Today we visited the Children's Eternal Rainforest otherwise known as Bosque Eterno De Los Ninos, Costa Rica's largest private reserve, and it's not just a cute name, the story behind the reserve will really pull at your heartstrings.
In 1987 a Swedish schoolteacher named Eha Kern invited a U.S. Biologist, Sharon Kinsman, to teach her students about rainforests. The children were so moved that they decided they would raise money to save the rainforests. Some of the children dressed up as trees and sold hugs (tree hugger, get it?) and they sparked a movement that encouraged over 40 countries to raise money to save the rainforests in Costa Rica. Today, the reserve has grown to 23,000 hectares which is about 56,000 acres.
This story was so inspiring to me. Often it's easy to feel frustrated and helpless when trying to effect change, but if a small group of children can start a movement, anyone can! The forest itself was beautiful and rich with a myriad of different plants so it's hard to pinpoint my favorite one, but there was a plant that they referred to as the “Toilet Paper” plant because the underbelly of the leaves felt like velvet and they could be used in a pinch if you had to relieve yourself in the jungle. Talk about beauty and function!