Field Study and Service-Learning MediaBlog

17 June, 2007

Limón: Hotel & Port

 Caribbean Welcome Lunch
A welcome to the Caribbean lunch upon arrival.

Visiting the Port of Limón
A visit to the port of Limón, which handles more than 80% of all shipped
commerce entering and departing from Costa Rica.

16 June, 2007

Rio Sarapiqui & La Trinidad

Sunset of the Rio San Juan
A view of a Costa Rican sunset in La Trinidad from the
Nicaraguan side of the San Juan river.

A Boat Ride up the Rio Sarapiquí
Traveling the historical trade route of the Sarapiquí river from Puerto Viejo
to the Nicaraguan border at La Trinidad. 

Cabinas at La Trinidad
The rustic lodge at La Trinidad: A remote once-booming town on the
disputed San Juan river where Costa Rica meets Nicaragua.

15 June, 2007

Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui: Nogua Banana Plantation

Traditional Costa Rican Dance
A traditional folkloric dance presentation put on by the Nogua women's group, one
project of the Nature & Community Project in Nogal, Sarapiqui (northern plains). 

Banana Show
A banana plantation visit and show put on by the Nogua group in Nogal, Sarapiqui.

Banana Plantation Visit
A visit to a banana plantation.

14 June, 2007

Braullio Carillo National Park

Braullio Carrillo National Park
A view of the forest in Braullio Carrillo National Park, northwest of San Jose. 

Tropical Forest Hike
A hilke through Braullio Carillo National Park, lowland forest on the 
Atlantic/Carribbean slope of Costa Rica.

13 June, 2007

Heredia: Recycled Paper Production

 Artisanry Paper: A Sustainable Cottage-Industry Business
Monica (center) explaining the process for making paper from recycled materials.

Recycled Paper Store-Room Visit
Examining recycled/non-tree fiber paper produced at a micro-enterprise facility in Heredia.

Manufacturing a Recycled Greeting Card
Monique (center) making a greeting card out of recycled/non-tree fiber paper,
with the assistance of a staff member.

 A Coffee Plantation Visit
Learning about coffee in the mountains of Heredia.

11 June, 2007

San José: International Development & City Visit

UNDP Meeting
A presentation by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in San José.

Plaza de la Cultura, San José
A visit to 'Culture Plaza' in San José. From left to right is Alana, Johanna, Alicia, Anne, and Kate. 

Group Shot in San José
The group in front of a political statement against CAFTA at Democracy Plaza in San José.

Hotel in San José
A coutryard view of the hotel we stayed at in San José.

04 May, 2007

San Ramón: MUSADE Community Social Work

Ensueño: Café, Arte, y Amistad
Shown here is a view of the MUSADE store, Ensueño, from the street. All of the products in the store have been hand made by women in the community. Anyone can come to MUSADE with something they have made, and MUSADE will sell it for them, giving them seventy percent of the sales. The store offers a variety of items, such as jewelry, clothing, paintings, souvenirs, and coffee makers. It also serves as the front office. Marí, shown at the desk, among other women, do the financial books for the store, make appointments for social work and psychology,
as well as answer any questions about the organization.

Saturday Group Activity
In this picture, a group of teenage girls from the community are participating in the Saturday craft activity. Here, the girls are making frog key chains out of beads. Every week, the activity changes. Other activities may include theatre, singing, and games. These activities are offered to women, children, and adolescents in the community. Many times they work well coinciding with the support groups that the women attend. While the women are in their group, the children are occupied. However, you may often find a mix of small children, teenagers, mothers, and grandmothers all sitting in the same room, struggling over how to make a beaded frog.

Author: Claire Wingerd

03 May, 2007

San Ramón: Organic Coffee Farm Volunteer Work

Chris With a Machete!
Chris and I spent half of our time working in the coffee farm with the coffee plants. We helped Gary prune the plants. We cut off the smaller stems from the branch Gary trimmed with a large machete, as you can see Chris with in the picture, he is loving it! The stems and leaves were left on the ground in the coffee farm and help as an organic fertilizer and a component to prevent weeds from growing. After gathering plenty of the branches, we piled them up and brought them to Gary’s neighbor. He traded the branches, which the man used as firewood to cook with, and in turn received horse manure. The manure is used for the farms composting, and is discussed in other pictures. The pruning of the coffee plant is pretty excessive, more excessive than non organic coffee farms. This allows the plant more room to grow, and they grow healthier. Chris and I also helped dig holes and replant trees for Gary; this was helping him maintain a natural fence around the farm to keep out other chemicals and pollution.
We were able to use lost of cool heavy farm tools!

