Founded in 1986 by a group of local Costa Rican and expatriate residents, the MVI collaborates with schools and universities from around the world to host academic programs that address global issues of sustainability, all the while retaining a local focus on the environmental, cultural and economic realities of the Monteverde region.
Regular programs include courses in tropical biology and conservation, agro-ecology, sustainable design and community planning, public health, gender studies and Costa Rican politics and culture. A range of short courses are also offered in topics as diverse as ‘Understanding Fair Trade,’ ‘Art and Nature,’ and ‘Women and Community Development.’
All MVI programs incorporate an element of community service or participation, enabling the Institute to support numerous local development initiatives over its 20 year lifespan, including participation in the municipal planning commission and involvement in grassroots efforts around rural ecotourism, forest protection, water use and public health. The MVI is also part of the Pacific Slope Trail Alliance that administers the nearby Pacific Slope Trail system.
The MVI supports research that can be applied to local, national and international issues of biodiversity protection and sustainable development, giving students and community members access to original data and opportunities to interact with experts.
The MVI operates community resources including the John and Doris Campbell Library, which houses a collection of books, articles and magazines, as well as papers and research by past students and local and international scientists; a wireless computer network with internet access; a classroom and auditorium equipped with video/computer projection facilities; a fully equipped wet and dry laboratory; as well as 40 acres of primary and secondary cloud forest abutting the Monteverde Reserve.
The MVI is located next to the Monteverde Cheese Factory, just 1.5 miles (3 km) south of the Cloud Forest Reserve. The offices are open from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday. For information about programs, visit their website at www.mvinstitute.org, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (506) 2645-5053.