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This month, Seeds continues our series of issues featuring the SPICES (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship), which form Quakerism’s core values, also known as testimonies. We now feature the second Spice: Peace. Quaker commitment to peace goes back to our roots in 17th-century England. when George Fox and other early Friends wrote to the British monarch Charles II in 1660: “All bloody principles and practices we do utterly deny, with all outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world.”

Today, the Quaker definition of peace still includes encouraging people to take action to make the world a more peaceful place but has also expanded to include ending discrimination, working on climate change, defending immigrants’ rights, ending mass incarceration, building economic justice, and all kinds of social justice work that strives to make the world a more loving and equitable place for everyone.

In this issue, we are introduced to a new community center reclaimed from ruins and aspiring to build relational bridges between the youth of Santa Elena and Monteverde. Carol Evans reflects on the peace testimony of Monteverde’s founders and whether or not we are following their examples of a peace-based economy. Wendy Rockwell questions whether private land ownership and speculation are the cornerstones of our liberty or harmful to human flourishing. Don Crawford contrasts the war-filled words of Patrick Henry with the many Quaker peace testimonies he has witnessed. Tom and Jean Cox share their reflections on a recent visit to Los Chiles where volunteers and nonprofits are working to serve the vast flow of migrants traveling through Costa Rica. Finally, photographer Evelyn Obando shares images of Lucky Guindon from her current nonprofit project: The People of Monteverde.

Our next issue will be out in January and will feature the next SPICE: the spiritual value of Integrity. If the Spirit moves, send your essays, poetry, artwork, photography, or interviews on the role of Integrity to

“How come we play war and not peace? Too few role models.”

Bill watterson


Peace in Action: Introducing the Cerro Plano Skate Park and Cultural Center

By Patrick “Pato” Moore

At the heart of Quaker philosophy lies a value that has guided our lives and work over the years: peace. Peace is not merely the absence of conflict; it is a state of harmony, unity, and collaboration. It is precisely this value that we want to emphasize in our project Sembremos Seguridad, and in the creation of the Cerro Plano Skate Park and Cultural Center.

 As we move forward with this exciting project, peace becomes a driving force propelling us to transform a space once marked by delinquency and drug abuse into an oasis of tranquility and creativity.

The teenagers from the CTP (Colegio Técnico Profesional) high school in Santa Elena are playing a crucial role in this transformation. They have dedicated their time and energy to clean and prepare the space, paving the way for the Quaker youth from the Monteverde Friends School to craft their proposed skate park. This act of service not only represents the unity between the towns of Santa Elena and Monteverde but also embodies the essence of peace in action.

Peace is not just the absence of conflicts; it is also the active construction of an environment where differences are celebrated and transformed into opportunities for mutual understanding. 

This space is becoming a beacon of peace where young people from different schools can come together to enjoy skateboarding, learn from one another, and build friendships that transcend the geographic and cultural borders of our towns. But it is not just for the youth; we want it to be a place where people of all ages find a variety of cultural and educational opportunities that promote harmony and unity in our community.

With the Sembremos Seguridad project, we are sowing the seeds of peace in the deepest sense. We are creating a space where peace is not just an idea but a tangible reality lived every day. Quaker values of peace and community are our compass on this journey, and together, we are forging a path to a more peaceful and united future in Monteverde.

As we continue to move forward with this exciting project, we invite you to join us in this mission of peace in action. Together, we can keep building a healthy, safe space where peace flourishes, differences are celebrated, and everyone finds a home in harmony and unity.


Peace Economy

By Carol Evans

The Quaker founders of Monteverde came here with the idea of creating a peaceful way of life. Unlike the “draft dodgers” who went to Canada during the Vietnam War, they were not evading a war. The United States was not yet involved in Korea, and besides, the four men imprisoned for not registering for the draft could easily have qualified for conscientious objector status.

Along with the four who refused to register for the draft, entire families, from young children to grandparents, moved to Costa Rica in hopes of building a community of peace. They recognized that the entire fabric of society in the U.S. was (and is now even more) driven by the military economy.

Cecil Rockwell wrote in the Jubilee Family Album, “Others of us who were not of that [draft] age group felt that living in the country which required payment of taxes of which a portion would go for military purposes were involuntarily supporting the military.” Marvin Rockwell also wrote, “Several Friends of Fairhope Monthly Meeting and some others began to feel increasingly uncomfortable in the ever-expanding war-driven economy. They decided that the best way to build a peaceful world would be to live and raise their families in an environment with minimal militarism and materialism.”