Author: Nicole Lynch

02 May, 2007

San Ramón: Nectandra Reserve & Institute

Classroom Facility
Here is a picture of one of the classrooms at Nectandra. The facility was put in as an education center for the community. Although Nectandra’s entrance fee is a bit pricy, ($50 for non-locals/$25 for locals) Mrs. Lennette welcomes many young students and members of the community as complimentary guests. It should also be noted that when groups come for free she still must pay the staff to have all of the facilities open. Not only is she not making any money, but she is spending money to let people into the reserve. One of the most interesting aspects of this classroom is a table which has molds of various footprints found in Nectandra including; Jaguars, Tapirs, Peccaries, Pumas and Ocelots. These species are very rare in Costa Rica today, due to deforestation and poaching. Visiting the reserve gives visitors the opportunity to understand the importance of protecting natural habitats like Nectandra. I will also note that when I visited the reserve and did a hike on one of the trails, Alvaro Ugalde and I were able to see two wild peccaries, wondering around in the forest, stuffing their snouts under some dead leaves, looking for tasty insects. They did not notice us because we were up wind, but we sure got a whiff of them! It was amazing to get to see these rare mountain pigs because they normally are nowhere near where humans are, and are also quite endangered. The peccary is the main source of food for the “elusive jaguar” and the decrease in prey has lead to a decrease in the jaguar population. So seeing them was a sign of good things to come. One hopes at least!

Sample Moss Diversity
This is a picture of what was once a clump of mosses, which appeared as one. As you can see, there are now four. Mosses have a tendency to layer and build off of one another. Mrs Evelyne Tam Lenette (resident biologist and reserve owner) is using these samples to study the morphology of spores. It is in through spores that moss spreads and speciates. With the same samples, she is also studying the types of mutualistic relationships exemplified here by their compound building. All specimens found are dried and put into a herbarium for later comparison with new discoveries.


Species Identification: 117 Moss Species
Here is a picture of the inventory of mosses which have been identified at Nectandra Reserve. There are 117 present here in Nectandra of the roughly 450 that thrive in Costa Rica. This is pretty impressive for a 300 ac/sq property. Moss is the most important element in a cloud forest because it allows for the capture and slow release of water to trees and plants. The climate has actually been changing over recent years, including fewer clouds and less precipitation annually, which leads to extensive dry periods, even out of the dry season. This in turn is detrimental to the moss populations. The dryness is the result of the deforestation of the San Carlos plains below. Moisture is sucked out of the clouds as they pass over the plains, before they make it up the slope to the cloud forests. Evelyne Tam Lennette, resident biologist and reserve owner, diligently works to have a substantial index for species abundance.

The Art of a Forest (With a Little Assistance)
Here is an example of the lovely landscaping at Nectandra, designed by Arturo Joaquin. Arturo is not only the resident naturalist, but administrator and tour guide as well. He is an excellent guide through the reserve because he knows every meter of it. When landscaping, he went through the deep forest and brought samples out to plant in trail-range so that visitors could have an idea of what is found in the preserved primary forest. The area which contains the trails and facilities is known as “the garden” and this 4 ha area is the only area that the public is allowed to visit. The remainder of the reserve is for scientific research and, of course, preservation of the ecosystem in its natural state.

The Glorious Tree Fern This is the lovely tree fern, which is found abundantly in the cloud forests. Healthy cloud forests are highly precipitous places, at an average elevation of about 1100m and a tropical climate, that provide homes for hundreds of thousands of species and countless environmental services. Mrs Evelyne Tam Lennette was specifically looking for a cloud forest when she decided to purchase & establish Nectandra because they are among the most unique and rare of all forest types. They make up only 2.5% of all forests, and when Mrs. Lennette was in the process of buying the property 7 years ago, they accounted for 3%of world forests. Deforestation for agriculture and climate change will wipe this precious ecosystem out before the end of the century, unless rapid action is taken. Mrs Lennette hopes to use the reserve to raise awareness of the importance of preserving such forests, by asking people to come in and familiarize themselves with the forest. It makes me think of how one would react when engaged in war: As a combatant, it is most likely a lot harder to kill someone you have met and know, then a faceless enemy. Her goal is for people to know their environment and recognize all that lives within it.

