Almost 25 years ago, in the swirling mists of the Monteverde cloud forest in Costa Rica, a dream took form — a rainforest saved by and for children.
This dream continues and I am constantly inspired by the energy of children to help save their forest. There is still critical habitat to buy. And the need to protect it is constant and urgent.
In this newsletter you can read of a young man’s perseverance to make products to sell for the forest; and of young people who have made a beautiful rainforest calendar to sell.
You’ll also get a look into the unique bellbird sanctuary, part of our San Gerardo trip. Like all of our eco-tours we want you to experience the forest, by waking up in the midst of it. It also gives you the greatest opportunity to see these rare birds and many other species – including white-faced capuchin monkeys, the keel-billed toucan, and the delicate glass wing butterflies.
In this Thanksgiving month I especially want to say “thank you” and express my gratitude for your support. The Children’s Eternal Rainforest is not just for the young. It is for those who have hope for the future. It is your forest too.
For the Forest,
Monteverde Conservation League U.S.
Why stay at La Calandria (Bellbird) Lodge?
The MCLUS Costa Rica trip next July stays at La Calandria, or Bellbird Lodge. This 27 hectare property was a Mallory family bequest and is part of the Bellbird Biological Corridor in which MCL is a partner. Staying here gives visitors first-hand experience of the importance of protecting species along their migration route. The bellbird, whose extraordinary territorial “bonks” can be heard from the lodge, is a keystone species, meaning it plays a crucial role in its ecosystems. It distributes seeds of key fruiting trees, maintaining and extending the habitat. La Calandria also plays a vital role in the whole of the corridor with a nursery which has distributed over 60,000 native trees to reforest the corridor. This corridor enables the bellbird and other species which winter at lower altitudes to find food as it becomes scarce in Monteverde, and so is crucial to the integrity of the ecosystems of the Monteverde reserves themselves. Guests can help out in the nursery during their stay.
Rice Sacks for the Rainforest
Rice Sacks for the Rainforest is the newest fundraising effort launched by one of our long-time supporters – 14 year old Gabe Given of Media, PA.
Under the slogan “Warming You, Saving the Planet,” Gabe hand-makes and sells a line of colorful, microwaveable rice-filled heating pads, with all proceeds going toward rainforest land purchase through MCLUS. Gabe’s Rice Sacks project began two years ago as gifts. They proved so popular that friends started commissioning them from him, and the seed of Rice Sacks for the Rainforest was planted. This fall he is expanding his line and launching his website in time for the winter and the holidays. Useful as bed-warmers, foot-warmers, draped on necks and backs or just used to keep you warm so you can turn the thermostat down, Gabe’s Rice Sacks make attractive and practical gifts. They come in a variety of all-cotton flannel fabrics as well as natural organic flannel.
Gabe has been a supporter of the CER and MCLUS since he was a young elementary student. He is full of ideas for ways young people can collect for MCLUS: as a 3rd grader, he convinced his class to dedicate their annual fundraising to the CER and collected over $500; he often asks for donations instead of holiday gifts, and even contributes some of his earnings from odd jobs.
While on sabbatical in Central America Gabe’s father, a professor of biology, took Gabe on a side trip to the BEN. He and his parents spent several days at the San Gerardo station and visited with the late Rachel and Dwight Crandell. Gabe’s time in San Gerardo heightened his interest in rainforest conservation. During his year in rural Guatemala, he witnessed the disastrous flooding, landslides and water pollution that are the consequences of severe deforestation. He knows how important habitat preservation is! In addition to making Rice Sacks, Gabe’s interests include learning about alternative energy, exploring methods for building simple solar ovens, and saving vegetable seeds for biodiversity.
This dedicated young man donates all of his time and labor: 100% of the proceeds over the cost of materials goes directly to MCLUS. See his products at: http://sites.google.com/site/ricesacksfortherainforest/home
Or you can email Gabe directly at: RiceSacksfortheForest@yahoo.com
2011 Forever Forest Group fund-raising Calendar
Enjoy a 2011 calendar with rainforest scenes!
The Forever Forest Group (FFG) is a small group of students who have traveled to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest. They are committed to buying more land for the forest and protecting it. With their own photos and artwork they have created this calendar for sale.
Please help them reach their goal of $10,000 and buy a calendar! You can click on the .pfd file link here to get an order form. Fill it out and mail it to us with your check. Many thanks!
Click here to download PDF order form (PDF, 246K)
International Travel Club of St. Louis invites you to a talk, “An Introduction to Ecotourism: A Visit to The Children’s Eternal Rainforest in Costa Rica” to be given on November 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm in the St. Louis County Library Headquarters – 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd in St. Louis, Missouri. Laurie Waller, President, Monteverde Conservation League U.S., Inc. (MCLUS) will be the speaker.