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KSTR – September/October 2017

KSTR logoBy Lexi Baca

Hello, and welcome to your monthly article from me, your faithful KSTR spokeskid. This month I have some good news and some bad news!

A few days ago, I had a chance to interview a 9-year-old girl named Karma, who moved here with her mom specifically for KSTR. Karma’s mom, Kerri, is the new Volunteer Coordinator for the organization. I was able to ask Karma a few questions about herself and why she moved here, and what she intends to do with KSTR.

Karma and Lexi

Karma & Lexi

And, as we all know, I’m getting old. (Back pains and everything!). I’m also going to be moving soon which means, unfortunately, I will have to step-down as spokeskid for KSTR. Now now, try and hold back your tears. You won’t be left spokeskid-less! Karma is going to take over and honestly, she’ll probably do a better job than I have!

Still, I’m going to miss working as spokeskid. It’s been a long ride, but a fun one nonetheless. I enjoyed writing articles, doing radio shows, visiting the sanctuary, educating kids around the world, and everything else that was part of my job! People would even recognize my name from the articles on occasion. But I have no doubt everything will be in good hands once I leave.

Now, without further-a-do, here are a few of the questions I asked Karma and the answers she gave me!

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Kids Saving the Rainforest – May/June 2017

KSTR logoBy Lexi Baka

Hello, once again! It’s me. I’m writing to you from Florida currently, although when you see this I will most likely be back in Costa Rica. My family took a very small vacation. But that isn’t what’s important…what’s important is that I’m here, and ready to deliver some good news!

Mother titi with babyOver a year ago, we received a grant from LATA (Latin American Travel Association) to release a troop of Squirrel Monkeys (affectionately known as “Titi” monkeys here). We were so thrilled when LATA granted the donation (thank you!), which gave us the ability to collect the information and supplies that we needed to conduct experiments that were absolutely necessary to ensure these orphaned monkeys safe release. We got busy and spent the next few months ensuring the monkeys would survive and thrive after release. Sadly, some did not pass and they will have to live out their lives in our wildlife sanctuary. (But don’t worry, they live in an enclosure that is 180 feet long and 30 feet wide, not to mention 50 feet high, so it is a mini-rainforest!)

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Kids Saving the Rainforest – April 2017

This stunned and injured monkey was spotted in front of our house. KSTR to the rescue!

This stunned and injured monkey was spotted in front of our house. KSTR to the rescue!

Hello once again, my dear faithful readers! I’m here to report to you about what’s new with me and KSTR, as I am every month! This month has been particularly interesting, I must say. A lot of things have happened, and a lot of new things are coming for me and KSTR! For the last few months I’ve been studying the KSTR tour cheat sheet, to ready myself to give a tour. I am happy to say that soon, I will be ready!

My family and I also happened to find an injured monkey, hiding in our neighbor’s bushes. She had a head wound, and possibly a broken limb. We went down, and watched her while we waited for KSTR to arrive. Then KSTR arrived and retrieved her, to take her back to the sanctuary and check out her injuries. She looked like such a sweet girl, and I genuinely felt terrible for her. I hope that she gets better soon, and is able to be released back into the wild. Good luck, little monkey.

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Kids Saving the Rainforest – March 2017

KSTR logoHello again, it’s me Lexi, KSTR’s spokeskid.

Owl trapped in barbed wire fenceNow as much as I’d like to turn that sentence into an Adele pun, I was wondering if after all these years I could learn to be a bit more mature. I am about to become a teenager, after all. Anyways, I’m here! I bet you all missed me. I have some great news to share! I got to eat hashbrowns for breakfast. Oh, also, my family saved an owl. What’s that? You’re more interested in the owl? Well, I mean, they were very good hashbrowns, but anything for my fans I guess.

A few weeks ago, my mom spotted an owl. She saw it was flapping its wings, but it didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. She quickly figured out that it was trapped in the barbed wire that encircled an area below our house, our private property. She headed down with my father, and my sister not too far behind, carrying a huge box. (Good job, Peaches!) Unfortunately, I was asleep for all of this, but eventually my father cut the owl out of the barbed wire, being very careful not to touch him. (Remember! Our hands transmit diseases.) They got him into the box, and took him to the KSTR sanctuary! We are happy to say, he’ll be ready for release soon.
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Happy Valentine from Kids Saving the Rainforest

KSTR logoBy Spokeskid Lexi, 12 Years Old

Hello again! It’s me, your faithful writer Lexi, here with another article. I have great news! My new school schedule this year leaves room for helping the environment even more! Starting this month, I will begin to give tours at the KSTR sanctuary, and try to educate those who take them. I am both nervous and excited, but overall I am so glad to be given the chance to seize this opportunity. I am, of course, afraid that I may get something wrong, but if that does happen, I know it won’t be the end of the world! It will take some training and experience and I’ll just keep trying until I get it right. I want more than anything to help both the people and the animals. I’m so grateful that I have the ability to do this, and hope to find more ways to help the animals, the rainforest, and our community in the future.