Alvaro Ugalde (My Hero)
Here is a picture of Alvaro Ugalde, as we were hiking along one of the trails in Nectandra. Alvaro has played an instrumental part in conservation of natural habitats in Costa Rica. In fact, he and one other man were the activists who initiated the National Park system of Costa Rica, back in 1970. He not only helped the Lennettes to find and acquire this property, but he is now president of Nectandra. His efforts are specifically focused on involving the community in protecting their shared watershed (Balsa/San Carlos). This watershed is one of the largest and most important in all of Costa Rica. He is constantly thinking of innovative ways to engage the community as a whole in conservation and sustainable practices, while using the resources that Nectandra has to offer. Examples of projects in action are the H20 Championship, which is sponsored by Nectandra. The championship consists of 'futbol' (soccer) teams from various sub-watersheds competing. Winners receive trophies, new uniforms and free park admission. This event has the potential to raise the awareness of at least 160 people. Another project is the E.L.F. (Ecological Loan Fund), which provides loans for land and watershed restoration projects. There is no monetary interest with the loans, & interest is paid off in labor of the land.

Author: Devon Howard

01 May, 2007

Chachagua: GEMA Medicinal Plant Processing Facility

The Women of GEMA
Shown here are Milia on the left and Nydia on the right, two group members. Nydia is in charge of the office and coordinating student and tourist visits. Milia, as with our group, gave us a tour and talked about the history of the group and what they do. In the future, they would like to bring more student groups like ours as well as more tourists. They are presently working on building a garden in the back of the facility in order to show student groups as part of the tour. Ideally, the group would like to be selling their products nationally and eventually internationally. But for now, poco a poco.

The Story of GEMA
This is a picture of Miguel and Milia, one of the 11 members of GEMA, standing in front of their display table and the shelves full of their products. Milia is telling the story of the group, while Miguel translates for us. When the women were starting out, their husbands did not support them at all. They thought the women were crazy for wanting to try to grow organic, medicinal plants. Because they did not like the idea, and the women had to ask their husbands for land, the men gave the group poor land to work with. However, despite this potential set-back, the group educated themselves on organic gardening/agriculture, and after several trial and errors, they succeeded.

Herbs in Bulk
Pictured here are bags of bulk tea before they are either individually packaged and prepared with GEMA´s label, or sent to MANZATE as is. There are 11 farms amongst the group members, where all of the products are grown. Each household is responsible for growing, harvesting, and drying the products before they bring them to the production facility. Once at the facility, those products are either packaged in small plastic bags or put into one pint canisters. The natural condiments are mixed and then put into plastic salt-shaker type containers.

The Herb Packing Machine
This is a picture of the compressor that packs and seals the canisters of tea. The larger canisters are not being produced in as large quantities as the smaller plastic bags of tea. The women would like to be using those as their primary packaging, however, they don´t have enough demand just yet. Right now, they are selling their tea directly to the public at very few places. Aside from the on-site facility, they also sell it at a local Eco-lodge called La Catarata, which actually has worked in conjunction with GEMA. GEMA now operates the medicinal garden of the lodge and the mother of the cook there is a member of GEMA.

GEMA: The New Building
GEMA was founded around 1995, when a group of women in a community outside of La Fortuna, decided that they wanted to do something to improve their lives. A Peace Corps volunteer came in as a facilitator and provided them with some ideas as to how they would go about doing this. Growing and selling medicinal plants was one of the ideas, and it turned out to be the one chosen by the women. The building in this picture is the four year old processing facility. When the group started out, they were located in an older, run down facility.

Medicinal Herbs Display Table
Currently, GEMA has twenty-nine products available for purchase. This includes natural condiments, as well as different kinds of tea. They also offer teapots, bags, shirts, and various other GEMA or Costa Rican souvenirs. As of now, they are not able to sell directly to the public because they must obtain approval by the government, and it cost approximately $100 per product simply to submit an application for approval. At this point, this is not feasible for GEMA, and therefore, they must sell through the company of MANZATE. They sell one kilo of loose leaf tea for roughly $3. Not only is this less money than what they could sell to the public for, but they also don´t have their own label and their teas are being mixed with non-organics.

Author: Claire Wingerd

30 April, 2007

San Ramón: Organic Herbs & Composting

La Fería: Doña Adita's Stand
This picture was taken at the Farmers Market (Fería) in San Ramón. It is Doña Adita´s stand, which is the only organic booth at the Fería! Doña Adita collects various farmers´ organic products and sells them at her booth. Products that she sells consist of bananas, carrots, lettuce, cilantro, and many more. Devon and I went to the Fería to sell Patriana´s organic products. Strangely enough, we didn´t sell coffee. Instead, we sold rosemary and oregano, which Devon and I pruned; and organic compost that we made. Unfortunately, while we were there, none of our products sold. La Finca Patriana had us go to the Fería to figure out if it was worth their time and work in order to make profit. Now, at least they know not to waste their time selling their products at the Fería.

