Friends Meeting House

Monteverde & Santa Elena

This simple meeting house in Monteverde is the ‘church’ of the American Society of Friends, or the Quakers, who first settled this area and committed to protect a portion of the cloud forest.

In 1949 four Quakers in Alabama were jailed for their refusal to be drafted to fight in the Korean War. In response, a group of 44 Quakers from 11 families left the US and headed for (much) greener pastures, literally. The Quakers settled in Monteverde (Green Mountain) for two reasons – the absence of a military, and the cool mountain climate. Ensconced in their isolated refuge, they adopted a simple, trouble-free life of dairy farming and cheese production. Years later, in an effort to protect the watershed above its 15 sq km plot in Monteverde, the Quaker community agreed to preserve the mountaintop cloud forest, eventually leading to the establishment of the reserve.