San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Monteverde Celebrates Release Of New Documentary, Book

Peace Pilgrim, the woman who spent 28  years walking through North America to spread the message of peace, walked again last weekend in the recently completed Spanish version of a 2002 documentary about her life, premiered Aug. 26 at Monteverde’s new Paseo de Stella theater. The release of the DVD was part of a three-day celebration of National Parks Day, Aug. 24, that took place in the Quaker community in north-central Costa Rica.

Narrated by José Cortés of the TV nature series “Sin Fronteras,” “Peace Pilgrim: An American Sage Who Walked Her Talk” tells the story of one woman’s quest for world peace, as, from 1953 until her death in 1981, Mildred Norman Ryder walked more than 25,000 miles throughout North America as an active prayer for peace.

Peace Pilgrim’s life work was recognized in Costa Rica in 2000 at the University for Peace (UPEACE) outside Ciudad Colón, southwest of San José, when a bronze statue by well-known Costa Rican sculptor Fernando Calvo was erected on the university grounds (TT, May 5, 2000). The initiative was inspired by Robert Muller, chancellor emeritus of UPEACE, and adopted as a cause by Monteverde resident Mary Newswanger.

The documentary will be available in English and Spanish, free of charge, within the next few months from the Peace Pilgrim Web site, For info, e-mail

Also timed to coincide with the National Parks Day celebration is the release of “Monteverde Jubilee Family Album: 50 Years Growing and Spreading Our Roots,” a book recounting the history of the Quaker community’s first 50 years. The book is available at the Friends Peace Center in San José, on Calle 15, between Avenidas 6 and 8, and at Chunches Bookstore in Santa Elena,Monteverde, for ¢10,000 ($19.40).


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