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While our research depends on the support of many local people in the communities where we work we are especially grateful for several deep friendships developed over the years. This past week we worked with our oldest friend, Marleny Serván , in the Private Conservation Area Las Palmeras de Ocol. We first met Marleny in December 2014 during our very first scouting trip to the region. She took us up to visit her forest within the reserve, where we stayed the night in her small camp or “chosa”. Since then we have returned year after year, watching the forest change and enjoying the continued improvements she and her husband, Pablo, have made to the casita. There is now a large roof and packed soil floor for tents, electricity from a solar panel system donated by the government, and even a fully functioning bathroom! It might as well be a full-fledged biological station! Marleny joined us for the fifth year this week, cooking our meals over a wood fire (or as she would say “poner candela con leña”) with the help of Pablo and their two children, Carina and Pablito.

Marleny and Pablo
Marleny and Pablo at their “chosa”.
Fire
Marleny cooking over the fire with her dog Max.
Family
Marleny, Carina, and Pablito.