Eterno de los Niños
Children's Eternal Rain Forest
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.
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
All Photos Courtesy Global