The moment we reached the Costa Rican border we were met by torrential rain and a three-fold increase in prices of everything. I guess that’s the price you pay for luscious rainforest and  a transportation system that isn’t complete pandemonium (metered taxis were a pleasant surprise). Costa Rica has an economy that is heavily dependent on environmental tourism, resulting in an abundance of conservation and eco-tourism projects that take on volunteers.

We have spent the last week working with one such organisation, the Monteverde Conservation League, who manage the largest protected area in Costa Rica. It is named the “Children’s Eternal Forest”  because the land was acquired through the fundraising activities of children around the world.

We have spent some time filming in the rainforest and also been staying with the most friendly and hilarious family of artists who have been feeding us profusely with a veritable smorgasbord of delicious treats. We reigned in Katie’s Birthday with a cake the size of the tabletop.  It has, however, been quite a challenge for us to find new and exciting angles for the film as we are starting to find projects which are quite similar to other locations we have filmed at. In our exploration of Monteverde, however, we stumbled upon a butterfly garden which also takes on volunteers. Not being the same old non-profit NGOs that we are used too, it provided us with a fresh view of the world of volunteering – somewhat like “woofing” where volunteers get food and accommodation. Here we met some inspiring and experienced characters who gave us a great insight into the philosophy of volunteering and have given us a renewed enthusiasm for the project.

I hope you enjoy my butterfly video. Its a bit self-indulgent and unnecessary but its my birthday and I don’t care.

All the best. K&M


Monteverde butterflies from Value of Volunteering on Vimeo.


  1. It’s a lovely video, happy belated birthday Katie!

  2. Today I’ve been thinking about a vaeitry of things, among them you, and I sought to see if maybe you were still writing. And here you are. I’ve really enjoyed so far what I’ve read on here. (Notably Cactus versus Plumeria, especially this line: Her ears fluttered with waves and wind and wild.)Anyways, down to business. Responding to Mr. Jancik, you asked: [W]hat keeps people from pursuing their dreams fully?My response to your question is a question too: Are all dreams worth pursuing? I suppose at the heart of the question is this: Are all dreams worth dreaming?I look forward to your answer.

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