to be identified, the medical personnel will determine which treatment to administer based on the signs and symptoms of the patients.
  • If the snake that caused the bite is a coral snake (Elapidae family), THE MEDICAL PERSONNEL WILL ADMINISTER AN ANTICORAL SERUM.
  • If the snake that caused the bite belongs to the Viperidae family, THE MEDICAL PERSONNEL WILL ADMINISTER A POLIVALENT SERUM.

All this has no claim to even approximate completeness. Ask us if you want to know more.

There are also big cats around here. We were clearly able to photograph a big cougar on a camera trap here in the vicinity. Since in recent times dogs have disappeared without a trace, the suspicion has arisen in the neighborhood that it could be the hunting attempts of a young animal. We live on the edge of the jungle and you have to be aware of that.

Sometimes dogs gather in groups and then try to intimidate people on the way down (or coming up from below). So far, a spirited approach has been enough. But if you are unsure, call us via Telegram or Signal and we will come to you equipped with pepper spray. Or you can buy your own. Maybe some treats will help even better, we haven’t tried it yet.

3. terrain

The terrain can be steep, contain holes that are overgrown by plants, especially in the rain there are slippery places, lying around branches or even garbage parts and old building material of the previous owner that is overgrown, can become nasty trip hazards. Suitable footwear is essential (rubber boots or hiking boots that have no sentimental value and can get dirty). Attention and surefootedness is important. Be sure to talk to us if you need to catch up here so we can organize special training.

4. construction site

The houses, electrics and other infrastructure have been in a state of disrepair over the last few years due to insufficient maintenance and we are now gradually changing this. We have closed off serious defects so that it is clear that nothing is to be entered here. Keep to it. Be sure to let us know of any new deficiencies you discover. What is common is termite damage. If this is not dealt with quickly, the wood suffers and loses its load-bearing capacity, which can cause people to break through the floor, for example. Therefore, it is necessary to act quickly by directly combating or at least closing off these areas. However, a lot has already happened here since we have been here.

5. machines and other tools

Working with machines is trained and gone through in detail beforehand. The storage room is open during the day so that you can help yourselves to the bananas hanging there. Working on the machines or other tools is really undesirable without consultation or training, but we will gladly comply with your request to instruct you. We don’t want to patronize anyone, so if you already know your way around tools, just let us know. In addition to handling the electric saws, special caution should be taken with the

6. machete

Here we offer you a detailed training, unless you can prove that you already have it.

To 5. and 6: of course working with these tools is only an offer. If you’d rather not, we have all sorts of other activities for you. 😊

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