This may sound very radical, but ten years after the founding of Monteverde, President (General) Eisenhower, in his farewell speech, warned of the danger of the “military-industrial complex.”

The founders of Monteverde clearly understood the relationship between consumerism and militarism. Military power is necessary to maintain the high standard of living in the United States. Repeatedly the U.S. has intervened in other countries to protect its “economic interests.”

Today, the term “circular economy,” or one that uses and repurposes goods and materials sustainably, is in vogue. During the first couple of decades of the founding of Monteverde, a circular economy was practically the only option. It was very difficult to bring goods from outside the region. It is a bit easier now.

However, today one must be intentional to work towards an economy of peace. To be this intentional, it may help to ask ourselves hard questions like these:

  • In what ways do I participate in the military economy?
  • How can I reduce or avoid paying taxes to the military?
  • Where do I have investments? Do they contribute to a more just society?
  • How can I use my privilege to promote a more just and sustainable world?
  • Are there things (or services) that I buy from multinationals that I could do without or buy instead from local small businesses?


Land and Peace

By Wendy Rockwell

Can we recognize when a people live in peace? We strive to implement our peace testimony. But can we recognize when a people live in peace? How deeply are we willing to study to be able to diagnose people at peace? Are we willing to question systems that benefit us? Or perhaps we allow the corrupt systems to continue in the hope that they will eventually benefit us, as well. Are these same systems causing great suffering for the many?

Land Ownership Affects Peace

Private land ownership has been hailed as the cornerstone of human liberty. But is it? Or is it actually the bane of our existence?

Land is unique. No one can make land. No one can live without land. I define land as everything around us—the air, the universe, the dirt under our feet, and the oceans.

Land is the source of all wealth.

It is my contention that the value attached to land should be recognized as communal, not private. Profiteering on land speculation, the unearned increment,* and the commons rent—or taking over property that was once used by many and is now controlled by one or few—is how the rich get richer at the expense of the vast majority.

Peace must be based on justice, a world in which everyone can work unencumbered, retaining in total the product of their efforts. May work be our only source of income.

The value we attach to any piece of land is tied to its location. The so-called owner had nothing to do with creating its value. If there is no demand for that land or if there is no infrastructure in the vicinity of that land, then it most likely will be assigned a minimal value.

On the other extreme, if great population and existing infrastructure are present, the land will be assigned a higher price. From this, one could deduce that the value assigned to land reflects the demand by the community, and therefore, that value should belong to the community.

The present system in which land values are privatized means that governments must look elsewhere for sources to pay for community projects such as schools, roads, airports, hospitals, parks, recreational projects, etc. Therefore, all forms of production are penalized with a tax, bringing about many of the economic challenges that we suffer continually—inflation, deflation, depressions, unemployment, poverty of the many juxtaposed to the enrichment of the few. All these ailments that we take as normal are caused by our present system. Reforming our tax structure could eliminate them all.

Taxes Affect Peace

In the news today I learned that to hire an engineer in Costa Rica, a requirement before building any infrastructure, the tax on this service will now be 13 percent instead of 8 percent. The article pointed out that this will make any new building more expensive.

This is the difference between a tax on production and the recuperation of the economic rent of land by the community. The latter does not increase the cost of production. In reality, a recuperation of the commons by the community will actually reduce the cost of production because, especially with housing, what makes it so prohibitive for most folks to own a home is the speculative value of land. A tax on land values—a recuperation of the commons by the community for community purposes or a collecting of the unearned income by the community—would reduce or eliminate land speculation, for there would no longer be an incentive to hold on to unused land.

Controlling Resources

All wars have been fought over natural resources—the principal natural resource being land. But peace is much more than the absence of war.

How can we have peace when 90 percent of the wealth is in the hands of less than 1 percent of the population? Without economic justice, there can be no peace.

Wealth accumulation is the existential threat that we should be opposing. Democracy cannot exist with the present concentration of wealth. Every industry, corporation, and brand name has been taken over by those in financial control. The governments are run by these interests. The elite write the laws that benefit themselves. Our democracies are in name only. The media is, of course, used to make us all march in sync. There is very little actual information on the main media outlets; it is synchronized messaging aimed at coercing us to follow the established agendas.

