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At the Monteverde Institute we believe that we can create a positive impact through inclusive programs that are built around the pillars of place based education, applied research, and community programs.

In this newsletter we would like to share with you some of our projects. To learn more about our work please visit our website.  

Campamento las Hormiguitas (Camp of the Little Ants) just completed its 7th season. 
In the seven years the camp has operated nearly 300 teens from our small community have participated in our program.

The camp, known as Campamento Las Hormiguitas (Camp of the Little Ants) is for teens aged 12-15. Many of the campers return after age 15 to be camp Leaders (counselors). There are 9 neighborhoods, barrios, in the area and surprisingly, many of the students from one area didn’t know students from another. We wanted to change that. Students didn’t feel empowered and we wanted to change that. Some adults misunderstand teenagers; we felt that must be changed. In the last seven years we see a big difference.


Hormiguitas is a unique camp in many ways:


Days of fun and games are followed by days of fun in community giving. In addition to splashing in mud pits, tree climbing and ziplining, team building exercises, cheering each other in team sports and other traditional camp activities, campers have painted the recycling centers, stairs and walkways, created signs, helped older members of the community with chores and companionship, and planted native plants in a roundabout at La Cruz.

To learn more about the camp click  HERE TO READ OUR BLOG

If you would like to make a tax deductible contribution to help us continue this dynamic community program click here.


Experts say that tropical storms have become stronger in recent years, more frequent, are lasting longer and affecting lands further south since records began in the 1880s.

What will they be like in the future, and how can we better prepare for them?

Monteverde, with its spirit of cooperation and caring, managed better than many communities. After a year Monteverde is largely recovered while many communities in the country are still struggling. What made the difference?

Three studies where done at the Monteverde Institute by Debra Hamilton, Randy Chinchilla, and Jessie Zuñiga, with the help of students from Mt Holyoke, Goucher College and Duke University, to learn more about how Tropical Storm Nate affected the landscape in Monteverde, the survival rate of the seedling in reforestation plots and our sense of community

The results were presented at the Ecological Society of America conference at New Orleans in August, and was appreciated because of considering the physical, social, emotional factors of recovery.  The poster was also presented at the Day of Climate Change Ecosystem Adaptation Awareness in San Jose. 
To learn more about the impacts of Tropical Storm Nate in Monteverde, you are welcome to read the complete blog at:

Please feel free to view and use our poster with the following link:

***Remember to include the reference:

Hamiltlon D, Chincilla R and Zúñiga J. Tropical storm Nate: the resilience of conservation efforts, the environment and community – Monteverde, Costa Rica [version 1; not peer reviewed]. F1000Research 2018, 7:1439 (poster) (doi: 10.7490/f1000research.1116062.1)

During Nate the Monteverde Institute acted as an emergency center. Neighbors came here for information, comfort, to get drinking water, and to cook food.

The municipality and local emergency commission have requested us to become an official emergency center, and we have accepted. We take this responsibility seriously. To provide this needed assistance we will need to have ways to communicate, create electricity, and transport people and supplies using non fossil fuel sources or public services as they are hindered during large events. We also need areas to store equipment and house people, if necessary.
Our commitment to being an emergency site, combined with our commitment to be carbon neutral, raises the need for solar powered electricity generation.  Here are our plans to this point. We'd appreciate your thoughts. We want to:
  • Purchase an emergency generator.
  • Generate as much of our own electricity as possible with our own solar array.
  • Purchase an electric vehicle that we can use to run local errands, etc, which we can charge from our onsite array.
  • Create storage and hospitality areas, as well as provide equipment. 
  • First aid supplies and trained staff
If you would like to contribute to this effort, click here.

Since 1998 the Monteverde Institute has been at the forefront of reforestation in the forests of Costa Rica. In that effort we have planted more than 250,000 trees.

Each year our two nurseries provides up to 24,000 young trees to the local communities and manages four wildlife preserves that have been reforested since 2003.

We have produced more than 140 different species to replant in our forests and have given special attention to several endemic trees that are endangered. 

This successful program is the result of hard work by staff, students, and volunteers from programs like the Change the World Kids and National Geographic-G Adventures travel.  Donations  and grants are key for our operations and we are thankful for all of our friends like the Adventure Girls, the Monteverde Community Fund,  and other major donors. 

If you would like to learn more about our Reforestation Program and our achievements for this year, we invite you to read the following blog:

You can help us rebuild our natural ecosystems by donating to this program,
follow this link:

We now have a new public space to enjoy!

The Monteverde Institute with students from our Sustainable Futures Program and the local government council builded a new look-out point by Cerro Plano. Now anyone from the community can enjoy sunsets.

Cultural Activities at the Monteverde Institute 

The 28th of September the Monteverde Institute hosted a very special concert in which we took the opportunity to thank Paul Smith for all his efforts and contributions to our community.

Even when we couldn´t record the concert through facebook live, if you would like to watch a short video of the event click here.
Staff Development 

We are proud to say that most of our current staff has completed the WAFA-WFR (Advanced first aid for remote areas) workshops at the Monteverde Institute. We have been trained in these skills throughout the years. We want to send a big thanks to Frank Joyce and Georgia Villaflor for organizing and making this possible. 

Safety is of utmost importance to us and to this community.
If you or anyone you know would like to help by making a tax deductible donation toward our goals please go to
We also have a go fund me link:
There are many ways you can be a part of our organization. We are a community and strive to serve to our best potential.  Come by and use our library, come to a talk, promote a course, do an internship, learn Spanish or do research in our community. You can also support some of our programs by donating

We also know that many of you would like to be here with us, our doors are open for you to do so, but if you can't please do follow us on social media, and check out our Facebook Live videos of MVI activities. 
*Donations in the USA and Costa Rica are tax deductible. 
Once more, thank you for believing in us and the in the work we do, your support is important to us!
Visit our Website for more information
Our mailing address is:

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Alliance for the Monteverde Institute · 469 Pine Song Trail · Golden 80401

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