Grant #8

Saving Panama’s Pygmy Sloths

April 8, 2013

Julia Heckathorn’s goal was to give children a “perspective changing experience and love for the natural world.”

When the children’s book writer and illustrator of the series Search for the Hidden Clover discovered Panama’s Three-Toed Pygmy Sloths were critically endangered, she saw an opportunity to use her passion and profession as a tool for transformation.

The Three-Toed Pygmy Sloths are specific to Escudo island, also a source of food and income for local fishermen. Each fishing season the fishermen cut down mangroves to burn for cooking, often leaving their trash behind. As a result, the island’s natural resources and Pygmy Sloth habitat are compromised.

In an effort to tackle the issue, the Hidden Clover Team partnered with local Panamanian leaders and a number of renowned conservation groups. The general consensus: by providing a garbage collection service, appropriate signage, park rangers and cooking stoves for the fishermen, extinction of the sloths could be avoided.

To support these conservation projects, Hidden Clover donates a portion of the proceeds from its book sales. The books can be purchased on or To learn more about the Search for the Hidden Clover series and Julia’s work visit the website, and join them on Facebook and Twitter.

Category: Education, Environment, Philanthropy, Preservation



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders