Monteverde Community Timberframe Project Update

January 22, 2014
Dance line up at a timber frame Quaker Meetinghouse in Costa Rica

Benito at the Mic, dancers at the ready

Lucky us! Two timbergnomes are just back from a trip to Costa Rica, where the timber framed Meetinghouse in Monteverde was being celebrated in it’s (near) completed state. This project was a community-wide effort to construct a meetinghouse to serve the growing needs of the town and school. Timberhomes’ partner David Hooke was the catalyst for the project. Meeting clerk Katy Van Dusen got her chance to thank him, on behalf of the meeting, for his hard work building bridges across committees to bring consensus amongst the community here that the time had come for a new place to worship and gather. He directed the cutting of the frame, oversaw other aspects of construction, and was involved in engineering, fundraising, design, and just about any aspect of the building you can think of. David’s response touched many in the hall this past Saturday night, as he exclaimed that he’d never come across such readiness to give, and such a collective sense of holding the community high. See more pictures of this project here: Monteverde Friends School.

Finished Stage inside the Quaker Meetinghouse in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Finished Stage

Since my departure last year in early April, the structure has been roofed and enclosed. 2/3 of one of the long walls is enclosed only by glass, allowing inhabitants to enjoy the surrounding cloud forest.

First Coffeehouse performance in the timber frame Quaker Meetinghouse in Costa Rica

First Coffeehouse Performance

A stage has been built complete with trap doors, which have already been put to use by the local school’s theatrically inclined. Wainscoting of tropical calibre dons the lower half of many of the walls. Gorgeous front doors have been built by a local carpentry crew here, and ‘shoji screen’ style sliding panels have been installed along the other long wall, allowing the building to expand into the covered timberframe corridor for large events, such as the blow-out bash that was held here Saturday night.

Folk dance in a timber frame meetinghouse in Monteverde, Costa Rica

David Hooke dances the night away

Speeches spoken, tears shed, bellies filled, and out came the band. Elders who visited from afar to see the changes to the community they raised families in were thankful for the wheelchair access all around. More than a few people over 80 were able to dance on the forgiving wooden, sprung floor. Youngsters boogied to the music, teenagers timidly asked their crushes to dance the Virginia Reel, and heck, we even did the Salty Dog Rag. What a night!

Timber frame meetinghouse in Monteverde, Costa Rica was built entirely with locally harvested timber and volunteer labor

View from the stage, looking at the front entrance and the cloud-forest side wall. Benches arranged for Quaker meeting.