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Climate Change and the Rainforest

KSTR LogoDaniHi Everyone, my name is Dani, and I am your spokeskid for Kids Saving the Rainforest! If you didn’t know, Kids Saving the Rainforest is a refuge in Manuel Antonio, where sick or injured animals are taken to help get them healthy and back in the wild. Today I want to talk about why it’s important for kids to stop climate change to save the animals in the rainforest, and some things you can personally do to help.

Climate change is destroying the habitats of the amazing animals who live in the rainforest, like Sloths, Monkeys, Reptiles, Cotamundi, and so much more. Also, in colder parts of the world like the Arctic, ice and snow is melting, and some animals who need the snow, like penguins, polar bears, and sea lions, who need the cold to survive are dying. Those animals have families, and just like us, they just have one chance at life, and we want to help them, so they have good long lives. 

Janine with treeSome ways that you, personally, can help stop climate change are to eat less meat, and dairy—those food items cause more Methane gas, which speeds up climate change. Also, you can use less energy like when you’re not using your lights, turn them off! When you can walk, bike, or skateboard somewhere instead of driving, that helps too.  

If you’re a grownup reading this, try to explain this to the kids or young people in your life, so they can help, and understand why it’s important to stop climate change. If you’re a kid reading this then you have a long life to go, and it’s important to stop climate change because we only have this one chance!

Climate change is a very important issue in the world today, and we need to change. Thank you for reading!

KSTR – July/August 2021

KSTR LogoDaniHola Quepolandia Readers! It’s Dani, the spokeskid for KSTR. This month, I want to talk about how KTSR helps animals by preventing accidents.

Some of the animals came to KTSR because they got hurt in traffic. My mom told me a story about the first time I came to Costa Rica when I was 9 months old. Here is a picture of me on Manuel Antonio Beach from that trip—now I know why I love Costa Rica so much! She said that we watched a big family of squirrel monkeys run across the street and almost get hit by a car. That’s how my family first learned about KSTR.  

Titi monkeys crossing bridgeHave you ever seen those thick blue ropes hanging in the trees above the roads? Kids Saving the Rainforest builds wildlife bridges with ICE that cross above the roads in Manuel Antonio. That way, the animals don’t have to risk running across the street and getting hit. So, after seeing that close call with the monkey family on the main road to the beach, my parents donated a wildlife bridge in Valle Pura Vida (where the old KSTR wildlife rescue center used to be!) My mom says it is the best souvenir she has ever got.

Dani and her momThe bridges are also great for another reason. Have you ever seen the monkeys run on the power lines? Well, that can also be very dangerous for them, as they can get shocked by high-voltage wires. If you ever see a loose wire- or hear it crackling when it rains, please call ICE so they can fix it! The KSTR blue ropes also help keep our little friends from being electrocuted.

If you want to sponsor building a wildlife bridge of your own, please email [email protected] or go to donate at kstr.org. We would love to hear from you. On my last trip to Costa Rica a few months ago, we saw a Howler Monkey (my favorite monkey—they are crazy and loud, and I love their beautiful faces!) on a wildlife bridge in Valle Pura Vida. It is such a wonderful thing to see monkeys safe up in the sky and trees.

Kids Saving The Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary Diet

KSTR LogoDaniFor this Quepolandia issue, our KSTR President, Jennifer, met with KSTR Spokeskid, Dani, and her parents in San Francisco, where they all live part time, to discuss Dani’s articles. Dani already had about 10 articles in her head, all of which her dad will type up while Dani dictates. Dani is all of 7 years old!

Take it away Dani!

Hi, my name is Dani, and I am the spokeskid for KSTR. Today I want to talk about what the animals eat, and why we feed them what we feed them.

Jennifer and DaniFirst, we have the monkeys. Usually, for the monkeys, in the morning, we give them a fruit salad with Watermelon, Papaya, and other good fruit. In the afternoon, we mix the same fruit salad, but add some vegetables—for example we add sweet potatoes, carrots, and green beans. We give them these foods because all the animals in our sanctuary were at one point in the wild, and the food we’re giving them is like the diet they would have had in the wild. In case you haven’t noticed, monkeys spend a lot of time jumping from tree to tree, across branches. One of the reasons they are doing that, is to look for food—many of the fruits in their diet at KSTR grow in trees in Costa Rica! At the sanctuary, we had 3 squirrel monkeys who needed medicine. They did NOT like the flavor of the medicine. So, we used a syringe to squirt the medicine into a marshmallow, which everybody knows monkeys love! (We normally try to only feed our animals natural food that comes from their habitats, but when we need to get medicine into them, we sometimes use small treats.)
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Happy 22 Years Strong from Kids Saving the Rainforest!