Questioning this agenda is not allowed; assertions contradicting the agenda are censored. This censorship is one of the many indications of the deterioration of democracy.

* an increase in the value of land or any property without expenditure of any kind on the part of the proprietor.


“The Law of Rent demonstrates that no single human being gives land and location its overall value—its rent. Land values arise from the wealth that exists in the surrounding area, wealth that we have created together and continue to create in cooperation and in competition with one another.”

Martin Adams, Land: A New Paradigm for a Thriving World

Why Stand We Here Idle?

By Don Crawford

When I hear the word “peace” I always think back to a seventh-grade history class during the lessons on the U.S. Revolution to free the colonies from British rule. Being in Virginia we studied the Virginian patriots of that time. Part of the homework was to memorize the final paragraph of the impassioned speech Patrick Henry gave to the Second Virginia Convention meeting in St John’s Church in 1775. Here is the part we had to memorize and recite before the class:

“Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace—but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

You may be curious as to why I began an article on Peace for a Quaker newsletter with a quote from Patrick Henry urging Virginia to war. I didn’t type this quote from memory. I had to look it up. But the two phrases that have stuck in my mind from that history class some 60 years ago are these:

[We] “may cry, Peace, Peace—but there is no peace.”

“Why stand we here idle?”

These are the two questions that I think of today when the topic is “peace.”

Looking at the world today there is conflict everywhere. And it’s a long list from the war in Ukraine to the refugees fleeing violence in their South American countries for a better (more peaceful?) life in the United States. Or Africans fleeing violence in their countries for a more peaceful Europe. It seems everywhere we look someone is dealing with violence.

This is the human condition where the desire for power creates conflict. It is as old as mankind itself. Violence against one another permeates history from the Old Testament of the Bible to the headlines in today’s newspaper.

I wonder how this will ever change.

Change will come when good people answer the question: “Why stand we here idle?” In my life, I’m privileged to know many people who are not idle.

Lois and I lived near Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. EMU held a Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) each summer. The local Quaker monthly meeting offered a scholarship for attendees. And since we lived close to the school, we helped by hosting a student or two each year to defray the cost of their attendance. Those students are not idle. They are active in building a more peaceful world. Our contribution helped them to expand their knowledge and skills, make connections, and continue their important work.

Let me tell you about a few peacemakers I know.

Ishaq Israr is the Pakistan country director for Penny Appeal, a nonprofit humanitarian organization. He stayed with us four times for several weeks while attending EMU’s SPI program. Among the many activities Ishaq directs are housing for elderly women who have no family to support them, solar-powered clean water stations for villages, and right now, disaster relief in Pakistan for the survivors of the recent cyclone floods. In past years Ishaq has worked with the Muslim communities in the tribal lands of northern Pakistan organizing jurga courts for people to settle disputes. He is working for peace every day. Ishaq is not one to stand idle.

Getry Agizah is a Kenyan Quaker who works for peace in her country. Currently, she helps abused women to heal and find peace in their lives. Getry is a remarkably courageous woman. The first time she lived in our home she related this story: One evening as she returned from work, a young man was waiting for her on a motorbike. He asked her to climb aboard as she was being summoned by a commander of one of the local rebel groups. Getry asked why and was told this group was tired of fighting and wanted to return to society. The commander respected Getry enough to ask for her help. So off she went with this stranger into an unknown place in the jungle with no one knowing where she was off to. Getry said she was: “Trusting in the Lord to take care of and guide her.” Getry is not one to stand idle.

Eunkyung Ahn attended EMU in the peace and justice program. She is a Korean who we came to know. While at EMU she did intern work in Richmond, Virginia, public schools. She taught students ways to peacefully resolve differences, including “circle process techniques.” She also successfully used restorative justice practices in the schools to change the ways in which disruptive students were disciplined. Eunkyung has now returned to South Korea where she teaches circle process techniques to educators there. She is building a global and local restorative justice and peace community. Eunkyung is not one to stand idle.

Maggie Strong, the penname for Zane Kotker, wrote the book Mainstay: For the Well Spouse of the Chronically Ill. She is one of my heroes. In the 1980s she published this book describing her life as she cared for her husband with multiple sclerosis. But she didn’t stop there. In the final pages of the book, she invites others in her situation to meet with her. From this invitation, the Well Spouse Association was formed. I met Maggie in the fall of 1995. Her energy and leadership were amazing. She worked unselfishly to form and nurture this organization while caring for a chronically sick husband. She was an inspiration to all of us in similar situations. She provided a way for each of us to find peace in our own lives. Maggie was not one to stand idle.

