Who are we?


The Monteverde Conservation League (MCL) is a non-profit civil organization, declared a Public Utility institution for the interests of the State by the decree 33632-J. Our mission is “to conserve, preserve, and rehabilitate tropical ecosystems and their biodiversity”. The organization was founded in 1986 by a group of local Monteverde residents concerned for the preservation of local natural resources.

The MCL is composed of 60 active members who attend a yearly meeting to hold elections for the organization’s board of directors. The composition of the active members of the organization in terms of their nationalities, backgrounds, and philosophical principles are diverse, but in the end have a common goal to conserve the forest.

Since its beginnings, the primary project of the MCL has been the acquisition of land in order to conserve it. With the support from hundreds of people from over 44 different countries, the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (Bosque Eterno de los Niños, or BEN) was created. The reserve boasts over 22,500 hectares, and is the largest private reserve in Costa Rica.

The BEN borders Arenal National Park, the higher elevations of Monteverde and Miramar, stretches to the Alberto Manuel Brenes Reserve in San Ramón, and continues through the San Carlos zone near the populations of San Jorge, La Tigra, San Isidro de Peñas Blancas, Chachagua, and El Castillo.

On an administrative level, the MCL has three areas of priority: Protection and Monitoring, Environment and Human Development, and Investigation and Applied Technology.

We believe that human beings are an important component in the ecosystems in which they live because they depend directly upon the soils, air, flora, and fauna around them. At the same time, the stability of ecosystems depends greatly upon how humans interact with them and their components. We are aware that beyond the limits of the BEN there are other processes that can affect the conservation efforts of the MCL; much of our success depends upon the activities of the communities around the BEN. Based upon these principles, the MCL has developed a series of programs and an administrative structure that are described in the following links:

Reforestation Program

Research Program

Protection and Monitoring Program

Maintenance Program

Environmental Education Program

Volunteer Program

Global Climate Change Program

Awards and Recognition

Founding Member of the of Costa Rican Nature Reserve Network, 1995

The Network was established as an initiative to create a united non-profit association, composed of an important number of private nature reserves. Together, the Network protects an area of at least 100,000 hectares of land, the majority of which is primary forest.

Some of the objectives of the Network are:
To represent and defend the interests of the owners of the involved Private Nature Reserves on a combined and individual level against the government, international entities, non-governmental organizations, and private entities.

To effectively collaborate with private, public, national, and international groups and institutions that work for conservation of ecosystems and well-being of rural communitie.

Support for the Improvement of the Quality of Life, Defensoría de los Habitantes de la República.
On the 31st of October, 2000, the Office of the Defense of the Habitants of Costa Rica recognized the MCL as an organization that contributes to the improvement of the quality of life and to the habitants of Costa Rica. They specifically acknowledged the MCL’s efforts in education, conservation, research, and the sustainable use of natural resources through agro forestry practices, as well as for the protection and management of the Río Guacimal Watershed.

Authorized to receive income tax-deductible donations.
According to the official document ATP-06-353-2006, dated the 18th of July 2006, the Administración Tributaria announced that in agreement with subsection q) of article 8 of the Income Tax Law number 7092 of the 21 of April 1988 and its reforms the Monteverde Conservation Association is authorized to receive tax deductable donations. The donations can be given in the form of currency, goods, or services.


Declared a Public Utility Institution
According to El Diario Oficial La Gaceta dated the 19 of March 2007, decree No. 33632-J, the MCL is declared a Public Utility Institution in the Interest of the State.

Decreto Utilidad Publica ACM.pdf

Award for Excellence in Conservation of Costa Rican Biodiversity
On the 22 of May 2008, the Costa Rican Biodiversity Institute (INBio) honored the MCL with an award for Excellence in the Conservation of Biodiversity for being a model and innovator for the conservation and valuation of tropical biodiversity. Along the same lines, the Monteverde Corporation bestowed a certificate upon the MCL for being a role model for Monteverde and the rest of the world to follow.


Part of of the Reserva de la Biósfera Agua y Paz, UNESCO
A delegation of the MCL participated in an event on the 15 of September through the 02 of October 2007 as part of the celebration of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (BEN) with the goal to promote the campaign to declare the BEN as a sitio Patrimonio Mundial de La Humanidad o Reserva de la Biósfera Agua y Paz under UNESCO to European governmental groups and other organizations.

A dream was born in Switzerland…to have a forest dedicated to children…and it was in Switzerland where the delegation included the BEN as part of the new Reserva de La Biósfera Agua y Paz on the 19th of September, 2007.

