History of Monteverde

From the Monteverde Jubilee Family Album;
Prepared by Sustainable Futures 2001 Students Laurie Baker & Viola Posthuma.


March 24, 1905
Cartago destroyed by earthquake; Poas had greatest eruption.

November 30, 1918
Volcanco Irazu erupts

October 26, 1949
“If you like this country, and if you don’t like it, you ought to move out…” said the United States judge to the Quakers. “The law is you must register…there is nothing I can do but to sentence you unless I go back on my oath of office. I have to live with my conscience. I swore to uphold the law .. there is nothing in the world I can do but sentence you.”

mid 1950s
A major economic shift occurs in San Luis from a subsistence economy to a cash economy. As a result of building of the coffee beneficio, people begin growing coffee in large amounts and buying more of what they needed. People buy more conveniences, but people also went into debt and lost their farms. For the first time in San Luis there were more people without land and people with more land than they could work.

April 19, 1951
Quakers purchased land and named it “Monteverde”

1951
Monteverde Friends Meeting/School House
Monteverde Town Meeting
Bosqueterno Forest set aside

August 22, 1951
First Quaker wedding in Monteverde

1952
Monteverde Monthly meeting of Friends
First house (Rockwell) in Monteverde

July 26, 1952
Jaundice epidemic

May 15, 1953
Papers signed to begin Dairy Plant

April 8, 1954
Opening of the Cheese Factory

1954
Productores de Monteverde – the first major industry

Spring 1954
Song of Monteverde

1955
Lindora power plant – supplier of electricity for the local and wider community

October 12, 1955
3 days & 3 nights of rain, 2-3 days of steady rain in afternoon cause landslides, lost bridges, crops, transportation shutdown. Mud was like quicksand.

October 23, 1955
4-5 days of rain

1956
Since 1951 there were a total of 541 visitors to Monteverde. 1956 and 1958 are top years for visitors: 60 per each year.

Spring 1956
National Meteorological Service sets up weather station by Abner & Irna’s Pension at 1450 meters.

1958
First high school graduate
During first ten years, 19 babies were born to Monteverde families. First directions were from Childbirth Manual by U.S. Dept. of Labor

1961
Population of Monteverde community (from Quebrada Maquina to Monteverde Reserve) is 64 – ages 2 months through 82 years

1963
Volcan Irazu erupts

1966
La Cima Credit Union

1968
Volcan Arenal erupts

April 1970
Biologists arrive

1971
Bosqueterno Forest officially organized and named

October 1971
CoopeSanta Elen, R.L. founded

1972
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve organized by Tropical Science Center

1973
Organization of Tropical Studies program initiated bringing groups to Monteverde

April 14, 1973
Earthquake–Rictor Scale measures 6.5

1974
Asociacion de Desarrollo de Sta. Elena

1975
Health clinic in Santa Elena inaugurated

1976
The “Puffers” Committee was organized. Made up of a volunteer group of Monteverde residents, they were concerned with the problems of aging and illness in the community.

1977
Associacion de Desarrollo de San Luis
Colegio in Santa Elena

1978
Sunset House began construction
The building, commonly known as Puffers, was completed in 1978. The building is furnished with minimum equipment for housekeeping and some nursing equipment, such as two hospitals beds, wheel chair, walker, commode, crutches, first-aid kit. etc. The use of the building is restricted to residents of Monteverde.
Community library built – now contains over 17,000 books

1979
What is currently La Cascada is still operating as a quarry.

1980
Santa Elena cloud Forest Reserve
CASEM (women’s artisans co-op) begins with 20.000.00 loan and eight members

1981
Oscar Montien first resident of Puffers

April 1982
CASEM’s first fair held at the Pension Queztal

1983
Banco Nacional de Costa Rica branch in Santa Elena

1984
CASEM moves to official store in Santa Elena – 60 women working

1985
Asociacion Buen Amigo – co-op farm organized in San Luis.
Biologists play leading roles in Monteverde Conservation League & Institute. League is second only to Cheese Plant in number of area residents it employs.

June 13, 1985
First meeting to discuss promotion of organization in the Monteverde Zone (20-20)

December 27, 1985
Charter meeting of the new Monteverde Conservation League was held at the Pension Quetzal

1986
Monteverde Institute started
The Montverde Conservation League formed to preserve the Pacific slope forest, with the following tenets:

Promote sustainable development; Preserve threatened Caribbean slope forest area; Promote research on and practice of reforestation; Promote environmental education.

Monteverde Conservation League awarded a pilot grant of $25,000 for land acquisition from the World Wildlife Fund.
Membership in CASEM was 75 women and two men, the average sale per member per month was 1.500.00

Spring 1986
California EAP program requests to run a course in Tropical Biology at the Monteverde Institute. The community begins to realize that while tourism cannot be controlled, it is sometimes possible to guide it in creative ways we might guide college groups into longer term high quality educational programs, and by so doing, develop new jobs and careers for area residents, as well as create educational and cultural activities for the zone.

1987
CASEM moved to new building in Monteverde

1988
Bosque Etemo de los Nines – program of the Conservation League
Puffer committee becomes official committee of the Monteverde Monthly Meeting of Friends and title of property was transferred to the Asociacion de los Amigos de Monteverde.

September 14, 1988
Hurricane Gilbert

1990
20/20 Planning organization (functioned for about three years)
ICE supplanted Lindora power plant

1991
Adventist School

1992
Creative Learning Center
Monteverde Music Festival

1995
The Monteverde Music Festival reappears after a one-year absence.
First MVI Sustainable Futures
Friends School addition

January 1995
For music lovers, all roads lead into the cloud forest for the first six weeks.

1997
Language school CPI

October 28, 1998
Hurricane Mitch

2000
Renovation of Rockwell-Boehm House – Art Center Opens

April 19, 2001
Monteverde Day – 50th anniversary

June 3, 2001
Friends School addition – demolition and rebuild

November 2001-Summer 2002
Monteverde Institute library addition

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