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Bosque Eterno de los Niños
Children's Eternal Rain Forest

Courtesy of Children's Eternal Rainforest
Did you know that a beautiful tropical rain forest, with rare and lovely birds, frogs, butterflies, sloths, monkeys, and other rare and exotic species, has been saved and continues to be protected. . . thanks to KIDS? It's called the Children's Eternal Rain Forest, and it's the largest private reserve in Costa Rica!

One Student's Idea
It all started in 1987 at a small primary school in rural Sweden. Eha Kern, a teacher, was helping her class learn about rainforests and the animals that need them for survival. Nine-year-old Roland Teinsuu asked what he could do to keep the rainforest safe and help protect those special animals. Roland and his classmates talked to tropical biologist Sharon Kinsman, who just happened to be visiting in Sweden. She told them about the Monteverde Cloud Forest. She told them how deforestation was starting to hurt a beautiful forest in the Tilaran mountains of Costa Rica.

Hannah Page-Salisbury, age 9, of Seattle, Wash., helps repair a trail while serving on a Global Volunteers team in the Children's Eternal Rain Forest.
The class decided to raise some money to buy some of the forest. Then, at least in that one spot, no one could chop down the trees. The students raised about $1500. This was enough to buy about 15 acres of land. It was enough to cover the expenses (surveying, title search, and legal fees) of buying land. The class worked with an organization called the Monteverde Conservation League. The League helpa provide the scientists and conservationists who manage and protect the forest.

And that is how the Bosque Eterno de los Niños (Children's Eternal Rain Forest) all began. Suddenly other kids wanted to help the rainforest, too, and now children all over the earth are helping. With fundraising projects such as collecting aluminum cans and holding bake sales using rainforest ingredients (ginger, chocolate, and vanilla), kids everywhere have raised enough money to buy 50,000 acres . . . and counting!

Spectacular Animals and Plants
Some of the mammals that live in the Children's Eternal Forest are sloths, monkeys, agoutis, coatimundis, kinkajou, margays, porcupines, hog-nosed skunks, armadillos, and LOTS of bats. There are also gorgeous butterflies and other fascinating insects, spiders, iguanas and other lizards, frogs, and snakes. And the Children's Eternal Forest includes over 400 species of birds. In winter, these birds include our neotropical migratory birds from North America. Year round, the forest is home to birds such as the Resplendent Quetzal, which many people consider the most beautiful bird in the world.

Protecting Species Can Mean New Discoveries!
Pristine waterfalls in the Children's Eternal Rain Forest.
One small area of the Children's Forest is called Bajo del Tigre (Jaguar Canyon). This canyon is in a transition zone from pre-mountain wet forest to pre-mountain moist forest. Because of the combination of its location on the Pacific slope, its elevation and its humidity, Bajo del Tigre is a very different habitat from other rain forest reserves in the area. Thirty of the tree species in Bajo del Tigre have only recently been identified; they're actually new to science, thanks to their protection by children.

How YOU Can Help
School students from all over the globe have raised funds for the Children's Eternal Rain Forest. You can join the list of contributors. Here's a list of fundraising ideas that other students have done, and the address of where to send contributions. You will receive a Certificate of Appreciation for all contributions sent! The funds are used for programs such as reforestation, environmental education, protection, and scientific research in The Children's Eternal Rain Forest.

Brianna Mondragon, 12, of Littleton, Colo., picks coffee beans while volunteering in Canitas, Costa Rica.
You can also learn more about the rain forest ecosystems and their importance to the world. Check out a list of recommended book titles sent by folks at the Children's Eternal Rain Forest.
Visit the Web site of the Monteverde Conservation League (ready the end of March 2001 at www.acmonteverde.com) for more information. Or visit the Web site of Global Volunteers. Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Global Volunteers is a nonprofit organization that offers service programs of one to three weeks in 18 countries around the world. In Costa Rica, volunteers can work on forestry projects in the Children's Eternal Forest. Take a look:

All Photos Courtesy Global Volunteers

 

 

 
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