Over the span of 22 years, Giselle Rodríguez has worked hard to ensure the protection of the CER by coordinating the efforts of educators, forest rangers, scientists, land managers and visitors. As executive secretary (secretaria ejecutiva) of the Monteverde Conservation League, she finds satisfaction in being a spokesperson for the forest, bringing the attention of both locals and foreigners to this piece of the planet that children chose to save. Giselle is inspired by the vitality of the CER: “The forest is so full of life. Insects, flowing water, birds calling, even the people who walk the forest’s paths.” As a high school student, Giselle worked as an assistant to biologists studying the forest.
Once, when working at the visitors’s center at Bajo del Tigre, Giselle met a visitor who had raised money as a child for land purchase in the CER. Remembering the occasion, Giselle says, “It was moving to see the face of this adult man whose childhood dream of protecting some of the rainforest had become a reality.”
While Giselle’s career is dedicated to protecting the largest private reserve of rainforest in Costa Rica, she also treasures a small patch of forest in her backyard. “It is habitat for various species of birds, mammals, and snakes—occasionally we find where a snake has shed its skin. There are also several species of trees that are scarce in this region.”
In order to adequately protect the rainforest, people must learn to love it and recognize its importance, and Giselle has worked hard to make the CER a visible beacon of conservation in Costa Rica. The Monteverde Conservation League has received official recognition from the national Ombudsman Office and has been declared of public interest by the Costa Rican government.
Giselle reports, “It took my breath away when the Costa Rican postal service issued a series of stamps honoring the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. The stamps sold out more quickly than any other stamps in Costa Rica.”
“What I like best about my work is knowing that I am helping to conserve natural resources and contributing my grain of sand toward making the world a better place.”