Making Organic Compost
This picture was taken at the finca inside the chicken shed. We composted organic materials here in order to make soil. In the back, Devon is turning the chicken manure with a shovel. This needs to be done when the compost has reached a temperature of 140 degrees celcius. Niki is in the middle sifting out the large materials in the compost. The large materials consist of mainly hay and straw. I am in the front mixing chicken and horse manure. Patricia is on the left, supervising us workers. Even though we were dealing with manure, we always had a good time!

Organic Composting Shed
Here is a picture of me learning about composting from Gary. This is a picture of inside the composting shed. We helped manage, shovel, and were involved in making the organic composted fertilizer in which they used on the coffee farm and sold it to the community as well. When Gary would receive his horse manure form the neighbor we would put it into the left side of the composting shed in a big pile. At first in needs to sit under a black tarp for a few days to ¨cook.¨ When the pile heats up to about 140 Celsius, we would shovel in to the other side to aerate it. The compost heat up so hot! This is because the matter and bacteria in the pile is breaking down. This process of aerating and cooking goes on for about one and a half weeks, and then can be moved onto a large tarp to add an extra nutrient, and dry for about 3 days. Now it is officially organic fertilizer rich in nutrients!! Working on the farm for Gary and Patricia was truly and amazing experience. They are very inspiring people who we learn so much from!

Author: Nicole Lynch

29 April, 2007

San José: Producol Recycled Plastic Company

 Rejected Products
When making the wood there are sometimes rejects such as these. The most common problems are the temperature not being quite right. Only about 10% turn out unusable like these ones, but, never fear because they can actually be reused (again). With the average monthly input of plastic around 16 metric tons, the eventual products weigh out to around 13 tons. All the work done by Producol is through contract bids, which allows the company to make product based on orders as opposed to having a lot of plastic wood stored for an indefinite amount of time on site. This also helps keep costs down as they can schedule the number of workers needed accordingly. The rejected pieces are stored on site until they can be sent back to be re-processed by a 'molina'.

  Miguel´s Wood Plank
This is Miguel holding up a piece of prepared plastic wood, and no, he is not about to hit any of his students (yet)! If you look closely you can see the pre-made holes. However, they are not just single holes drilled into the plastic! To avoid splitting the wood when attaching with screws, it is imperative to make an indentation with a special drill. You can see this a little better close up. When they sell the product it already has the special holes drilled into the wood. If a piece breaks, Producol actually takes it back. They then cut off & dispose of the ends of the plank with the screws & either re-use the smaller piece for another product (such as a trash can), or send it back to the 'molina' for re-use.

Chop that wood?
In this photo the workers are cutting off the extra plastic while the post is still hot in the mold. The process: Use gallon buckets to feed plastic in the machine, add the chemicals to mix the plastics together and heat, then the machine pushes the plastic into the mold. The workers know when the mold is full because plastic begins to melt out the opposite end of the mold. The excess is cut off from both ends, and then the mold is put into the water to cool, the product then shrinks a little and can be removed from the mold. Once removed from the mold the product must cool more, I could feel the heat on my foot radiating off as I took this picture!

Yikes, left over!
This is Nicole, and she is holding up a couple pieces of extra plastic wood! There will always be some extra plastic after production either from production itself (trimming the molded pieces or trimming pieces down to size), or rejected or broken pieces. Producol even will repair broken pieces that have left the building! All that plastic piled up must be good for something, so Don Jamie works with the 'molinas' and is actually able to send all this extra plastic back to be re-chopped and shipped back in his special mixtures, and as it turns out the mixtures of plastic with the plastic wood in them tend to make a better product.

Producol Office: Plastic Wood in Action!
This is the office of the owner of Producol Maderas Plasticas. His name is Don Jamie. He started this business five years ago when he couldn’t get a permit for construction. He got the idea of plastic wood from someone in his family back in Columbia. Currently there are only four countries that make plastic wood, and there are two others here in Costa Rica. Don Jamie works with another company here so that they do not compete in the same market, the other company only makes shingles and the two work together to make a couple of other things, including wheelbarrows. Producol mostly makes shipping crates, fence posts and two by four lumbers, but they also make garbage cans, benches, picnic tables, feeders for animals, and swing-sets! The product costs a little more than regular wood, but the company guarantees the crates to last 5 years where wood only lasts 1.5 years. The plastic wood is much stronger than regular wood and a structure holds all the fabricated wood until it is shipped out. To make the wood stronger they use more plastic number 5, and to make it look nicer polyethylene.