From KSTR’s very humble beginnings in 1999, when two 9 year old girls with a passion to save the rainforest, we have grown so much and become stronger – always finding new ways to help wildlife and the environments they call home.

We have evolved from selling painted rocks and trinkets to buy land to protect, to educational kids’ camps, to education campaigns like “11 Reasons Not to Feed the Monkeys”, to planting thousands of trees with our Reforestation program, to installing and maintaining Wildlife Bridges, and working with the Costa Rican electric company, ICE, to prioritize dangerous electric wires to be insulated, to providing a safe Sanctuary for wildlife that can’t survive on their own, to offering educational Tours and Volunteer and Internship programs, to Rescuing, treating, rehabilitating and releasing hundreds of animals!  Nobody said it would be easy, but we know it’s worth it – and there have certainly been many trials along the way – especially in this last year!
We continue to work hard and keep fighting to protect and improve the environment and make this world better for all the amazing animals within it!

Happy 22 Years Strong from Kids Saving the Rainforest!

Kids Saving the Rainforest – March 2021


Hello Quepolandia! This is Dani 🙂

This month, I am going to tell you some stories about the animals in our sanctuary. I hope you enjoy them!

Coati eating coconut

Photo by Janine Licare Photography
(Janine is also Co-founder of KSTR)

We are taking care of a Cotamundi who was born blind. In her living area, there are a bunch of obstacles, trees, jumps and ramps—and I think it’s really cool how she can navigate around the enclosure using just her nose. We use the obstacles to make sure she gets enough exercise, and to have more fun!

In the sanctuary, a lot of the animals don’t like just eating out of a bowl every day—so sometimes we do a different method of feeding. Sometimes, we put the food in a coconut, sometimes we put the food in jars, sometimes we use toilet paper tubes! 

And for the holidays, we even made them Christmas goodies! This makes it so that when the animals eat, it’s not so boring and it brings them some extra happiness.

Display of foodAt KSTR, there’s a Capuchin monkey named Moncho, and he’s brown, instead of Black and White—but he’s still a Capuchin monkey! He sometimes gets mistaken for a baby, because he’s smaller than a normal monkey. One time, we were gathering spiders to feed the monkeys. (Monkeys love eating spiders, and catching and eating a live bug helps remind them how to be in the wild!). When we put the jar with 4 spiders in front of the enclosure, we saw Moncho eat 2 spiders—but when we took the jar to move it to another enclosure, it turns out there was only 1 spider left! Moncho snuck an extra spider! Fun fact: monkeys are very smart and can be very sneaky.

Sloth eating hibiscusIn the sanctuary, we also have a Green Parrot, and on his neck he has no feathers—because he used to be a pet, and his owners had a dog. One day, he got loose from his cage, and the dog found him and attacked him. After that, the owners called KSTR, and we took him in with happiness and joy.  

KSTR is a great place and we try our very best to make sure the animals in our sanctuary are happy, entertained and well taken care of! If you live in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area, I bet you’re not too far from KSTR. Go take a trip there and volunteer. You can meet lots of incredible animals, each with their own special story. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

Kids Saving the Rainforest – February 2021

KSTR LogoDani carrying pails of foodBy Dani Colloff

Hi everyone! My name is Dani, and I am the spokeskid for Kids Saving the Rainforest.

We live in Manuel Antonio right now, and every day when we go outside, there’s a large guard dog! Well, he isn’t really a dog—he’s a Green Iguana, and he’s a big boy! We shouldn’t try to pet him, and we should respect his space just like we are social distancing these days. I except we always have to social distance with him, not just during a pandemic. We are lucky to live in a place where there’s lot of beautiful jungle. And we have to share this space, because we are in the animals’ jungle, not the other way around!

Another reason we should give wild animals space is because, if you get too close to them they might try to hurt you. You never know when you’re looking at a mommy or daddy, and there’s a baby nearby and out of sight. I know if somebody tried to steal me, my mom would hurt them! Most wild animals don’t want to hurt people, but if they are feeling scared or protective, they might try to hurt you.

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Kids Saving the Rainforest – January 2021

KSTR LogoWelcome back Quepolandia Readers and Welcome Spokeskid Dani!

Quepolandia being up and running is the sign that life will get back to normal!!

Kids Saving the Rainforest has been working like crazy to stay open since the last time we wrote.

KSTR has made sure that the wildlife came first and our human crew sacrificed a lot. Financially KSTR could only pay 50% of salaries and many worked more than full time just to be sure the wildlife didn’t suffer from the consequences Covid-19. Help us re-open our rescue center, by following Dani’s great suggestions below.

