Something To Be Proud Of

We can all be proud to have planted 35,000+ trees in the past six months in the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project. Here are a lot of photos of the last two weeks of planting and a bit of story too. The video below shows the love each tree is planted with.

Introducing the Rio Sol planting team minus Daniel Spreen. He is a part of this amazing team and works beside them all day. They’ve been planting since last June.

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Jimmy Acosta Elizondo, LRFF’s Field Director

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Deibys Villalobos Sibaja

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Chavo, Argelio Garcia Talavera

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Allan Hernandez Mendieta

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Favian Solano Quiros

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Otoniel Acosta Elizondo

And last but not least………..

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Esteban Mojica Miranda, the most glamorous of the team


The crew began planting the last 4000 trees on Monday January 16th at Moncho’s property on the Rio de la Muerte. The nearest road to the property was on the other side of the river. Barbed wire and staples for the fencing, 2000 trees to and all other equipment had to be carried across and down the river to the planting site.

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Daniel and Deibys crossing with their daily stuff

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Chavo, Deibys and Jimmy with rolls of barbed wire

At this particular place along the Rio de la Muerte the local fish, Sabalete, abound. The first day, after work, the guys caught a large one. Jimmy took it home to cook in the traditional Maleku way and bring for lunch the following day.

The next day Deibys’ girlfriend Jasmine, Martha her mother and grandmother came to work with the team. They’d heard about the fish caught the day before……….

The women pulled in another big fish. Jimmy got a fire going and they all feasted on fresh roasted fish that afternoon.

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Barbecued fish on a natural platter

The team had over 700 meters of fence to construct for the tree corridor. This took over two days, another day bringing the trees from the nursery and across the river and the last day and a half was spent planting the trees.

Before the planting began Jimmy asked us to bring him a carpenter’s apron to put the staples and hammer in while they constructed the fence. We didn’t have that kind of apron so I gave Daniel my kitchen apron with a pocket and told him to give it to Jimmy the next day. Jimmy wouldn’t wear it but Deibys was more than happy to. <:D Later they told me they just don’t know what happens to them out there planting trees. From the photo below and the one of beautiful Esteban above in his exquisite corset you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

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The team, including Deibys (second from left) wearing my apron

They finished Moncho’s on the 20th and would begin Isidro Blanco’s property on the Rio Sol in Palenque Margarita on Monday.

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Isidro’s fenced restoration area

This time they only had to construct 100 meters of fence, that’s always the first step in a planting area to keep the cows and horses out. The next step was carrying the trees from Isidro’s nursery near his house to the planting site. Look at how these trees move…..

Let’s take a break and have a look at some of the nature photos Daniel took during the planting.

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Green Honeycreeper feeding from unknown vine fruit

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Jacobin and fruit cups

The team found this vine winding up in a large tree. It was flowering and fruiting. The fruits were deep cups that, when ripe, open at the top and are filled with a sweet juice. We drank the nectar from the cups and it was GOOD. If anyone knows what this vine is or even the family please let us know. We’ve never seen it before.

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Jacana in a swampy area

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Warbler in Manzana de Agua tree with flowers

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Red-winged Blackbird

Daniel left on Monday mornings and stayed in Guatuso until Friday after the team was paid. He took a few photos of his favorite restaurant and downtown Guatuso…….

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The best restaurant in town, al fresco

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Downtown Guatuso

Back to the planting…..the fence was built on Monday, the trees hauled to the site and some were planted. On Tuesday the team finished the planting and began on Jimmy’s family’s property. Their property is next to Isidro’s along the river.

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Isidro Blanco’s after planting, along the Rio Sol

The other properties had cattle but Jimmy’s never had cattle consequently all of the huge grasses and banana like plants had to be chopped. The crew spent all of Tuesday, Wednesday and part of Thursday chopping with machetes to prepare the land for planting. They found four Fer de Lance on that 1½ hectare piece! Very dangerous work.

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The crew chopping at Jimmy’s in Palenque Margarita

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The crew with Daniel in Palenque Margarita

All of that chopping and snake danger plus it being at the extreme end of the Rio Sol project wore that old team of guys out. They didn’t let that bother them and acted accordingly…………..

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Esteban jumping in the Rio Sol in Margarita

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He hits the water!

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Visiting after work. Do you think they’re planning the next day’s work, HA?

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Lunch on the Rio Sol

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They were even snoring on Amanda’s porch in Margarita

Amanda, Nécasé is her true Maleku name, is Jimmy’s sister. She lives on the property in Palenque Margarita. Her house, as you can see above, became the informal “office” of the planting team.

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Nécasé in her workshop on the Rio Sol.
This is where she creates her Green iPhone speakers for LRFF

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Deibys on the phone in his office while Esteban waits with a load of trees on his head

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Finally payday comes on Friday at Nécasé’s rancho

The team planted the last tree in the Rio Sol Biological Corridor at 9:00 am on Friday the 27th of January. We realized in the end, by seeing the entire project as a whole in our minds, that we had planted a continuous corridor on the Maleku side of the Rio Sol from Lillian and Julio Tinoco’s property in Palenque Sol to and including the Acosta Elizondo property in Margarita. Then at Franklin Mojica’s following the upper part of the Rio Sol and up into Viento Fresco at Marvin Castro’s which is on the banks of the Rio Sol near the source.

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One last team photo with Jimmy, in front of the “office”

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Daniel with a beer on his head, celebrating

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Exiting after planting 35,000 trees in that little car, Joya

Are you proud of what you have done yet? If not you most definitely should be because without all of us putting our energy together, willing the restoration of our Earth, it wouldn’t get done Thank you each and every one of you for your support and positive energy this past year as we strove to implement this project. Thank you to Pierre Andres and etnies shoes for your generous donation for the trees. Thank you to the amazing Rio Sol planting crew, especially you Jimmy, “hasta la muerte”. Thank you to all the volunteers that have come on board this past year and the GREEN group for their most recent supply of volunteers and tour groups at La Reserva.

We have more projects ready for planting this year again, so far 15 hectares. Watch for those, out in Guatuso as well and………………



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2 Responses to Something To Be Proud Of

  1. sara says:

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring project. We planted 2000 plus in 2011. We’re trying out the alders (jual) as a “cover crop” to remediate the eroded soil due to the years of being pasture and for the acid due to the nearness to Volcan Poas. It is so wonderful to see the trees grow and the wildlife return. Thank you Roberta.

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