Our Story

Our Story

One Person Can Make A Difference

The story of ADOPTA, full name Adopta A Panamá Rainforest, has always been one of passionate individuals coming together to make big changes. Everything started when our founder, Guido Berguido, was following his passion for birding and stumbled across a unique mountain called Cerro Chucantí in eastern Panamá. As he began to visit Chucantí with friends and colleagues, however, Chucantí seemed to contain equal amounts of wonder and sadness: although the top of the mountain contains a rare cloud forest ecosystem, full of rare flora and fauna, each voyage up to the peak also revealed that more and more habitat was being destroyed for logging and agriculture.

Something had to be done to stop the madness, and one of Guido’s friends suggested that he should buy the land to protect it. The first purchase was not easy, but Guido eventually bought the first 100 acres of land to create what is now the Cerro Chucantí Private Nature Reserve.

Cerro Chucanti
Discover a rare cloud forest habitat with many new and endemic species currently under threat from deforestation.

Once the reserve had been established, groups began visiting more frequently. Some of these groups contained scientists who began to make fascinating discoveries only made possible by their passion in their chosen field. An entomologist visiting Chucantí, for example, noticed an interesting light flashing at midday in the forest. Although this firefly had not gone unnoticed by other individuals, only the entomologist knew how unusual it was for a firefly to be flashing in the daytime. Upon closer examination, this observation led to the recognition of a new species of firefly – the only known daytime-flashing firefly in the world.

Other groups consited mainly of toursits and birders. As more of these groups visited the private reserve, people began to ask Guido whether he had any plans to expand the reserve. Some of the visitors were so enamored with Cerro Chucantí that they donated money for more land purchases, and the reserve began to grow. ADOPTA was created around this time as a way to manage and grow the reserve.

Soon ADOPTA was able to partner with several other conservation groups such as the Weeden Foundation, Rainforest Trust, and the International Conservation Fund of Canada (ICFC), whose generous help have allowed us to expand our projects. None of our work would be possible without the help of volunteers from around the world, however; passionate individuals from all walks of life come together to support every project and activity we have.

Neotropical Flyways Project
We’re partnering with SELVA and eBird to study migratory birds as they travel through Central America.

Habitat Restoration
We’re joining the Alliance For a Million Hectares to restore degraded forest habitat in Panama.

This support has allowed us to expand our work into other aspects of conservation related to Cerro Chucantí. Chucantí would never have been discovered without birdwatchers like Guido and his friends and colleagues, and now we are partnering with SELVA to monitor migratory birds as they pass through Central and South America. Additionally, to offset the habitat loss originally threatening Chucantí we have joined the Alliance for a Million Hectares to reforest Panamá.

For more information on how we approach conservation, check out Our Values.
For more information about the current work we are doing, visit our Current Projects.
Feel free to Contact Us with any questions or if you would like to get involved.