I could go on with a long list of those who have not stood idle and will not stand idle when it comes to making a more peaceful world. Teachers I have known, business owners creating peaceful workspaces, camp counselors and staff at Baltimore Yearly Meeting summer camps who model acceptance, the young people of today who refuse to accept stereotypes, and the environmentalists among us who are working to save the planet. Living here in Monteverde among those who came many years ago in search of a more peaceful life, I’m looking forward to learning more about those who did not stand idle.


Peacefully Sharing Our Pale, Blue Dot

By Tom and Jean Cox


Do you see that tiny dot in the center? When the Voyager 1 satellite traveled past Neptune and out of our solar system in 1990, NASA mission managers commanded it to look back toward home for a final time and take a series of photos. This photo was entitled “Pale Blue Dot” and became the title of a Carl Sagan book.

I think about this photo a lot. It often helps me put things into perspective regarding the ways in which so much angst, drama, cruelty, greed, and fear can exist on such a tiny, blue speck. I can imagine telling visitors from other worlds that on that dot there are organisms who harbor such hate for other similar organisms that try to travel microscopic distances on that dot for more amenable living conditions that they will allow those organisms to die rather than share the better conditions. I imagine those celestial visitors choosing to look elsewhere for healthier and more intelligent signs of life in the universe.

On that blue dot, the plight of refugees is no microscopic matter of course. It is a matter of life and death. Official data reveals that in recent weeks, the count of migrants entering Costa Rica from Panama via the Paso Canoas border has surged from 1,000 to 3,000 per day. Those who can afford the $30 fare board buses to Los Chiles, situated at the Costa Rica-Nicaragua boundary. Recently, over forty buses per day have been arriving in Los Chiles. The death of three Venezuelans on July 19 in Los Chiles after their vehicle plunged into a river underscores the dangers these people face when resorting to illegal services using old, dilapidated vehicles. In late August, Jean and I traveled to Los Chiles from Monteverde in a high-quality van stuffed to the brim with clothing, shoes, and rain gear from Monteverde as well as with information to share with relief workers on dry toilets and water reclamation opportunities in Los Chiles. It was Jean’s second visit and my first.


I once took a spiritual gifts survey and thought I would score high in the gifts of prayer and faith, but it turns out I was off the charts on the spiritual gift of mercy. There is something about people in distress that grips me deeply. So, without hesitation, I will continue to visit Los Chiles to aid immigrants. Our group from Monteverde Quaker Meeting has identified two residents of Los Chiles who have taken up the mantle of feeding and distributing supplies to busloads of immigrants who are being shuttled from the southern border to the northern border of Costa Rica for the $30 fare.

Lucy and her husband, Bairon, prepare a meal—this night a vat of sausage spaghetti and of rice and beans—to feed 100 migrants. They set up tables at the bus station and dish out huge plates of food because the travelers getting off the bus have not eaten in over 24 hours.

After the food is gone, they bring out large bags of clothing and chat with the migrants while they find what they need. Clothing is important because migrants often must jettison many of their possessions in the jungle just to make it through the dangerous Darién Gap on the border of Colombia and Panama. The other “angel of mercy” is Sofia. She and Lucy coordinate their meals to feed as many as possible. Within hours I was watching people wearing my t-shirts as well as other items from Tilichera. As they started walking down the highway to the border, I must admit, they made that clothing look good!


It’s brutally hot. During the afternoon my phone reported “92 degrees, feels like 105 (40 degrees Celsius).” High humidity. Each night for the past three years either Sophia or Lucy (sometimes both) is at the bus stop with hot food, coffee, juice, and sometimes clothing.

In the afternoon, Jean and I went to Lucy’s house and chopped sausage and vegetables. I presided over a huge pot of spaghetti, tomato sauce, sausage, and vegetables while Bairon made a huge pot of rice. The meal is meant to provide travelers with dense calories as they will arrive hungry and not know when their next meal will be. The kitchen temperature soared well into the 100s in the afternoon.

Lucy supervised my cooking, but I fear I still let things burn on the bottom of the pot. Rookie mistake. After the sun goes down, the buses begin to pour in. My heart is already heavy for these desperate souls who have recently risked their lives crossing the Darién Gap. As soon as the dazed and exhausted migrants get off the bus they are set upon by “coyotes” or as they call them, “Talibans.”

