Quakers in Costa Rica Registration

Quakers in Costa Rica: Social and Ecological Dynamics Through the Lens of a Unique Community

Dave Lowther — Middle School Mathematics

Monday, April 1
7–9 p.m.
Room 159 in the Middle School

Dave grew up running barefoot through the tropical rainforest of Costa Rica in the ‘70s, where he spent time climbing strangler fig trees, eating wild ginger and heart of palm, and attending school in a one-room schoolhouse that was also the Quaker meetinghouse. For a number of years, he didn’t own a pair of shoes. 

During this seminar, Dave will share insights from his experience and lead the class through a discussion of memoirs written by Quaker settlers about the origins of their Costa Rican community. In 1950, a group of Quaker dairy farmers, who had recently been released from prison for refusing to register for the peacetime draft, moved with their families to the tropical mountain cloud forest of Costa Rica. They pooled their money and bought a large plot of land on top of a mountain and then started felling trees to make dairy farms. They also set aside 1,000 acres of forest at the headwaters of the Guacimal River for the purpose of protecting the forest, the river, and the animals. 

The class will also read about the fascinating ecological systems of the rainforest and discuss how these systems are foundational to the Costa Rican Quaker community. The original 1,000 acres set aside by the Quakers has expanded into a protected area that is currently more than 70,000 acres, supported by multiple organizations, environmental tourism, and worldwide fundraising.

Required texts include Readings from Tropical Nature by Adrian Forsythe ($11.99 on Kindle) and The Monteverde Jubilee by Early Settlers of Monteverde, Costa Rica (scanned copies of the relevant sections will be provided to registrants in advance).

Tuition for this class is $25.00.
Participants: minimum of 6 and maximum of 18.

Note: Class may be cancelled (with a full refund) if enrollment does not meet the minimum. 


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