The Cloud Forest: Costa Rica Program Overview
San Luis de Monteverde: The Cloud Forest
The name Monteverde—“green mountain”—can mean different things. In general, it refers to the Monteverde Zone, a geographical area that encompasses approximately 14 communities. Historically, these communities produced much of Costa Rica’s milk, and the area was popularly known as the “milk shed.”
Why San Luis de Monteverde?
- The Monteverde Zone spans several different ecosystems, linking Costa Rica’s drier Pacific slopes with wet Atlantic forests
- Monteverde’s tropical montane cloud forest is a rare forest ecosystem that is almost continually shrouded in mist
- Monteverde’s striking contrast of wet and dry ecosystems make this area an extraordinary place to study plant-animal interactions, ecology, and natural history
The original Monteverde village was founded in 1051 by 14 Quaker families. After their men were convicted and jailed for refusing to sign up for the U.S. Draft, these Quakers came to Costa Rica in search for a place where they could live out their pacifist beliefs without persecution. Today the village of Monteverde has several hundred residents, and still maintains a strong Quaker/USA influence.
Because of its natural beauty and unique history, Monteverde is a prime eco-tourist destination, attracting almost a quarter of all the tourists who visit Costa Rica. Much of this growth has occurred in the last fifteen years, and Monteverde is grappling with the rapid shift from a sleepy, dairy zone to one dependent on tourism. In addition to conducting research in the cloud forest, students will meet with local farmers and residents to learn how locals are attempting to balance economic development with environmental preservation.
Your program fee includes:
- Course fee
- All lodging as part of the course
- Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
- All transportation, field trips and site visits as described in the program description
- Transfer from/to airport on day of arrival and departure
Your program fee does not include:
- Air travel to/from San Jose, Costa Rica
- Classroom materials (textbooks, notebooks, pens, etc…)
- Cell phone incoming/outgoing calls
- Items of a personal nature