La Reserva Forest Foundation

La Reserva Forest Foundation is a Costa Rican non-profit, tax exempt foundation working to restore and preserve native tropical forests, dedicated to creating "tree bridges" linking isolated forest islands using volunteers and the local school communities, and fighting global warming through various carbon neutral projects.
Jan 23, 2014

MORE Before and After Inspiration

Jimmy at a Kapok (Ceiba) tree planted June 2011,
Jimmy at a Kapok (Ceiba) tree planted June 2011,

Last week Jimmy Acosta Elizondo, LRFF’s field director, performed the inspection of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project. Amazing progress has taken place again. Daniel and I went over on Thursday, January 16th, to do the inventory on the nursery that will be supplying the trees for our next planting coming up on the 31st of January. We also walked along the Rio Sol Corridor within Nicida’s property on the way to another piece she’s interested in restoring to forest this year.

As you probably remember the biological corridor project was planted the second half of 2011. Every time we walk any part of the corridor we’re amazed at how quickly the trees grow in the Guatuso area (we use no fertilizers or other growth inducing supplements). It must be the soil, sun, heat and rain because on this side of the mountain, west of Guatuso, the trees develop about ½ as fast. 

Check out the photos and see for yourselves. We still need a small amount of funding to cover the inspections for the next 3 years and the administration costs, but thanks to you we’re almost there!

Plant it and they will come…and that’s what we’re seeing at the Maleku indigenous tribe reserve. The wildlife, flora and other fauna are returning and along with it more and more people want to restore parts of their land back to native forest.

On the way home Thursday afternoon, up over the beautiful mountain, I said to Daniel, “What a great life we have, eh. To be able to plant all those trees, watch them grow into a forest in two years time and be nurtured by those people we call our friends and family, the Maleku. We sure are blessed!

LET’S KEEP PLANTING!!

 

Daniel Spreen, President of LRFF/CR, be proud Dan!
Daniel Spreen, President of LRFF/CR, be proud Dan!
Another area planted in 2011
Another area planted in 2011
Nicida, owner of a large area with Daniel
Nicida, owner of a large area with Daniel
Look at this chestnut (Castana) tree planted 2011
Look at this chestnut (Castana) tree planted 2011
Jimmy
Jimmy's favorite grove in the corridor, a forest

Links:

Jan 6, 2014

Let's Save These People

Bienvenido, tribal council leader with Ylang Ylang
Bienvenido, tribal council leader with Ylang Ylang

Our last progress report recounted the great success we’ve seen in tree development in just two years time at Marvin’s 14 hectares which were planted in December of 2011. This report is about the BIG picture up at Marvin’s and how it affects the Maleku indigenous tribe.

In 1976 the Costa Rican government decreed 3000 hectares as the tribe’s legal territory, what the government felt was owed them after the Maleku were slaughtered in the mid 1800’s and lost all 60,000 hectares that were their original territory. At present the Maleku are only in possession of approximately 600 hectares. Since the decree the lands that are illegally owned by non-indigenous landowners have never been expropriated and given back to the Maleku tribe.

When La Reserva Forest Foundation originally met with the Maleku tribesmen our first priority was to find a way to return those 3000 hectares back to them and reforest 2000 hectares of it. Marvin Castro, owner of the “38 Hectares of Valuable Resources”, is a non-indigenous landowner willing to sell the property and that’s how this project took shape. The idea is that in “buying” back just a few of the properties in non-indigenous hands via private donations the government would be shamed into action.

One of LRFF’s most important founding principles is positive action which prohibits us from making a stink, demonstrating, creating lawsuits, etc. Our only recourse is through other people’s generosity and true intentions to help this group of people who are in danger of extinction.

Marvin’s property is the source of all the potable water flowing from the mountain springs on his property to the three Maleku “palenques” (villages) below. Currently the water coop has its tanks there and they’re planning to build a larger tank that will take advantage of more gravity flow to the villages

The Maleku tribal council, who would administer the any new lands added to the Maleku territory have lost much of their hope in the last two years. I know that if we could find a sponsor or buyer, even on a recurring donation scheme, Marvin would give over possession of the property and we could then return the first 38 Hectares of Valuable Resources to the Maleku and give them strength to move onward and upward with their projects. They can do it, their spirit can be found in this little prayer written by my late friend and project participant, Isidro Acosta. First in Maleku then translated into English for you…

 

A Maleku Prayer

Nini cani carinabaqui casasaja tocuba, mi jani juaquini frurucu falla taqui.