All that Plastic
Maderas Plasticas receives about 25 metric tons of plastic each month in hopes of using 16-17 tons and produces about 13 tons of plastic wood products each month. The company works with other facilities that clean & prepare the plastic ahead of time ('molinas'). The process is basically sorting the different types of plastic and cutting the pieces down so they are very small. You can see how small each piece is as it falls like confetti before Chris! Because of strong working relationships between the molinas and Producol, Producol is able to request mixtures of the plastic types that are most beneficial for making plastic wood. You can see the special mixture as a worker scoops it out by the gallon bucketful and our group is gathered around the large bag. About four buckets are used for fence posts and 1.5 buckets are used to make wood planks. Normally it is not possible to use a mixture of plastics together, but Producol adds a chemical for better mixing.

Author: Danielle Sunde

28 April, 2007

Heredia: Ecopaper at Artesanias Finas del Pueblo

The Start of the Making Paper: Old Paper
The company buys pre-consumer and some post-consumer waste white paper (seen here in the brown paper wrapped package). This paper is roughly chopped up and placed in buckets of water with bacteria to prevent molding (bottom right). The paper soaks in the water for 3 weeks after which the paper bits are put in a blender and ground up into a pulp (the long soaking makes this process easier). The plant fibers are then added the pulp is moved to the forming basins. The whole soaking and grinding process depletes the fibers that made the original paper sturdy which is why more fibers, in this case from natural sources, must be added after blending by which time most of the fiber destruction has occured. The more water goes into this mixture, the thinner the paper will be.

Pressing Paper by Hand & Mechanically
After the paper drip dries next to the basin, it is flipped off its screen onto an absorbant fabric (in this case a thin synthetic wool). Water is manually squeezed out with a cup made from bamboo (shown top left). The screen is then removed and another sheet of fabric placed ontop of the paper. This process is repeated until a large stack is formed. The stack is then un-stacked and reformed making sure every sheet of paper is completely flat and adding a sheet of metal under each piece of paper. The new stack is then placed in a press where more water is mechanically squeezed out (shown bottom right).

Warehouses & Sample Paper
Molinos Tierra Verde or Artesanías Finas del Pueblo specializes in recycled paper products made with natural, Costa Rican fibers. The six most used fibers are grass, corn, pineapple, banana, fern, and coffee. Other fibers, mostly agricultural by-products, are collected from local farmers markets and farms and include cabuya, melon, and pine-needles. Most paper produced is anywhere from 10 to 80% fiber with high fiber counts resulting in grainier and more rustic-looking papers that can be used for covers. The plant also produces some 100% fiber paper to be used for decorative binding covers. Also, if fiber is cooked before being added to the paper pulp, a much thinner and smoother paper can be produced. A sample of several different fiber counts and fiber types is shown above (center, bottom). After the paper is produced, the paper products are made at the plant in the on-site warehouse and cutting shed (shown above, left). Here large sheets of paper are cut to size, bound, and printed. Once production is complete, finished and packaged goods are kept in an off-site warehouse where visiting students and store-owners can purchase goods (shown above, right).

Drying Paper
After mechanical squeezing, the paper is unstacked and each sheet of paper, on its sheet of metal, is placed on a shelf inside a drying oven (shown above). At this plant, the oven is heated using scrap wood from around the farm and from other local farms. Due to inefficiencies in design, the oven here only reaches a temperature of about 45°C at which temperature the paper must be dried for about 3 hours. Also, the paper must be rotated through the oven during these three hours since some parts of the oven dry faster than others. In a more efficient oven, temperatures of about 80°C would dry the paper in about 10 minutes. After drying, paper is sorted by quality and weight: high, medium, and low, and very thin, semi-thin, and thick. Very thin paper is compressed and flattened one final time in a paper press for a few hours before being cut, decorated, and bound, and otherwise finished for sale.

Newly Made Paper
Once the paper pulp and fiber mix is moved in the forming basins. Basins can be any size or shape but for a comercial plant should be large with straight sides and a large enough mouth to easily fit a screen of the desired size. The screen is used to pull an even layer of pulp and fiber out of the water-pulp-fiber mixture in the basin. The screen is pushed into the mixture in the basin and then lifted out, always keeping it as horizontal as possible, and then set on a rack to the side of basin to drip dry (shown here) while the next screen is lowered into the mixture. The screen used here is made from mosquito netting and nylon ornamental sunscreen stretched over a metal frame.