“Talibans” descend on each bus.

These men get out of their cars as each bus approaches and crowd around the bus door, creating a barrier between the migrants and the food. They demand high prices for the short drive to supposedly secluded border crossings. This illicit human transportation thrives due to lax authority oversight and because some migrants can’t afford the $150 the Nicaraguan government demands as a “safe-conduct” fee for legal entry at the border post just six kilometers from Los Chiles. Some Talibans will rob or assault these vulnerable and desperate travelers. The migrants never know what awaits them when they get off a bus. As they get off the bus, the migrants don’t know who to trust, neither the Talibans nor the food. Some suspect our meal is some kind of trap and immediately begin walking toward the border. Hunger makes many decide to take the chance to eat, sit, and talk with relief workers.

Walking toward the Nicaraguan border.


Our group goes to deliver donations, chop veggies, stir the steaming vats of food, and serve people; then we sit and listen to the stories of these travelers. I’ve watched exhausted mothers cling to their children as Talibans swarm them after they deboard the bus. These conmen deceive the migrants into paying them $100 to secretly drive them across the border when they can just walk to the next country. I’ve seen their swollen feet that no longer fit into their shoes after crossing the gap. But these are the ones who made it. Some migrants don’t survive. It breaks your heart to see how many families with small children come through. How bad must their situation be that these parents knew this was the only way to save their children?


About a third are children, many still in diapers. Most seem to be traveling as a family unit. In any gathering of a thousand people, you are bound to see all types—good, bad, and in between. I’m sure there are unscrupulous individuals amidst this throng but to a person, the ones I’ve met are kind, grateful, determined, and strong. And despite everything, they are optimistic. (Are you optimistic?) You’d have to be, I guess, if you are risking the lives of your entire family to find any place that offers safety, security, and opportunity. None are indigent. For the most part, these people were not homeless in their past lives. Most were professionals—builders, professors, engineers, nurses, etc. This trip costs money each step of the way. Some are robbed and others simply run out of cash. Running out of money means the end of their journey or finding work wherever possible to eventually continue the journey. They have already been through the hell of the Darién Gap; they aren’t stopping now.

Los Chiles has no overnight shelters so migrants either continue the trip north immediately or fend for themselves in the streets overnight. Some families have tents they set up each night the whole way but that adds to the weight of the packs they must carry with them.


At times, the enormity of this refugee situation seems just too much for any of us to grasp. I have often wondered if, during the holocaust of World War II, I would have risked my life to help Jews escape. I don’t know, but I’m here now and I know I can do something to help these families. Like the boy who tosses one of hundreds of stranded starfish back into the ocean, I know I can’t help all of them, but I can make a difference for some.


Oswald was a young man traveling by himself. He was thrilled to find Devlin Joslin’s work boots. As Oswald goes through each country, he finds construction work to earn enough money to make it through to the next country.

Kelly and Jordi left Venezuela and brought their four children—Nerliannis (Nani), Caden, Rosbelín, and Alexander—through the gap in June. Their 16-year-old daughter Nani is paralyzed from a spinal disease before birth. Jordi carried her all 66 miles through the treacherous, roadless gap—down cliffs and across rivers that took the life of another child in their traveling group. Nani finally received a wheelchair in Costa Rica. This family will be in my heart forever. We will try to stay connected through What’sApp. Soon after our meeting, they were robbed but we were able to raise some money for them to continue. We recently heard they had made it to Guatemala. No matter what the future holds, they have each other.

During the day, we met with Francis and Roxanna from UNICEF to discuss placing dry toilets at their day center. This is where children can play safely, clothing is distributed, social services can check on the condition of children, and migrants can get information on the safest routes north as well as instructions on how to apply and get asylum appointments at the U.S. border. They are very interested in the toilets since there are no free facilities in Los Chiles and migrants are forced to use the streets. Another dire need is for menstrual pads, especially the reusable cloth variety. I have a contact at a Presbyterian church in Pittsburgh who runs a ministry that makes them but unfortunately, they are not operating currently. This is also a project that Monteverde Quakers with sewing machines may be able to address.

Much like the issue of climate change, the plight of this mass migration seems to be one that most of the world shrugs and ignores—until it is knocking at the U.S. border, of course. The roots of this reality were planted by decades of U.S. meddling in the politics, economics, elections, and militaries of Central and South America. Now, the U.S. throws their hands up and says, “Look what these hoards are doing! Build a wall!”