Nini cani paca nuerra nuerra, mi jani juaquini fruru falla taqui.

Nini cani ucurrique patuco lasuf y jani jerronca tuni, mi jani juaquini fruruquini falla taqui.

Nini cani macaloc puro tocuba, mi jani juaquini fruru falla taqui.

Nini charagtoco ton chaja y artenhepue, mi jani juaquini fruru falla taqui.

Nini pilihiora, mi jani juaquini fruru fall taqui.

 

To the old god, you give me strength all of my days.

To the great god, you give me strength all of my days.

To the god of the Rio Frio with the tail of a shark, you give me strength all of my days.

To the tree with the warm glowing brass color, you give me strength all of my days.

To the toucan singing in the Tamarind tree, you give me strength all of my days.

To the hummingbird, you give me strength all of my days.

 

Thank you so much everyone for your continued support and generosity…

YOU GIVE ME STRENGTH ALL OF MY DAYS. 

Flowering Ylang Ylang growing wild at project area
Flowering Ylang Ylang growing wild at project area
Ylang Ylang flower close up, what a fragrance!
Ylang Ylang flower close up, what a fragrance!
Another beautiful plant regenerating at project
Another beautiful plant regenerating at project

Links:

Dec 26, 2013

May We Have Your Permission

GREEN students at Papa Loca, La Reserva, CR
GREEN students at Papa Loca, La Reserva, CR

Thanks to you this project was received it’s last donation to reach full funding last June. We received the final disbursement in August and, as I reported in the last progress report, when we gave Bienvenido the news he and his family jumped up and down on the porch, ready to go to work as soon as the disbursement was received.  We called a meeting in August with the Maleku Tribal Council and four of the members attended.

We discussed the budget and everyone seemed a little halfhearted about the whole thing. It’s been three years since we first posted this project on Global Giving for funding, in the midst of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project. The Tribal Council was going strong at the time but began to experience some internal conflicts and problems 

I’ve been in contact with Bienvenido and his son Emigdio periodically these past four months, a couple of times they said they would be cutting the posts but up till now there hasn’t been anything done. Emigdio left to live in the U.S. so with the coming year I have a proposition for you and I’d like you to let me know if you have any objection to the idea. If we don’t hear from you I’ll assume you are in agreement and you’ll be receiving another progress report soon about the new project.

Here at the La Reserva forest preserve in Costa Rica we receive many groups of students of all ages, especially university students. We’ve been working closely with the Global Renewable Energy Education Network (GREEN) now for more than three years. They are an educational, student travel group and during Christmas, spring and summer vacations in the states they bring large groups of students to La Reserva to learn about tropical reforestation and climate change almost every Sunday afternoon. (see photos)

I take them on the now famous forest walk and it’s always amazing to see them transform as they “get it”, the interconnectivity of the forest ecosystem. After the walk my friend and shaman, Majima and his family teach the students a bit about plant medicine, Maleku culture and then they compete at homemade bow and arrow shooting. All of this is out in the open, no shelter…you see where I’m going right?

This past year there were some afternoons with non-stop rain and without shelter (other than the little one man restroom) we all got soaked and cold, if you can believe it. I determined then and there somehow I’d get a traditional Maleku “rancho” built here at La Reserva so we can receive visitors and they can enjoy the Maleku show with a roof over their heads. When the Rancho Bienvenido project didn’t look like it would make it I asked Global Giving if it would be permissible to use the funds from that project to do the same kind of project in a different location. They said it’s up to you…what do you think?

Thank you so much, if I don’t hear from you please watch for the next report soon. 

Majima, the shaman, teaching and entertaining
Majima, the shaman, teaching and entertaining
Competing with homemade Maleku bow and arrow
Competing with homemade Maleku bow and arrow
The winners of the competition and the spoils
The winners of the competition and the spoils

Links:

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