Land Purchase


Childrens Eternal Rainforest map

Pacific slope of the Tilaran Mountains after rainforest has been cleared for cattle pasture – the protected area is at the top in the clouds.

View across the nearby protected Children’s Eternal Rainforest that never got chopped down for pasture – just imagine the life that is being sustained in this pristine rainforest because it was saved.

As a result of our Land Purchase and Protection Campaign the Monteverde Conservation League was able to buy 250 acres of primary forest in 2005 that was threatened by development. Now it is forever protected in the Children’s Eternal Rainforest CER (El Bosque Eterno de los Niños) and is critical habitat for Baird’s Mountain Tapir and numerous other species.  In 2009 – 2010, donors to MCLUS’ Land Purchase and Protection Campaign enabled MCL to purchase 252 acres of primary forest that unites two sections of the CER and adds essential forest land and will help restrict poachers’ access to the CER.  Adding this contiguous piece of forest was an important step in creating and protecting the biological corridor so necessary for migrating species whose Pacific slope habitat has been lost to vast stretches of rainforest being chopped down to create cattle pasture.   This piece is particularly important because it gives us the opportunity to begin reforesting the pasture with seeds from the remaining forest nearby.  That will insure that native species of trees from the same altitude will provide the best possible reforestation, providing food source and habitat for migrating species of animals.

We continue to look for land purchase possibilities with the longterm hope of creating a corridor down the Pacific slope toward the Gulf of Nicoya.  This is a BIG undertaking and we are grateful for the collaboration of other local conservation organizations who join us in this effort and to our loyal donors who understand the race we are engaged in to provide essential habitat to declining species who are currently stranded on the mountain top before they are lost forever.

To see the Stranded Video click here.

Historically this work was begun by the Monteverde Conservation League in 1986 to save the threatened forest and its magnificent biodiversity in the Tilaran Mountains in Costa Rica. The efforts of children in Sweden and supporters from 44 countries in the 1980s and 1990s halted the destruction of a large expanse of irreplaceable tropical ecosystem. But more effort is required to foster greater safety for the unique organisms around Monteverde.  The Monteverde Conservation League U.S., Inc. is celebrating its Land Purchase and Protection Campaign. Donations to this campaign are divided up with 50% going to actual land purchase expenses, 40% to protection and operations of MCL and MCLUS, and 10% held as an emergency fund to be spent at board discretion to solve any unforeseen expenses that might need a quick solution. Our goal is to raise millions of dollars to:

  • Purchase existing farms which are being offered for sale by their owners and are surrounded by or next to BEN
  • Support the establishment of Pacific slope biological corridors through land purchase, conservation easements and collaborative efforts with local Monteverde organizations
  • Provide funds to offset annual expenses for protection, reforestation and other operational activities of the Monteverde Conservation League

Protecting Biodiversity

Quetzals fly from lush forest across barren cattle pastures where they are vulnerable to hawks and other predators.

The CER is the largest private reserve (more than 22,000 hectares or 54,000 acres) in Costa Rica, but its forests cannot protect migrating species throughout the entire year. Resplendent quetzals, three-wattled bellbirds, bats, hundreds of butterflies and other creatures become more vulnerable as they leave the protected forests of the CER to migrate to isolated forest fragments at lower altitudes each year. These birds, mammals and insects are extremely important in dispersing seeds and pollinating many unique plants and trees which exist within those remaining patches of native vegetation. Entire ecological niches are quickly disappearing.

Several patches of farms, forests and degraded pastures must be purchased and/or protected through agreements in order that many plant and animal species can survive. The permanent protection of these additional parcels of land means that we need your help for purchase costs, survey and legal expenses, patrolling against poaching, reforestation, research, and environmental education activities for local school children and their families.

To purchase the lands will be more expensive than in the 1980s and 1990s. While some remote degraded pasture lands might be purchased for $400 or less an acre, land parcels near rapidly growing Santa Elena and vital to the bellbird population may cost over $15,000 an acre. The average cost of an acre is likely to exceed $1,000/acre (which includes legal and long-term protection expenses.)

But we will not be working alone to save these forest fragments. We are coordinating our efforts with Monteverde Conservation League, Monteverde Institute, Tropical Science Center(TSC), and Fundacion Conservacionista Costarricense(FCC) in recognizing the need to take action and to avoid competition in purchasing land and in raising funds. We have mutual concerns about these vital protection activities.

Dr. Carlos Guindon, Rafael Bolaños of TSC, Deb DeRosier of FCC collaborating on corridors.  University students from the University of California Tropical Ecology classes also have started their own effort to reconnect an isolated forest patch on the Pacific slope.  MCLUS is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States.

Contact us at 314.941.1257 or for more information. Be a partner in protecting tropical forest by sending a tax-deductible contribution to: Monteverde Conservation League U.S. Inc, 242 Old Sulphur Spring Road, Manchester, MO 63021

Or you can also donate online through our online donation form.


The Land Purchase and Protection Campaign helps to preserve and protect tropical biodiveristy and everyone can help. One of the most successful fundraising ideas has been been to sponsor a Read for the Rainforest Read-a-thon. Students get pledges ahead from family and friends, sometimes a penny a page or whatever is agreed upon. Then for one week the students read like crazy and keep a tally of the number of pages they have read as homework, in class and as free read time. At the end of the week, they collect the pledges and turn into their teacher. No product like magazines, or giftwrap or popcorn or candy bars has to be bought or kept track of. No money has to be given to a company who makes those products. All the money is donation to the forest. It works very well and the forest benefits.

To aid children, classes ( or any organization) in supporting our efforts, we have created colorful brochures and a CD Power Point presentation with script to help you and others better understand the challenges and expected results of our Land Purchase and Protection Campaign. Contact us or call 314.941.1257 to request brochures, the CD presentation, and other information.


Idealism seems out of style these days, but in a world so full of challenges there is nothing better than giving kids a chance to be part of real solutions. One practical way to empower your students is to give them an opportunity to protect tropical rainforests and the rich biodiversity that is in them. It isn’t a contrived school project. It is REAL and the results are REAL. Tropical deforestation has not gone away.For over 20 years children around the world have been very creative in earning and raising money to buy and protect land to be part of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest CER or El Bosque Eterno de los Niños. Any amount of donated money is always deeply appreciated by us and our colleagues in Costa Rica. We acknowledge every gift as promptly as possible and send a colorful certificate of appreciation to put up in the classroom.

For three successsive years we offered Student Ambassadorships for a child from each of the three schools that raised the most money for the CER. We are pleased to recognize the student ambassadors and their winning schools who selected them. These students had free, weeklong trips to Costa Rica and the Children’s Eternal Rainforest in the summer of 2005:

  • Jordan Jaco, Principia Lower School, St. Louis, MO
  • Chloe Larson, Little Red School House, New York City, NY
  • Anneli Karlsen, Hockinson Intermediate, Brush Prairie, WA

The three Student Ambassadors in 2006 were:

  • Dylan Sheets, Principia Lower School, St Louis, Missouri
  • Ellen Terry, Nathan Eckstein Middle School, Seattle, Washington
  • Madeline Petrie, Little Red School House, Greenwich Village, New York

Our third and final Student Ambassadors enjoyed a free trip July 2007:

  • Ben Swank, Principia Lower School, St. Louis, MO
  • Katherine Phillips, Walk with Animals Home School Group, Scottsville, NY
  • Elaine Gorom, J.E. Hinchcliffe Elementary, O’Fallon, IL

2005 Student Ambassadors

2006 Student Ambassadors

2006 Student Ambassador

2007 Student Ambassadors