I just got back from Costa Rica, where 850 species of birds roost and migrate. It was amazing to look outside of your hotel window and see Orange Fronted Parakeets just swarming around palm trees; to see Black Iguanas inching forward on a pearly beach; and to swim with a Sea Turtle!
The best part, though, was meeting and talking about birds with local Costa Rican school children. With the help of a translator, I got to speak to Costa Rican students in the 3rd and 4th grades about my work to help wildlife, especially birds. It really changed me. I happily gave out copies of my book, Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf, plus pencils and sketch pads for them to experiment with their own drawings. Even though I speak mostly English and they speak mostly Spanish, birds were a common language bond for us.
When they dispersed, they carried my books with them to their homes in Guanacaste. The kids gave me tight hugs and kisses on the cheek. Dozens surrounded me, asking in Spanish for me to sign their books. Now I’m sad I chose to study Italian for next year.
The trip, although only four days long, filled me with passion, courage and a desire to return to the land of the parrots, of the white-faced and howler monkeys, and of the hopes and dreams of the young schoolchildren.
Read more about Olivia at oliviabouler.net.
Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo invited Olivia and her family to Costa Rica in August to investigate first-hand some of the country’s 850 bird species and to meet with local school children to talk about her remediation efforts. Blogger Matt Armendariz also visited the resort.
Olivia Bouler, a 12-year-old artist, sax player and aspiring ornithologist from Islip, New York, was deeply affected by the American Gulf Coast oil spill and the resulting devastation to wildlife and birds. Olivia collaborated with the Audubon Society, donating 500 of her own bird illustrations to raise more than $200,000. She donates part of the proceeds from her book, Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf, to the Audubon Society. Olivia has appeared in print and on TV — from CNN and “The Today Show” to “Larry King Live.” She actively promotes her cause through events, on Facebook and Twitter.
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