María Giovanna Huarado
María Giovanna Huarado (shown here, center, talking to two EEI students) started working with Molinos Tierra Verde four years ago as an administrator of sorts. She manages paper marketing and output as well as helping with development of new products. Currently the market for natural paper is down due to the high number of producers for a limited and almost completely international (as opposed to local) market. María is working to increase quality to minimize profit losses as well as seeking out venders so they can sell paper more directly. The company also makes products to special order and is working on a line of greeting cards with their recycled paper, but lined with re-used paper for easier writing, to sell in the Costa Rican market. María hopes that Ticos will buy their new products despite the lack of flashy Western modernity before other companies start copying their idea. This lack of time is an issue for all of the companies products as paper “factories” cannot copyright their ideas either in method of paper production or in design of products (binding of notebooks, style of photo album, or greeting cards lined with re-used paper).

Author: Sami Nichols

16 April, 2007

La Tigra: Bosque de los Ninos (Children's Rain Forest)

BEN: Education Center
This is a picture outside of the 'Aula' (classroom). We went to this classroom when we first arrived at Bosque de los Niños. Here, we met with Tory who is the responsible for communication with various groups. Tory gave a power point presentation of Bosque de los Niños. Usually, this classroom is used for children to perform different educational activities. Also, volunteers and workers use this room as a kitchen and even a bathroom which are located inside. After Tory´s presentation, we went a hike in the forest. Later we returned here to eat our lunch. There are many other classrooms and biological field stations located at Bosque de los Niños.

Aula Classroom- Bosque de los Niños
This is a picture of the inside of the Aula classroom. Here, Tory gave a very ellaborate presentation of Bosque de los Niños. She began her lecture talking about the background of Bosque de los Niños (BEN) and it´s relationship with Monteverde Conservation League. After, she told us how the community is heavily involoved with BEN. Local farmers, children, and adults work with BEN in order to create a sustainable society. Also, Tory mentioned that BEN was also in collaboration with MINAE and other non-governmental organizations. BEN has benefits the environment involving reforestation and watershed projects.

Guides of Bosque de los Niños
The man on the left is our main trail guide. The women on the right is Tory who gave a us a presentation of Bosque de los Niños prior to our walk. Our trail guide was quite knowledgable in the forest. He knew of old traditions using the forest´s resources. For instance, he showed us leaves that were used as roofing on his house as a child. Also, he showed us leaves that were used for shining shoes and other plants that were taken as medicine. I thought that was cool because I realized how much things have changed in Costa Rica over 50 years. It´s nice that he can still tell stories of traditional Costa Rica.


As we were walking on the trail, we came across a beautiful waterfall. The water was very clear and uncontaminated. Tory told us that the water was clean enough to drink directly from the stream. Our professor, Dr. Miguel Karian, dipped his whole head in the water. Other students tested the water as well. I did not noticed any fish in the water. It was very slippery walking across the rocks, however, no one fell in the water. On our walk back, we saw another stream that was very similar to this one. To me, this was one of the most beautiful spots in Bosqe de los Niños.

Pilon and Miguelito
This is a picture of our professor Miguel hugging the Pilon tree. The Pilon tree is my favorite tree in Costa Rica. It is an enormous tree. The tree is a native species of Costa Rica. The Pilon´s scientific name is hieronyma alchorneoides. It is also a popular tree for deforesting because it has very strong and hard wood. Also, the wood is resistent to termites. I have seen this tree in many different locations of Costa Rica. However, it is mostly found in the Northern and Atlantic Zones. Pilones survive the best in humid tropical forests. Even though, I have seen this tree in many places, the number of trees has been reduced considerably. Save the Rain Forest to enjoy the beautiful and magnificent Pilon tree!!


Learning about Bosque de los Niños
During our hike in Bosque de los Niños, we discovered the different species in the forest. One tree produces flammable sap. This sap provides light when you get lost, and fire when you need to cook or get warm. The Palmeras tree is another species that is beautiful. Poachers chop the tree because everyone wants it in their house. Another favorite tree of mine is the monkey latter. It swirls up a tree and looks like a set of stairs for a monkey´s house. It is crazy to realize that this area was once exploited as a banana plantation and now it´s an enchanting forest.

 Author: Anne Christoff