Host School: MISP and Natural Solutions’ Peace and Biodiversity Program
Students will stay with host families provided by the school.
Adolescents are uniquely suited to address the critical issues of the world. Only by directly experiencing the complexities of society and working in a global community will adolescents develop an authentic understanding of the human condition as their social and moral selves evolve.
To encourage hope and positive action for the future, the adolescent needs to feel part of the solution by their efforts to solve one problem at a time. When a group of Montessori students from different parts of the world collaborate, they become advocates for what is true human progress. This is their developmental task.
Founded in 1987 by Swedish school children, the Children’s Eternal Rainforest (CER) is 54,000 acres and represents the maximum expression of life on Earth in terms of biodiversity. It is a forest created by children for children and a forest that needs study and support. In this way, it provides an opportunity for Montessori schools to take a leading effort in original research and stewardship of a global treasure. Adolescents from around the world will collaborate with international scientists as contributors to research, data, and funds for preservation, conservation, and expansion of the CER. MISP’s local tropical ecologist, in collaboration with a variety of local scientists and experts, will assist the students in designing independent research projects. These scientific experiments serve the dual purpose of generating essential baseline data about CER and providing a mode of meaningful student-directed interaction with the forest. The CER provides limitless potential for uncovering new knowledge, which not only offers endless possibilities for research but also perspective and appreciation for local (knowable) biodiversity back home. Integrating the Costa Rica experience into the disciplines pre- and post-trip is important because this work is most impactful when it builds upon the local study of biodiversity and gives relevance to the real work being done, locally and globally. The students leave the CER with an ingrained sense of responsibility.