Laura Tschümperlin is a Student at the Federal Technical University of Zürich (ETH), who in 2014 spent several months in the Nogal Reserve in Costa Rica for her research. She collected useful data about biodiversity.

 

What is the most amazing thing you have seen during your stay in Nogal?

About six red-and-green macaws on a tree in one of Nogal’s reforestation corridors.

 

…and what was the hardest moment for you?

Not having been able to integrate myself well into the community and being one of them during my stay.

 

If you had to explain to Swiss school children why biodiversity is so important, what would you tell them?

Each animal and plant is on this planet for a reason and is part of a big network of interactions. Each one can be compared to a Domino, and if one gets out of balance, parts or even the whole network is threatened to break down.

 

Did the experience in Nogal change the way you see the world?

Yes, I had the chance to experience that the most lovable and sharing people I met were those who owned the least. And they are also the ones still connected to nature and living most sustainably.

 

What would be the most important advice you’d give to someone who goes to do volunteer work in Nogal?

To be prepared that it is not going to be easy living in a remote place in a completely different culture, but that it is an extraordinary and extremely valuable experience.

 

Do you have a motto for life?

I challenge myself every day to live as sustainably as possible.