The Virtual Rainforest
A Neotropical Rainforest
Rainforest Research


Tree Seedlings

Forest Flowers



Army Ants

Bullet Ants
Leafcutter Ants

Rhinoceros Beetle

Swallowtail Butterfly



Keel-billed Toucan

Howler Monkeys

White-faced Monkeys

Three-toed Sloth
Baird's Tapir
White-lipped Peccary
Reptiles and Amphibians:
Red-eyed Tree Frog
Poison Dart Frog
Helmeted Iguana
Eyelash Viper
Terciopelo Viper
Spectacled Caiman
American Crocodile
Human Systems:
Rainforest Boy
Rainforest Girl
Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Rainforest Research

About the Authors





A Day in the Life of a Nicaraguan Boy:

Today I woke up with the rooster crowing at the rising sun. My mom is already kneading the dough for coconut bread to sell around our village; my little sister is at her heels. I help her dress for school and unlike most children in the US we walk to our school building which is on the edge of town, right next to the rainforest. We do not have electricity until noon and so lessons are taught on black boards. We learn about our Garifuna heritage, math, science, and grammar in three different languages; Spanish, English and Garifuna. On break time I play soccer even though baseball is my favorite. When I don’t have school I am going to help on the farm. To get to my family’s farm I have to walk through the rainforest. We are growing tree seedlings to replant trees which we have cut down for firewood. I know most of the plants and all of the animals, all without the help of any books! My favorite animal is the armadillo but I hate toads.

I am also supposed to drum with my uncle today. He is going to teach me the beat of a faster song because he said my hands are getting fast enough. My friends and I are going to play in the lagoon and see if we can catch any fish for the big fishermen. Only one of them won’t be there, he had a really bad toothache that grandma’s herbs couldn’t fix. He got to go on a panga ride this morning to go see the doctor in Bluefields. I asked him to bring me back something cool from the city because I haven’t been there since I was much younger. Maybe one day if I do well in my studies I will go to University there. But I will always come back home, home is where I know all of the good places to find armadillos for lunch.

Below is a photo of the town I live in shown from the town dock.



The Virtual Rainforest

Back to the Rainforest

Copyright Gerald R. Urquhart
Michigan State University

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Virtual Rainforest development supported by grant #0815966 from the
National Science Foundation

Center for Global Change and Earth Observation

Michigan State University