Monteverde: Entering Your Imagination

Posted: April 7, 2016

Picture entering your imagination. What do you see? What do you hear?

For many SFS students in the Costa Rica program, exploring the inexplicably beautiful cloud forest of Monteverde feels like just that — stepping into your imagination.

This weekend students left the classroom behind to wander through and interact with one of the hallmark and most ideal ecosystems in Costa Rica: the cloud forest reserve of Monteverde. This largely owned private reserve, where the Caribbean and Pacific Coasts meet in a misty cloud on the top of the continental ridge, is the largest privately owned protected area in Costa Rica. Home to more than 50% of the bird species found in Costa Rica, it is a haven to bird watchers including Professor in Tropical Ecology & Sustainable Development Edgardo Arevalo. This weekend students were lucky enough to catch a clear view of hallmark species Three-wattled Bell Bird, an unmistakable bird with a white head, brown body, three mustache-like black wattles attached to the beak, and a peculiar high-pitched call that likens one to a scene in Jurassic Park.


SAM Travis Walker tries out a bicycle-powered shredder used to sever grasses fed to the goats at sustainable farm Life Monteverde.

Among the many wonders of this field study location, students took a trip to one of our collaborators, Life Monteverde, to see another side to conscientious farming: sustainable, non-organic coffee farm.


Student Thacher Hoch helps guide Guillermo plant a tree as part of a sustainable windbreak on the Life Monteverde farm.

We believe that is it this, leaving the classroom behind to physically interact with the lessons in front of them is what is so impressionable about this program, showing students first hand their impact on the world around us and what is worth protecting.