Dr. Felipe Montoya
We are very fortunate to have Las Nubes as a permanent project of the Faculty of Environmental Studies. As a permanent feature, thanks to an endowment supported by generous donations of friends of the project, Las Nubes has been able to take root in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor in Southern Costa Rica, grow from the seeds planted by the late Prof. Howard Daugherty, who started the project, and continue to develop and bear such fruit as York University´s EcoCampus with its spectacular Lillian Meighen Wright Centre; the ever-expanding FES Semester Abroad, now with six FES faculty teaching courses in Costa Rica; Scott Library´s community learning center La Casita Azul serving communities in the heart of the biological corridor; formal memorandums of understanding with all the public universities of Costa Rica, among others; and a constant interaction with the local communities and organizations in search of advancing the strategic goals of the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor, and supporting the improved socio-environmental wellbeing of the Brunca Region of southern Costa Rica.
For our students, Las Nubes represents a unique opportunity to experience directly, share with, and learn from the Global South. For our faculty, Las Nubes opens the doors to long-term community engagement and research opportunities. For our institutional partners in Costa Rica, Las Nubes represents an opportunity for international collaboration and exchange. For our community friends in the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor, Las Nubes is a good neighbor that listens to their dreams and fears, and work hard with them, through research, education and community engagement to improve their livelihoods, in ways that are conducive to social and environmental health and wellbeing. As the director of Las Nubes since 2012, I have been humbled by the generous shows of support from the project´s many loyal friends, and I have been overjoyed by how Las Nubes has positively transformed so many students´ lives. Being the director of Las Nubes has been an invaluable gift that I hope to honour with my greatest efforts, diligence and dedication. I look forward to the future of Las Nubes as it continues to engage both new and old friends, partners, collaborators, faculty, students, and community members.