Giving: Friends Schools

This time of year most of us are flooded with pleas for financial donations. This year my attention was caught by the hand drawn picture on the envelope from Monteverde Friends School. 

Monteverde whale (2)

My family, and many others in Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) have close ties with Monteverde Friends.  Lucky (Standing) Guindon, my mother’s cousin and constant companion during their childhood, was one of the original group of Quakers who moved to Monteverde, Costa Rica, and live there today.  On October 14, 1950, she and Wolf Guindon had a double wedding with my mother and father at Bear Creek Meeting.

The Monteverde Friends community was created when a number of Quakers, mainly from Fairhope, Alabama, were lead to leave the United States because of increased militarism.  In 1949 four men were sentenced to prison for refusing to register for the military draft.  Upon their release, in 1950 a number of members of the meeting decided to move to Costa Rica.

“They chose this tiny Central American country largely for its farming potential and pleasant climate, but they had also read the words of Pepe Figueres, the Costa Rican president at the time, inviting foreigners to come and help develop this country. Perhaps most attractive for the Friends though was the fact that Costa Rica had just abolished its own army and these pacifists felt they could live in peace here.”

Some years ago I was able to go to Monteverde with my family. I was glad to get the photo below of my cousins who live there. Jeffery is wearing the shirt about Costa Rica not having an army.

My cousins. Jeffery wears the shirt NO ARMY

Donations to Monteverde Friends School can be sent to Eliza Beardslee, MFUS, P.O. Box 1308, Greenfield, MA 01302

My grandparents, mother, brothers and sister, and I remained in the United States, and attended Scattergood Friends School and Farm, near West Branch Iowa. Donations to Scattergood can be made at:

This entry was posted in Quaker, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Giving: Friends Schools

  1. J. Eugenio Vargas says:

    Sr. Jeff, it is so great to hear that the whale picture drawn by one of our students has been of inspiration for you to share more about Monteverde Friends history and connections. Every Wednesday I feel blessed by Lucky Guindon’s presence at Meeting for worship with all school. I was also happy to scroll all way down to the last picture and see Mary Mendenhall there. She must be the same Mary M. MFS Head in early 70’s. It was Mary who included me on a list of 3 Costarrican students to receive a full schollarship in 1971 so we could attend full time school there. 43 years later I was give the oportunity to be part of the school administrative team. Another blessing for me!

  2. jakisling says:

    J. Eugenio Vargas. Thanks for mentioning Mary Mendenhall. In today’s blog post I included the video of an interview with Mary at Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s