Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Gift from the Children

"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children." - John James Audubon

Hiking the Bosque Eterno de los Ninos (Children's Eternal Rain Forest) in Monte Verde, I understood just how our children value this fragile biosphere we hold in trust for them. The Forest, comprised of multiple parcels in the mountains surrounding the Monte Verde and Santa Elena national park reserves, is a huge tract of land preserved by the donations of children around the world to save the rain forest. It is a gift back from the children of the world, and demonstrates their commitment to a sustainable world.
Before hiking the preserve, I sat mesmerized at the Monte Verde hummingbird garden, enchanted by more than a dozen species of hummingbirds flashing iridescent purple,mgreen, red, and gold in the morning sun and misty rain. The Garden is sponsored by a collective of local coffee farmers, whose mission is to teach about sustainable, living wage direct trade coffee production. ("Fair trade", it turns out, is in reality simply a price floor "insurance" program intended to prevent farmers' price for coffee from falling too low.)
In contrast to the park preserves, Bosque Eterno de los Ninos is a private, primitive, not promoted, and hence lightly visited preserve. The trails cover a wide spread of elevations and hence a variety of ecosystems, and provide a wonderful venue for seeing birds and animals which shy away from the much more heavily visited park trails.
Children of the world, thank you!

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