DaniHello Quepolandia! My name is Dani, and I will be your new Spokeskid for Kids Saving the Rainforest! I am 7 years old, and this is my first article—I hope you enjoy it.

Before we talk about KSTR, a little about me: I love animals! My favorite kind of animal is a horse. We have 2 dogs at home, Dozer (a pound puppy who is now 11 years old), and Tiny (a French Bulldog puppy who is 6 months old). My favorite animal native to Costa Rica is the Howler Monkey, because I like how big they are. For hobbies, I like to surf, do gymnastics, horseback riding, and I love to bake.

If you’re new to KSTR, it’s a place where we keep wildlife in our Sanctuary that could not return back to the wild due to injuries or permanent medical issues that need care. But our goal is to always release them back into the wild. 

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The Untold Challenges of Wildlife Rescue

KSTR LogoBy Mckenzie Wing
Volunteer Coordinator & Biologist

Coati on a picnic tableHow do you receive animal calls with no internet or cell service? How do you drive an animal ambulance down a road washed out by floods? How do you perform complicated surgery on a monkey during a power outage, when the clinic equipment and AC don’t work?

These are the kinds of challenges that have been faced by KSTR staff and volunteers over the years. Technical, environmental, animal—we’ve seen it all. Our remote location puts us at a good distance from human activity for animal rehabilitation, but creates myriad difficulties for running a working rescue center, public sanctuary, and staff/volunteer residence with many, many moving parts.

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Happy 21st Anniversary to KSTR!

KSTR LogoBaby toucanBy Mckenzie Wing, Volunteer Coordinator & Biologist

Kids Saving the Rainforest turns 21 this month. This means that, as an organization, we are growing up. We’ve moved out of Mom and Dad’s place and are probably a few years into college. We’re now old enough to order a drink in the US, although with a name like ours we’re still likely to get carded.

But in serious terms, it’s impressive how far we’ve come from a simple family reforestation project that rescued the occasional local sloth orphan. We are now one of the main points of contact for animal rescue in the area, admitting around 150 animals per year into our rescue center. We get nearly that number of humans admitted, too, into our volunteer program, giving passionate people—young and old—an opportunity to work with wildlife and promote conservation. We’ve planted tens of thousands of trees as part of our reforestation program in the area.

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What Makes a Volunteer Volunteer?

KSTR LogoBy Mckenzie Wing, Volunteer Coordinator & Biologist

Since its foundation 21 years ago this month, by two 9-year-olds, Kids Saving the Rainforest has always tried to keep at least one nominal “Spokes-kid” around to continue the tradition of, well, kids saving the rainforest. However, with all the children of staff and volunteers growing up or moving away, such a role has just recently been passed to me, for reasons I still don’t fully understand. Am I the youngest? Not even close. The most childlike-at-heart? Not likely. The most immature? Not—Ok, well, possibly.

Volunteers cheeringBut when I am not filling the tiny shoes of all the Spokeskids before me, leading tours of the wildlife sanctuary, organizing sloth research, assisting with animal pickups (mostly because no one else on staff can drive our manual-transmission Wildlife Ambulance), or relocating wild snakes off the grounds, I find time to do my primary job, which is coordinating KSTR’s volunteer program.

I’m always interested in the reasons people choose to become volunteers, who consist of our largest workforce and one of our greatest sources of funding. Their stories impress and mystify me. Their backgrounds are as varied and diverse as the countries they call home.
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KIds Saving the Rainforest – January 2020

KSTR LogoThank you sponsors, runners, and volunteersHello from Kids Saving the Rainforest Animal Rescue and Sanctuary & Reforestation project. Is it really 2020 already? 2019 was a great year for KSTR as we planted 10,000 on our reforestation property and treated many kinds of birds, sloths, kinkajous, monkeys, anteaters, coatis, porcupines, and other wild animals at our onsite vet clinic. We also celebrated our 20th year anniversary in 2019.

We want to bring the New Year in right by thanking all of our donors, sponsors, and supporters of 2019.

Thanks to you all, our first 5K Rainforest Run was a huge success! So many people asked us to do it again next year, that it is now a tradition!! So save the date for November 22, 2020!

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Dudley and Smokey




Karen Moss [email protected]

Hello again from Kids Saving The Rainforest! As promised in the last issue, I would like to introduce you to two very special baby sloths. Dudley and Smokey are growing up together in our nursery. While their stories of how they got here are sad, they are both healthy and have each other to grow up with.