The accession of the Monteverde Conservation League as a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN)
The IUCN Council at its 68th meeting held in South Africa from 19 to 20 November 2007 approved the accession of the Monteverde Conservation League as a member of the Union in Category B (c) - national NGOs. The World Conservation Union is the world’s largest and most important conservation network. The Union brings together 83 States, 110 government agencies, more than 800 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide partnership. Members are able to develop relationships by being part of an alliance of governments and NGOs. Members also have the possibility to expand their networks through international contacts with the Union's staff, experts and other IUCN members.

Education and Conservation Efforts
The organization Ecobike of Monteverde presented an award to the MCL for its outstanding work with environmental education and conservation of the environment on the 06 of June 2008.

Participant in the Costa Rican Pavilion in the ExpoAgua, Zaragoza, Spain
The representative for the ExpoAgua in Costa Rica requested that the MCL and the Children’s Eternal Rainforest participate in the ExpoAgua and Sustainable Development in Zaragoza, Spain, 2008.  Representatives from the MCL participated in the Expo from the 14 of June until the 02 of July, 2008 in the Costa Rica Pavilion, located in the Latina America building. Representatives focused on defining the mission of the MCL, the Children’s Eternal Rainforest, and the biological corridors in Costa Rica. They also worked to promote the importance of the relationship between natural reserves in Costa Rica and their contribution to the mitigation of climate change. Additionally, representatives accepted donations for the MCL’s land purchase and conservation campaign.


Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the entity that manages the association. The board supervises the direction and administration of the association, as well as defines its responsibilities. It directs the programs destined to achieve our mission to preserve, conserve, and rehabilitate tropical ecosystems and their biodiversity.

The objectives of the association are: I) the conservation, defense, and recuperation of the country’s natural resources, including its soil, water, air, flora, and fauna, II) the decontamination and protection of the physical, biotic, and cultural environment, III) and the search for the adequate equilibrium and healthy coexistence between human beings and nature.

It is the interest of this association to offer future generations an improved natural heritage and a framework that minimizes contamination.

The Board of Directors is elected by the Members of the General Assembly who meet once every year. All are honorary members and the list of the Board of Directors is as follows:

Board of Directors
Mark Wainwright, President
Julia Matamoros, Vice-president
Sofía Arce, Secretary
Bob Law, Treasurer
Jorge Maroto, Vocal I
Eladio Cruz, Vocal II
Robert Rojas, Vocal III

Marcos A. Méndez, First Fiscal
Yimer Morales, Second Fiscal

Lic. Ismael Calvo, External Auditor
Lic. Víctor González, Surveyer
Lic. Ricaute Jiménez, Legal and Judicial (Ad Honorem)
Licda. Maylin Quirós, Legal and Judicial
Lic. Marco V. Retana, Judicial


Employees of the Monteverde Conservation League

Executive Director
Yúber Rodríguez

Administrative Personnel
Marianela Muñoz, Accounting Assistant.
Rosibel Fallas, Servicios Miscelaneous Services.
María Luisa Retana, Miscelaneous Services..
Giselle Rodríguez, Executive Secretary.
Luz Mery Vásquez, Administrative Assistant Atlantic Area.

Program and Department Coordinators
Walter Bonilla, Accounting and Finance Coordinator.
Hernán Chacón, Protection and Monitoring Program Coordinator.
Luis A. Solano, Maintenance and Operations Coordinator.
Giselle Rodríguez, Human Resources Coordinator and Community Affairs Committee
Yúber Rodríguez, Forestry and Environmental Payment Service Program Coordinator.
Marianella Muñoz, Sales Program Coordinator.
Carolina Brizuela, Environmental Educator Atlantic Area.

Ecoturism and Areas
Ivannia Arguedas, Bajo del Tigre Visitor Center.
Leslie Corrales, Information Center.
José Soto, Bajo del Tigre Reception.
Marcelino Rodríguez, Finca Steller Visitor Center.
L. Geovanny González, San Gerardo Field Station.
Ivannia Moreno, San Gerardo Cook.
Alexander Herrera, Pocosol Field Station.
Roberto Sánchez, Pocosol Field Station.

