Meet Jorge and Mireya. These two lovely people are property owners in a nearby town called Naranjito. And last week, Titi Conservation Alliance along with over 50 school children and many teachers and volunteers went to their property to plant trees in areas that had become bare. By doing so, we are able to create a biological corridor for the local wildlife that uses trees to traverse the countryside. Remember, it’s rare to see a monkey on the ground therefore it’s so important that trees act as connecting bridges in order for them to have a more expansive region to call Home.
By planting more trees, we’re helping to preserve a future for the Mono Titi (Squirrel Monkey) as it’s necessary for them to meet up with other groups, outside of their area, to breed. Without trees, they are stuck in one specific area.
At the beginning of the day, Jorge saw me admiring his incredible view and started to talk with me about the history of the land. At one time, it was all owned by his parents but when his dad passed, the brothers (there are 4 total) divided up the land into quarters. There are a total of 20 hectares (almost 50 acres) of land in total. And much of it was still in its natural state however some areas had no trees on it and that’s why we were there. To help them reforest the area and return this land to its natural beauty, providing for the wildlife who live in the area.
When the kids and other volunteers began to plant the trees, Jorge took me on a walk alongside a stream on his property to look for morphos (the beautiful blue butterfly).
We saw one but as always, it never stopped, so we just enjoyed the moment as it fluttered by us. He did find an owl butterfly however that let me get within a few inches of it to take its photo. Such a beauty. Inside, it has a very pale blue/gray color but it never let its wings down while it was resting.
As we walked along the stream, he mentioned to me that he often has to clean it out from the trash that people from other areas dump…plastic bags and plastic bottles, mostly.
At the end of the event, I found a shady spot to rest on a log but shortly after sitting, Jorge asked me if I’d like to go to his house to wash off my boots (they were covered in mud) and talk with him and Marja. We walked over to his main house and immediately he showed me a green iguana that was hanging out on his awning. Marja invited me to sit and brought me a few crackers and a refreshingly cold glass of Iced Tea. They told me they often see the beautiful Lapas (scarlet macaws) which don’t exist where I live in Quepos/Manuel Antonio (even though it’s only a short distance away) and many monkeys traversing in the trees every day. When it was time to leave, they told me in Spanish, that I am invited there anytime, using the well-known expression of “mi casa es su casa”.
What a delight to meet this couple who cares for the environment and understands how precious a gift it is. I’m so fortunate to have met them and that Titi Conservation Alliance is working with them to reforest their land in order to protect it for generations to come.