Madre Ceiba, is a short 20-30 minute documentary film that looks at the role of empathy, connection, and love in wildlife rehabilitation and the mitigation of biodiversity loss through the eyes of Encar García.
Encar is a biologist, primatologist, and co-founder of Jaguar Rescue Center, who is on a mission to save wild animals and in the process conserve the primary forest they need for survival. She operates on the feminist idea that love and empathy are fundamental for animal rehabilitation, and after 30 years of working with primates, she has pioneered a method of raising, rehabilitating, and releasing injured/orphaned wild animals. The film asks us to see ourselves in wild animals and to take action to protect ‘La Ceiba’ – the mother forest.

The Jaguar Rescue Center is located in the tropical forests along the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, and the La Ceiba Natural Reserve is part of a critical Talamanca-Caribbean Biological Corridor that stretches from Costa Rica to Panama. Sitting on the narrow land bridge between North and South America, Costa Rica is one of the world’s most ecologically important countries. Its unique location and range of ecosystems result in around 6% of Earth’s biodiversity.

The La Ceiba Natural Reserve – 490,000 sqm of primary forest in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, where many of Encar’s rehabilitated animals get released, is increasingly under threat. Development in the region has been increasing exponentially over the last few years. With this growth has come more roads, more power lines, more people and pressure to develop, and a changing climate. The increase in human activity in the area results in a direct increase in the number of wild animals arriving at the JRC and immediate threats to the primary forest where they live. This film is an urgent call to action to protect this forest and these animals.