Maintenance and Operations Program
Erick A. Barquero
Edwin Méndez
Henry Murillo
Jorge Luis Ramírez

Protection and Monitoring Program
Freddy Campos
Javier M. Fernández
Arturo A. Sánchez
Alberto Zúñiga





Adrian Forsyth 
Sharon Kinsman         
Harriet McCurd  
George Powell
Eha Kern
Patricia Fogden  
Michael Fogden
Gerardo Céspedes
Bob Law
Marco V. Retana

Wilford Guindon Hall      08/02/1986*
William A. Haber  08/02/1986*
Richard LaVal Bugg   08/02/1986*
Bob Walter Law Britton   08/02/1986*
Joseph David Stuckey  08/02/1986*
John Trostle 08/02/1986*
Guillermo Vargas Leitón 08/02/1986*
James Wolfe Ashley 08/02/1986*
Francis John Joyce 24/01/1989
John Thomas Longino 24/01/1989
Nalini Moreshwar Nadkarni 24/01/1989
Susie Newswanger Kilmer 24/01/1989
Katherine C. VanDusen 24/01/1989
José Luis Vargas Leitón 24/01/1989
Willow Zuchowski Pushkin 24/01/1989
Bruce Erick Young  21/02/1989
Suzanne Leseur Trostle 01/02/1990
Marvin Hidalgo Montero 16/02/1990
Alexander Alvarado Méndez 23/03/1990
Carmen María Rojas González 08/10/1990
María del Carmen Campos Araya 24/05/1991
Gerardo Céspedes Rodríguez 24/05/1991
Jorge Maroto Puga 04/11/1992
Yimer Morales 04/11/1992
Juan Carlos Corrales Arce 18/08/1993
Karen Masters 18/08/1993
Martha Iris Salazar Méndez 20/07/1994
Julia Matamoros Alvarado 20/07/1994
Oscar Mario Vargas Solís 23/06/1995
Carlos Luis Muñoz Brenes 19/12/2000
Freddy Cruz Méndez  02/02/2001
Robert Rojas Vásquez 02/02/2001
José Edgardo Arévalo Hernández  20/07/2001
Eladio Cruz Leitón 08/02/2002
Jorge Arturo Torres Ortega  20/05/2005
Ricaute Jiménez 10/06/2005
Otto Méndez 10/06/2005
Yúber Rodríguez Santamaría 16/12/2005
Mark Wainwright   21/11/2006
Luis A. Solano Morales 18/05/2007
Roland Paul 15/08/2008
Walter Bonilla 08/01/2010
Mills Tandy 08/01/2010
Hernán Chacón 23/09/2011
Deborah Hamilton 16/12/2011
Evelyn Rockwell 16/12/2011
Sofía Arce Flores 20/01/2012
Giuliano Salazar Gigli 20/01/2012
Jose A. Soto Segura 20/01/2012
Mercedes Días Herrera 11/02/2012
María A. Vargas Chacón 11/02/2012
Geiner Alvarado Huertas 20/04/2012
Marcos A. Méndez Sibaja 02/11/2012
Jannelle Wilkins 30/11/2012
Mauricio Vargas Salazar 12/12/2012
Jaime Del Castillo 26/07/2013
John Devereax Joslin 16/05/2014
Selena Avedaño 20/01/2015
Fabricio Camacho             20/01/2015
Randy Chindhilla 20/01/2015
María Estela Coghi 20/01/2015
Wim De Backer 20/01/2015
Marlene Leitón    20/01/2015
Gabriela McAdam 20/01/2015
Priscilla Palavasi 20/01/2015
Fern Perkins 20/01/2015
John Porras          20/01/2015
Manuel Solís 20/01/2015
Maricella Solís 20/01/2015
Justin Welch 20/01/2015

Carlos Guindon Standing  24/01/1989
Cynthia Echeverría López 24/01/1989
Gregory Murray Kevin 24/01/1989
James Ervin Crisp McGowan  24/01/1989
Marcy Lawton 24/01/1989
Alan Pounds Joseph 24/01/1989
Robert M. Timm 24/01/1989
Nathaniel T. Wheelwright 24/01/1989
Kathy Winnett-Murray 24/01/1989
Lisa Ellis 01/02/1990
Martha H. Moss 05/06/1990
Omar Coto Loría 05/06/1991
Ree Sheck 05/06/1991
Tahnee Robertson 05/06/1991
Alan Masters 18/08/1993
J. Mauricio García Cambronero 20/07/1994
Gordon Patty 21/06/1996
Jorge Vargas Cullel 17/08/2001
Carlos Aburto      18/05/2008
Alexander Kopper 18/05/2008
Matilde Steiner    18/05/2008
Tom Newmark    20/01/2012
Michael Besancon             15/06/2012


César Santamaría Hidalgo 16/02/1990
Marvin Martín Chaverrí 24/01/2002
Gilbert Jiménez Badilla 16/02/1992
Carlos Luis Muñoz Brenes 19/12/2000
José Luis Cambronero Cruz  20/05/2005
Sean O´Donell 20/05/2005
Margaret Whitten 20/01/2006
Richard Whitten 20/01/2006