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.
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.” https://monteverdetours.com/history-of-monteverde.html
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.
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: https://scattergood.org/donate-online/