If we react with this much hate and fear over tens of thousands of migrants, I fear what will happen when there are a billion or more souls displaced by the floods, famine, and droughts of climate change.

These people want a better life. Most didn’t want to leave their homes but were forced to do so. Most can’t go back. They are in search of opportunity, stability, and a safe place to raise their families. They are in search of a beloved community. These are people I would welcome as my neighbors.

We are all the same organisms on this pale, blue dot. If we have caused a portion of the dot to become uninhabitable due to our greed and hubris, and if there really is that of God in all of us, then we must make room for everybody in the places that can still sustain life. As our societies and institutions fail, we must create new ways of living together. From the ashes must emerge a better way of living or, in my opinion, we don’t deserve to survive. I’m betting on us. I’ve seen too much good in this world, and in Los Chiles.


“Refugees are neither seen nor heard, but they are everywhere. They are witnesses to the most awful things that people can do to each other, and they become storytellers simply by existing. Refugees embody misery and suffering, and they force us to confront terrible chaos and evil.”

ARhtur C. Helton

How Inner Peace Found Its Way to My Heart

By Lois Carter Crawford

The past few years have been a challenge to so many people I know, including me.

Some people struggled with health issues and lost. COVID caused havoc for everyone, especially preteens and teens who were isolated and alone. The anonymity of the internet caused people to be flippant, mean, and generally unkind. I could see it happening but I couldn’t do much about it, no one could.

As an empath, I took everyone’s pain into my heart. My “training” as a child of an alcoholic taught me to be resilient and to find solutions to every crisis. If anyone had a problem, I came up with solutions, salves, and sometimes crazy ways to fix everyone’s problems. Their challenges became my problems. Often, I didn’t see that their problems really had nothing to do with me.

I journaled daily, mostly, I admit, crazy thoughts. When I would later go back and read my musings, I would think, Wow! What was I thinking? How crazy is that? Or Where did that come from? Nobody said or did anything to me and all of a sudden, I was “crazy-making.”

Thankfully, the way I learned to cope with chaos in my family of origin was to sleep on it. Crazy stuff always happened at night in my house. By morning, however, everything was fine. So, I learned that I might as well get up happy. Being happy in the morning sets the tone for the whole day, doesn’t it?

Many years before the pandemic, my life was stressful, and my health suffered. After a significant health scare, I decided to focus on my blessings and to heal myself.

Four of those blessings are Don’s and my daughters. They are grown and have families of their own. They don’t do everything my way, but they are all well and happy. Their lives are good, and they don’t need my help to solve their challenges.

Our health is good, nobody needs our care, and we are in the third quarter of our lives. We chose to move to Santa Elena/Monteverde to enjoy nature and make new friends. We walk nearly every day, are enjoying our scaled-back life, and are doing what we set out to do—having a senior adventure!

Since our kids and their families are in the U.S., I quickly realized that any crisis they might have is too difficult for me to solve from far away. What a blessing! I don’t have to worry about it. Of course, it’s not my job to solve their problems anymore. But it’s a freeing experience to know I don’t have to step in to help. They will figure it out. I’m not the center of the universe, and that is a liberating experience.

Focusing on my blessings changes my attitude.

Of course, I am saddened when people I know and love leave us. The older you get, the more the losses accumulate. It never gets any easier. As each person passes, I reflect on what they added to my life and how I can continue to hold them dear. My heart lifts up to remember them as one of my many blessings. I have found inner peace by pausing, reflecting, pondering, and focusing on nature and food. If you have met me, you know that, like Garfield, food is my life.


People of Monteverde: Lucky Guindon

Words and photos by Evelyn Obando

It is complex to describe Lucky Guindon. From time to time, I go to visit her; the pandemic kept us all away, but we continue today. We recently spent a few hours talking and taking photos.

Talking to Lucky is like opening a book. Her stories and anecdotes are incredible. Her simplicity, strength, resilience, and integrity are just a few of the many characteristics I can mention about her.

Lucky is an artist, a mother, one of the people who founded the Monteverde Friends School, protector of forests, and part of the original group of Quakers who arrived in Monteverde in the 1950s to avoid supporting the US military machine.

Thank you, Lucky, for your friendship and your time. May we have many more beautiful Monteverde sunsets with you.