While not being natives to the land, the Quakers helped preserve massive amounts of rainforest in Costa Rica and continue to do so today. The Quakers saw what happens in the US when traces of nature aren’t preserved or taken care of, and they couldn’t allow that to happen to a place as beautiful as Monteverde. This initial preservation opened the door for other Ticos to follow suit which led to a recovery of the majority of lost forests from over the years. Additionally, the Quakers began cultivating nearby lands and producing dairy products which stimulated local economy and promoted further protection of the surrounding cloud forests.
As Costa Rica has seen an influx of foreigners to the country over the past few decades, local culture has shifted dramatically. While Costa Rica was rapidly losing forests in the early 20th century, it was the Quakers and other foreigners who had the wisdom to see this happening and step up to make save the environment. By promoting forest regrowth, Costa Rica has become well known as a naturally beautiful country whose international appeal continues to grow. And further, as seen in places like Life Monteverde, this sustainability brought by foreigners has grown into an entire industry dedicated to the preservation of Costa Rica’s attractive environment. I think this is a very positive shift that was much needed in our world that seems to care so little about the environment around us. As Don Guillermo spoke so passionately about, all we have to do is make sure the world is better off than when it was passed to us and humans will be around longer than we are on track to currently.