In 1972, George Powell, a scientist who was undertaking his predoctoral research on area birds, was amazed at the extraordinary biological riches of the cloud forest, which included the total habitat of the golden frog, a species endemic to Monteverde. Dismayed at the depreciation brought down by hunters and land speculators, Powell became interested in preserving part of this habitat. He obtained a donation of 328 hectares (820 acres) of land owned by Guacimal Land Co. that had been set aside for mining purposes. All that was needed was an organization capable of administering the property, since the land had been invaded by squatters.
George and his wife joined forces with Wilford Guindon, a resident and member of the local Quaker community. Together, they approached the Tropical Science Center in search of advice. By that time, TSC had become a Costa Rican non-profit organization, and had a program in place for the creation of private reserves for biological research and education. It also met the requirements for accepting donations of land. Powell joined TSC and the Center took on the responsibility institutionally for the administration of this upcoming protected area.Read More
A brief history of the Monteverde quakers
Early in the 50's a group of quakers from the United States and their families arrived in Costa Rica. Led by Hubert Mendenhall, John Cambell, Howard Rockwell, and Wilford Guindon, they settled in Monteverde at a time when colonization in the region was just beginning. Their history (1951-2001) is described in detail in the book Monteverde Jubilee Family Album.
It was in 1972 that biologist George Powell joined Wilford Guindon, one of the Monteverde Quaker pioneers, to promote the establishment of the natural preserve now known as the Monteverde Cloud Forest. An area of extraordinary beauty and biodiversity, it is today the best-known private reserve on the Central American Isthmus.