Cloudbridge started off the new year with a full house of people volunteering and researching.
Katy from Australia and Meghna from the UK are our latest GVI interns and they are continuing with the ongoing biological survey. The survey intends to provide a database of information for future researchers as well as document the changes in wildlife that occur following reforestation. The Cloudbridge partnership with GVI allows us to maintain a long term project with consistency.
GVI is a non-political, non-religious organisation, which runs over 100 projects in 25 countries. GVI volunteers fill a critical void in the fields of environmental research, conservation, education and community development.
Global Vision International (GVI) was formed in 1997 to provide support and services to international charities, non-profits and governmental agencies, through volunteering opportunities, internship programmes, training and direct funding. For more information http://www.gvi.co.uk/volunteer-abroad
Oskar from Germany, is volunteering with us on electrical projects, already wiring our second and newest cabina, he has converted the cassita from solar to micro hydro and will tackle the casa next.
Marlyse (Utah, US) is writing informational/nature notes to be included on our sendero principal and Rio for tourist education.
Clarice (Kentucky, US) is back for her third time continuing with her study of the plant Gunnera and it’s symbiotic relationship with Nostoc a nitrogen fixing cyano bacteria.
Adam (WA, US) returns as our Resident Biologist for the third season. It is always great getting Adam back with his expertise to lead tours and share information with visitors. He is also continuing work on updating signage and our website.
Aro volunteers returned to Cloudbridge for their 4th year They helped to level an area for a new vivero/ tree nursery and landscaped around the new cabina. The ARO volunteers are always some of our hardest workers.
Aro CoopérAction InterNational is a not-for-profit organization based in Montreal Quebec, Canada that educates about human values, peace, cooperation, and international relations through social, cultural, and linguistic immersion through exchange programes.
Wilderness Inquiry returned to hike the Cloudbridge and Talamanca trails, The tour was originally designed by Tom Gode and is now in it’s 7th year in Costa Rica. Wilderness Inquiry serves people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities on canoe, sea kayak, horse-pack, raft, hike, dogsled and safari adventures for 35 years.
After our hike we all went into San Gerardo to the Cafe Bambu for traditional food and music.
Gatton Academy (Kentucky) returned for their third year to spend 7 days conducting field experiments. Thanks to Cloudbridge volunteers, Linda Moskalyk-Tree group, Adam Wicks-Arshak- Heliconia group, Clarice Esch-Gunnera group, Sarah Pritchett -Hydrology group, Tom Gode-Bio monitoring group, Derrick Strode- Mammal group and Keith Philips -Dung Beetle group and leaf litter group. Gatton was named the number 1 public high school in the US in 2012. It is always great to work with such engaging young minds.
We want to thank the individuals who have donated through the onsite donation box and those who have donated through our website.
On Line doners -Pam Schweitzer and Family, Amy Shimanek, Agatha Cinader
Construction for the 2nd cabina to house volunteers is well underway.
New Cloudbridge Manager
Mauricio Contreras Vasquez (Chile) joined Cloudbridge in January as our new Manager, Tom will continue on as Director and focus on special projects. Mauricio is a psychologist and MSc in conservation and wildlife management. He has experience working with small mammals, snakes, frogs and sea turtles in tropical rainforests in Costa Rica, Argentina, Australia and Chile, His passion for nature has taken him to travel and work in many different countries including Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Brazil, Paraguay and Costa Rica. He has lived in Costa Rica for 5 years and worked with sea turtles (Ostional, Tortuguero, Pacuare,Osa peninsula) and completed his master’s degree here. Born and raised in Chile he now calls Costa Rica home.
Tom and Linda returned from a trip to South Africa. During their visit they had a chance to meet with other organizations involved in tree planting and conservation projects in that country- Green Pop, The Cape Winelands Biosphere, and The Platbos Forest Reserve. They also visited “Wildcliff” a reserve founded by Jenny and Ian Giddy.
Linda has opened her art studio ( which is located adjacent to the main trail) to the public. Visitors are welcome to come in to view the gallery, enjoy the art, and engage in discussion on the use of art for conservation education. Linda’s website is www.prairieartist.com