September is Costa Rica´s patriotic month, when the country celebrates it´s Independence from Spanish colonization on the 15th of September of 1821. This date is usually celebrated with parades and civic activities, but this year most of these celebrations were held virtually. These truly are strange times we are living in, so much has moved online, even all schooling, here in Costa Rica, until the end of this school year (in November). Another special holiday celebrated in Costa Rica this month was Children´s Day, on September 9th. This holiday was officially created in Costa Rica in 1946, to highlight the importance of children´s rights, and celebrate the citizens and leaders of tomorrow.
This month we have finally been able to officially reopen Cloudbridge Nature Reserve to the general public, after three months of closure due to the pandemic. It is such a pleasure to welcome visitors to the Reserve once more, and hear of their marvelous experience on the way out! We have also expanded our souvenir stand a bit, now offering beautiful artwork by local artists, some Cloudbridge stickers and locally produced probiotic beverages, in addition to the T-shirts, key chains and coasters that we have been offering for some time now. The revamped welcome center is very welcoming to visitors, in addition to having new signage regarding proper handwashing, social bubbles and preventative measures against Covid-19.
Visitors to Cloudbridge can once again visit the memorial garden, the labyrinth, several waterfalls, and kilometres of trails through gorgeous cloudforest. The opportunity to see wildlife is always present, but even if visitors aren´t lucky enough to see a troop of white-faced monkeys or a couple of coatis, they still gain great benefit from immersion in a natural environment, breathing the fresh air and getting a bit of excercise! We are also open to receive researchers and volunteers, we are very grateful to the few people who are scheduling their internships with us soon, after the pandemic has disrupted so many plans and lives.
Our three guest cabins are a perfect space to retreat into the forest with your loved ones and get away from it all. We are very grateful to all of the visitors who have taken the time to give us a good review at Tripadvisor after your time with us, this has led to us recently receiving a Traveller´s Choice Award, placing us in the top 10% worldwide…Thank you!
We are only a little over a week away from the 24 hours of Reality: Countdown to the future. The Climate Reality Project and TED are partnering for two days of presentations and discussions exploring the future we want and how we get there. It kicks off at 11am ET on October 10 with TED’s Countdown, a five-hour program of livestreamed TED talks and discussions with world-changing innovators and thought leaders confronting the climate crisis head-on and showing the way to a just, zero-carbon future. Then at 4pm ET, the activity continues with 24 full hours of digital presentations and discussions of how the climate crisis, COVID-19, and racial injustice shape our planet and this incredible moment. All led by former Vice President Al Gore and Climate Reality Leaders and happening all around the world. Cloudbridge director Casey McConnell will be participating with a climate change talk in Spanish on October 11th, at 1 pm Costa Rican time on FB live. We hope that you can join in!
On a lighter note, we have a magnificent puma that has been hanging around the reserve, it seems like every time we check the camera traps we get another glimpse of him (and we are always delighted!). We have posed the question on social media, and we would like to pose it here: What name do you suggest for him/her? Please let us know either through Facebook, Instagram, or sending us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking forward to selecting a name with your help!
The puma isn´t the only amazing feline we´ve had the opportunity to see in the camera trap images this month. This ocelot put in an appearance as well!
The diversity of tropical forests never ceases to astonish and inspire, from the fungi, lichens and plants to the charismatic fauna and towering trees. In September, a local environmental group, the Fundación Sembrando Agua held a small workshop on flora and fauna inventories. The director of Cloudbridge was able to participate, along with her husband, and it was a lovely experience.
- September has seen California and other Western States suffer unprecedented devastation from wildfires (or should we call them climate fires?), and the fire season is far from over. Portland-based writer Erica Berry explores how overlapping crisis can take a psychological toll in this opinion piece. Here is an article about «The science connecting wildfires to climate change«, though land management decisions such as fire suppression (disregarding and forbidding traditional indigenous practices) have also played a role.
- David Attenborough is well known and loved to naturalists around the world. His newest production Extinction: The Facts is refreshingly honest and real about these facts, depressing as they may be. The Global Biodiversity Outlook report that was published mid-September confirms that our ecosystems are suffering, though progress has been made in some areas, we have basically failed to meet the Biodiversity Targets laid out in Aichi almost ten years ago.
- Here is an interesting article about tipping points, an important concept to try and understand regarding climate change. And David Kabua, President of the Marshall Islands, speaks eloquently to the existential threat that his country is facing.
- I understand that these articles may be causing some distress, so here are two soothing and hopeful pieces: listen to astronaut Leland Melvin read Pablo Neruda, and explore how our language shapes our relationship with nature with Robin Wall Kimmerer.
- And finally, many of you have heard of the «Green New Deal», in this blog we have mentioned Naomi Klein´s book on the subject. Now an intellectual heavyweight, Noam Chomsky, has joined forces with economist Robert Pollins to produce the book Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal. In this interview, they speak about this fascinating topic.