MCLUS April 2010 Newsletter – Mother’s Day and Emberá Book Delivery

A Special Announcement:

If this is your first time receiving the newsletter, as a San Gerardo visitor or other recent newcomer, we give you a special welcome with some background information about this month’s newsletter. Rachel Crandell and her husband Dwight founded MCLUS in 2002 as a sister organization to the Monteverde Conservation League in Costa Rica to raise awareness and funds for the Children’s Eternal Rainforest of Costa Rica. They also engaged in a number of other projects related to the tropics. Though they are not with us, their efforts are still bearing fruit.

This month’s newsletter features the success of one of Rachel’s human interest projects associated with tropical forests—recording the stories of the Emberá people. We celebrate one major step of accomplishment in this endeavor—delivery of Volume I. This project was so important to Rachel and it clearly illustrates her example in including people as an important and precious part of the forest.

In addition, our newsletter gives you the opportunity to celebrate a special person in your life by donating to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest—the focus of our mission—for Mother’s Day!


Signed, Laurie Waller

Laurie Waller
Interim Executive Director and
MCLUS Board of Directors

Celebrate Mother’s Day by Supporting the Children’s Eternal Rainforest

2010 Mother's Day Card

Donate today to honor a mother you know! Your donation will support a forest which is mother to over 500 kinds of orchids, over 400 bird species, dozens of amphibian and reptile species, and over 700 types of butterflies. Now that’s a mother!

Click here to download a charming, printable PDF card that fits in an envelope to show your love and appreciation for a mother.

The Children’s Eternal Rainforest would not exist without the generosity of loyal supporters like you. Thank you!

Monteverde Conservation League US is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

Click here to make a Mother’s Day donation

Volume I of Emberá Traditional Stories Delivered to Families and Villages

In 2002, when Rachel Crandell visited the Emberá people of the Comarca 2 in the Darién Peninsula in Panama, she never knew that she would go back 13 more times. Her original motivation to go to the Darién was to learn about people who were living in deep forest and whose culture wasn’t largely influenced by Western society. During that first visit Ricardo Cabrera, head cacique (chief) of all 12 villages, asked Rachel to help them record their indigenous stories. She was honored and worked with Rogelio Cansari to transcribe stories that she video-recorded of storytellers speaking in Emberá. Then the stories were translated from Emberá to English and then to Spanish. Friends of Rachel helped edit the Spanish versions and her daughter, Joanna Crandell, did all the design and lay-out work for the book. Rogelio’s son, Koré, and daughter, Emma, as well as Emberá Ercio Tunay made illustrations to go with the stories.

This month we are pleased to announce that 980 copies of Volume I will be delivered to 12 villages in the Darién so that school children in every classroom may have access to these stories. Rachel showed a copy of the book to several villages before the large order was printed and ready for delivery. She observed the happy expressions on their faces as they saw pictures of people they knew, printed in the book and as both young and old generations learned stories they didn’t know before.

We are grateful to the anonymous donor who has funded the delivery of the books “up river” so that Rachel’s dream could come true.

Rachel and Rogelio

Rachel (left) and Rogelio (right) worked together to translate and describe the words and cultural meanings of the Emberá stories.

Rachel's dream come true

Rogelio’s email subject line read “Rachel’s dream come true!” He relayed by email that all the Emberá remembered her and recognized her effort and love for them. Photos top left and bottom right show Rachel with an Emberá child and friend from previous visits. The top center photo shows the boxes of books and remaining photos show the book being shared.

Update on Summer 2010 Trip to the BEN – 2 spots left!

There are two spots left for the 2010 summer trip (June 11-24) to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest with Maggie Eisenberger. If you would like to come and/or would like your name on a waiting list for this year (in case of openings) or for next summer’s trip, please email Maggie at or call her at 608-217-5288. For trip details visit and for information on the trip leader visit