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Letter to the Editor: We are students in Monteverde. This is why we are striking against climate change.

September 23, 2019

The Tico Times is proud to be an independent, English-language news source in Costa Rica. Our readers regularly submit editorials and responses to our articles. Send us yours: alejandro@ticotimes.net.

We want a future, but right now we don’t have one. There is zero time to waste, so we are going to make a change. On Friday, Sept. 27, a group of youth from Monteverde Friends School, and others from the community, are marching through the streets of Santa Elena to raise awareness about our failing world.

Forests everywhere are the reason we have such a “green” world. They allow us to breathe clean air that keeps us from getting sick. Around the world, forests give us life, bring joy, and provide an ecosystem for beautiful animals. In Monteverde, we are blessed with a special cloud forest ecosystem visited by hundreds of thousands of people every year. But instead of protecting this vital resource, we’re destroying it just because we care about how we look, what we have, and how much wealth we’ve accumulated. We need to stop.

In Costa Rica alone, 90% of the cloud forest will be destroyed in only 40 years, according to the most recent estimate. At this rate, we will be only 56 years old when almost the entire ecosystem we live in will be gone. What will our community do then? Monteverde specifically is based off of ecotourism, which wouldn’t exist without the beautiful nature surrounding us. No cloud forest means no economy.

Already, cloud covers are lifting in the forests around us. This means more dry days and an uncertain future for the amazing epiphytes that live high up in the canopy without roots, relying only on the clouds for their moisture. At the same time, we are already experiencing more short, intense spurts of rain, which is different from the spread out rainfall Monteverde used to see. These increasingly strong storms cause erosion and landslides. They also topple incredible trees that have been providing habitat to animals like the quetzal, sloth and bell bird for hundreds of years.

The golden toad is just one example of a species that went extinct because of the shift in climate. Before long, it won’t just be the golden toad.

We want the world to be great again. Growing up we were told by our parents that they want the best for us. Well, this isn’t it. The climate crisis is as serious as a bomb threat. So, why are we just sitting here doing nothing?

Not anymore. Students like us in over 130 countries are marching alongside us on Sept. 27 because we don’t want to see our beautiful world die. The clouds are rising, but the youth are rising faster.

Join us in making a change before we no longer have the chance.

Grace Pender, Thony Porras and Amaro Solís Quinn are students at Monteverde Friends School. 

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