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Sam Guindon

Norfolk, CT


How does one experience a rainforest? This project explores my personal connection to the Costa Rican rainforest preserve of Monteverde, and the conservationist efforts of my Grandparents. My grandparents moved to Costa Rica with a small quaker community in 1950. They resisted the US draft for the Korean War due to the nonviolent ideology of the quaker religion. In 1972, My Grandfather helped to establish the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, a land trust that kept large swaths of jungle safe from unregulated deforestation and mining companies. Just this last summer, biologists announced that Costa Rica was the first country to reverse the effects of deforestation, despite having previously held one of the highest rates of deforestation in Latin America. The figure of the strangler fig features prominently in my work because it symbolizes this duality of life and death. Strangler figs thrive by climbing a living tree and strangling it from sunlight, but subsequently become life sustaining magnets for biodiversity.

I would like to thank the Steven D. Smallen Memorial Fund, Casstevens Family Fund, and Academic Fund for Seniors for their generous support.

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