Pre-College Programs

The Cloud Forest: Costa Rica Program Overview

San Luis de Monteverde: The Cloud Forest

Brown University Program in Costa Rica

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 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.

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