SalveMonos. It is a play on words in Spanish. When spoken as two words, it means “Save monkeys.” When spoken as one word, it means “Save ourselves.”
SalveMonos is also the name of a small nonprofit organization in Costa Rica that was born out of tragedy. It was a human response to the horror of howler monkeys being electrocuted on power lines and transformers. There are no quick or simple ways to make the coexistence of animals and electricity safer, but SalveMonos is striving to make a difference.
Our call to action was a community meeting discussion in 2004. Simona Daniele, the owner of Luna Llena Hotel, and I, owner of Azul Profundo Boutique, along with our husbands, Pino and Larry, came together with a plan. We each donated $500 to cover the cost of printing souvenir T-shirts, proposing that sales profits would be used to develop monkey bridges bypassing power lines. Gradual but steady progress over the past 13 years adds up to thousands of T-shirts, hundreds of bridges and tens of thousands of monkeys saved and/or relocated.