A unique butterfly garden highlights our work in Costa Rica! You’re needed to help plant native species that attract butterflies, build walkways, lay gravel, and landscape the garden.
Costa Rica’s Astounding Biodiversity
While Costa Rica covers a mere 0.03% of the Earth’s land surface, it contains nearly 5% of all of the species of flora and fauna on the planet. All in this little area – about 19, 730 square miles – which is smaller than the state of West Virginia. With the exception of the arid regions in Guanacaste, Costa Rica is lush and green year round. Its thick forests, vast wetlands, and misty mountains are bursting with life. This all makes Costa Rica one of the most biodiverse spots on the entire planet. Some might ask what exactly biodiversity is. Biodiversity refers to the amount of species of both flora and fauna found in a given area. For example, Costa Rica is home to 205 known mammal species while the U.S. is home to 428, but the United States is almost 193 times larger than Costa Rica! That is a lot of species in a small place! No wonder Costa Ricans care about conservation and sustainability. Twenty-five percent of all of Costa Rica’s land is protected areas.
Costa Rica is home to over 1, 200 species of butterflies! The butterfly garden helps preserve this important resource. The most famous butterfly in Costa Rica is the Blue Morpho, with a wingspan of up to 15 cm and bright neon-blue iridescent wings.
Related to all of this wonderful biodiversity is a special project volunteers will be working on in Santa Elena, Costa Rica from March 4 – 18, 2017. Our community partner, Colegio, has requested our help on landscaping their campus butterfly garden. Colegio is a secondary school (seventh to twelfth grades) nestled in the mountains of the cloud forest region of Monteverde, which is also one of the most biodiverse spots in Costa Rica due to the converging winds from the Pacific and Caribbean sides. Here, Global Volunteers works with students whose studies focus on tourism, hospitality, sustainability, and agriculture. Many of them are studying ecotourism and rural tourism and will work as guides upon graduation. At Colegio, students learn all about the biodiversity of their region and country and the identification of species (and all by their scientific names as well as their common names in both Spanish and English). The butterfly garden on the school campus will be an outdoor classroom for learning all about butterflies in Costa Rica.
A Unique and Exciting Project
Our friends in Costa Rica are very excited about their butterfly garden. Please join us for this special project in gorgeous Costa Rica in March. In your free time in evenings and on the middle weekend, you can explore the amazing biodiversity of this region by visiting the cloud forest preserves, the adventure parks, the butterfly gardens, the chocolate and coffee tours, and the orchid gardens. You will have a blast learning about the incredible biodiversity of the region and working with the students at Colegio!