Lexi at Kids Saving the RainforestFriendly reminder to not feed the monkeys! (We know, Lexi, you tell us every article!)

With that being said, I’ve been away for a month. I went to the US to see friends and family for the holidays. I missed my old friends and was so happy to spend time with them, but while I was there I missed being able to care for—and even just see—the wildlife here in Costa Rica. Although there were, and are, many things I miss about the US, caring for our environment is my passion and I can do so much more here to directly impact its future. As a result, I am glad to be back and ready to find different ways to make this world a better place!
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KSTR – January 2017

KSTR logo
Happy New Year, Kids Saving the Rainforest Hopes That All Your Wishes Come True​!

Hello again! It’s me Lexi, KSTR spokeskid, here with another article. This time we’re going to talk about a subject that I have talked about before, but that I believe deserves another chance to be in the spotlight: Feeding the Monkeys. As I mentioned in a previous article, my family didn’t know any better when we arrived years ago in Costa Rica either. We were encouraged by tour guides to reach out with seeds and get the monkeys to come onto our kayaks in the mangroves. We have since educated ourselves and others, but there is much more work to be done.

Lexi at Kids Saving the RainforestThe fact that people are still feeding monkeys saddens me, as KSTR has tried their best for years to stop people from doing so. I was just at a favorite restaurant yesterday, and one of the staff pulled out a banana and entertained some tourists by feeding the Squirrel (Titi) monkeys visiting the balcony.  My mom and I of course said something, but the staff member didn’t see anything wrong with doing it. We followed up and sent the restaurant manager KSTR’s reasons not to feed the monkeys, and we will have to watch developments since our family doesn’t support businesses who feed monkeys. Here is the link to the list of reasons so you can always have it handy!

kstr.wordpress.com/2013/01/27/please-dont-feed-the-monkeys/

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Kids Saving the Rainforest – December 2016

KSTR logo

Happy Holidays to all!

By Lexi Baca, age 12, KSTR spokeskid

Mr. Sloth got stuck in our neighbor's yard

Mr. Sloth got stuck in our neighbor’s yard

Why did the sloth cross the road? Because there were no tree branches or monkey bridges! Hi, it’s Lexi again, Kids Saving the Rainforest spokeskid. As a KSTR volunteer, I get to learn about certain things that KSTR does to help the welfare of their animals, or just animals in Costa Rica in general. There are a lot of things they’ve done to try and make sure that the animals who live here are safe, and this month I’m going to talk about the monkey bridges along with a personal story of a sloth who could have used one.

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KSTR Thanksgiving 2016

KSTR logoHappy Thanksgiving to you all! Thanksgiving is a time when we all give thanks for what we have in our lives.  We thank all of you who have helped us to continue saving the rainforest. We have much gratitude to you all!

Now a message from our spokeskid, Lexi.

Half-blind hawkAs the spokeskid for Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR), I’m writing articles focused on a different program each month, and this month will be focused on our sanctuary. At KSTR, we have a sanctuary for animals that are either in the process of being rehabilitated, or cannot be released into the wild. We do tours of the sanctuary, which is part of our act to raise awareness about how the wildlife is treated, plus to teach people not to have wildlife in captivity, and last but not least, to show people how they can help save the rainforest. The sanctuary cares for many animals, ranging from sloths, parrots, several types of monkeys, hawks and other birds, marmosets, kinkajous, and even a blind coati. My favorite animal in the sanctuary is a half-blind white hawk named Glacier, who was found wandering aimlessly. Even though she is fully capable of flying, she doesn’t have good depth perception so will live out her life with us. Unfortunately, not all our wildlife can be released, due to many different reasons.
We get a lot of animals in due to electrocution. Because there are roads in the middle of their forest, animals seem to think that those conveniently placed telephone wires were made just for them. They end up crossing, and gaining severe injuries in the process. Fortunately, we have placed numerous ‘Monkey Bridges’ around Manuel Antonio, which has decreased the amount of animals that come in because of electrocution (stay tuned for a future article about our monkey bridges!).

Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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Kids Saving The Rainforest – August 2016

Lexi at KSTRBy Lexi Baca
Spokesperson for KSTR (age 12)

Two years ago, my family and I moved to Costa Rica from California. We were ignorant. Foolish. Selfish. Just like many of the people here for the first time. We went for kayak rides, and following advice from our tour guides we reached out eagerly with a piece of fruit in our hands, waiting for the monkeys to come down and grasp it in their tiny paws. We were unaware of the fact that it’s harmful for many reasons to feed wild animals, both to humans and the animals. We didn’t appreciate our flora, pulling at its leaves and trampling it with our sandal-clad feet. Most of all, we let things happen. We watched, but did not know what to do about it. Until we met someone who did.

Kids Saving the Rainforest Logo

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