This is a quick kind of off-topic blog about an amazing organization I came across during a recent trip to Costa Rica. I donate a percentage of my profits each year to various organizations and this year I’ll be sending some love to the Monkey Farm.

Located just a few minutes from Ocotal Beach in Guanacaste province, the Monkey Farm is pretty much not what you think it is. It’s not the high-end tourist destination one might expect from the write-ups on Trip Advisor. It’s a lot more. But it could be disappointing if you think you’re going to see a slick operations and a ton of monkeys!

Laurel and Vicki, The Monkey Farm's founder.

Laurel and Vicki, The Monkey Farm’s founder.

They describe themselves as “… a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) non-profit that combines organic farming and permaculture with monkey and wildlife rescue activities.” Seems about right.

Some of the cooler elements of note include:

  • Volunteers from all over the world come and stay, serve, and learn. We got a nice tour from a young Belgian girl who was working her way down the Americas from volunteer gig to volunteer gig with a group of friends. Neat.
  • They do lots of nice sustainable farming. We got a little packet of Moringo seeds, the miracle tree of Costa Rica. Plant one today!
  • Yes, there are monkeys. We didn’t see any, as it was the middle of the day, but at any given time the troops hanging around there are larger than usual due to the rescue operations.
  • Horseback riding is the farm’s only way to make money. Do the jungle and beach combo ride. We went out with Vicki, the farm’s founder, and got a lot of nice local info as well as tremendous views and sore butts.
  • The farm folks are fiends for community service: With the help of a world-class chef from New York they feed the local needy and also provide free English lessons.
  • Early days on this, but they have the land and plan to build a free, live-in drug rehab to Ticos (slang for Costa Ricans) in need.

Totally worth a visit. So if you happen to go, say hi to Vicki from Laurel.