When first researching Costa Rica for our honeymoon Monteverde was ALWAYS a top destination in any search. And I can totally see why! We had a fabulous time here! To start, here’s the kinda kooky backstory to this paradise in the clouds:
It all started in 1949 when a group of Quakers refused to be drafted in the Korean War (they are pacifists via their religion), they were jailed and then decided to leave the USA for Costa Rica. Why Costa you may ask? Well, fun fact! Costa Rica abolished their military a few years prior, therefore the Quakers could avoid the risk being drafted for war. Although we were personally unable to go to any of the Quaker-related sites in Monteverde, they are still living there and have established a nice community.
Interesting sidenote: One of the Quaker founders recently passed away and I found this article while planning our trip to Monteverde.
What do Quakers have to do with anything? Well, this Quaker community was the first one to establish any sort of protected habitat in the area and they are still heavily involved in environmental activism. Without this forest, there would be no tourism here.
Now all this eco-tourism in Monteverde really kicked-off in 1983 when National Geographic wrote an article about the Cloud Forest, specifically that it is a fantastic place to see the quetzal bird (we didn’t see any though). What’s so cool about this bird? From an art history perspective, the feathers are extremely rare because each bird only has 2 of the long green feathers. These feathers of the quetzal make up an image from our AP Art History Curriculum aptly named the Feather Headdress (see below).