Dudley came to us on July 23rd, 2019 after KSTR received a rescue call at a local hotel. Dudley had fallen from her mother and she was unable to be reunited by hotel staff. Dudley was very weak and her coloring was off when KSTR wildlife personnel arrived. We had to make the tough choice of removing her and taking her to our clinic. We photographed her mother and noted her location.

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Kids Saving the Rainforest – November 2019

KSTR LogoBy Karen Moss

Capuchin monkeys crossing a monkey bridgeGreetings from Kids Saving The Rainforest! Our spokes kid, Karma Casey, moved back to the US and we would like to thank her for the wonderful job she did writing the Quepolandia articles. I will be filling her shoes this month and although I’m not a kid, at least not on my driver’s license, I’m excited to share the latest information about KSTR with everyone.

Did you know Kids Saving the Rainforest can respond to pick up injured wildlife? You can reach KSTR by WhatsApp at 88 ANIMAL (8826 1625). Once the call comes in, the staff is notified and gets to work immediately. Our wildlife ambulance personnel respond to retrieve the animal while the clinic staff prepares for the animal’s arrival. If we are unable to respond, we have a trained taxi driver closer to respond who can come pick up the animal. Everyone is communicating with each other so we can provide that animal the fastest and most efficient treatment possible.

Speaking of Wildlife ambulance calls, September was a difficult month for the wildlife in the Villa Lirio area. There were a total of four electrocuted monkeys in less than a week. KSTR received a call about an electrocuted Howler Monkey (Mono Congo) from a neighbor near Canyon Verde. The howler had crawled off and we were unable to locate it. KSTR immediately notified ICE (the power company) who came out to install a wildlife bridge the following day. Another howler was then electrocuted in front of ICE while they were there installing the wildlife bridge the next day. KSTR personnel responded and the howler decided to go up a fence and into the trees as our ambulance personnel was preparing to capture it.

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Karma Saving the Rainforest

Karma's farewell header

Hello fellow Quepolandia readers! It’s Karma Casey, the Kids Saving the Rainforest spokeskid! If you haven’t heard of KSTR, it’s a wonderful wildlife rescue and sanctuary non-profit right here in Quepos! They also plant trees and put up wildlife bridges in the area. For the last two years, I have been writing an article each month for Quepolandia, telling you all about KSTR and how to help the planet! This month’s article is a little bit different than the rest. This is my farewell article, so you won’t be reading my byline at the top of the page anymore!

KarmaWell, let’s start from the beginning of my story. I was an eight year old girl who loved animals and wanted to help them, but I was too young to really help them where I lived. I was just reading and researching about the majestic sloth (one of my favorite animals) when I saw the story about Jeannine and Aislin, the two nine year old girls who originally started Kids Saving the Rainforest.

The girls lived in Manuel Antonio, and they could see that the rainforest was beginning to be destroyed. They began by painting rocks and selling other arts and crafts. With the money they raised, they would buy trees to plant. Kids Saving the Rainforest grew and grew, eventually getting permission from the Costa Rican government to open a wildlife sanctuary and veterinary clinic. It has been open for about twenty years now. Wow! That’s a long time!

I was so inspired by this story, that I decided to reach out to the amazing Jennifer Rice, the president of Kids Saving the Rainforest. I told her how it was my dream to come and help all the animals there.

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Speedy the Sloth, Free At Last

KSTR LogoBy Karma Casey

baby speedyGreetings Quepolandia readers! Its Karma, the Kids Saving the Rainforest spokeskid. This month’s article is about a VERY special someone. Have you ever heard of a sloth named Speedy?! (Some of you may know him by his nickname, Jorge.) Well, Speedy is a very unique two toed sloth who has just graduated from Boot Camp, KSTR’s pre-release area where sloths like Speedy learn how to climb trees and forage on their own to get ready for their release back into the wild. After a long journey here at KSTR, Speedy was just triumphantly set free back into his rainforest home! Let me tell you his story.

Speedy was rescued when he was only a few months old. He was tiny, only a kilogram! He had fallen from a tree near the Makanda Hotel in Manuel Antonio. Poor Speedy! The people at the hotel quickly called in the KSTR team. After a checkup by the veterinarian, KSTR attempted to reunite Speedy with his mother.

But sadly, while the hopeful team waited and waited while Speedy hung at a low branch in the tree where the mother was, and called out to his mother, she ignored him. Really mom sloth!? The mother sloth never came down for her son, so the team was forced to bring him back to KSTR. This is quite common in sloths and one of the reasons why it’s so important to have wildlife rescue efforts like Kids Saving the Rainforest. The KSTR nursery is often busy with orphans, like Speedy, and that’s where he was headed to next. A generous KSTR supporter named Nivea sponsored him, and that’s where he got his name!

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