Corcovado Foundation

Mission The Corcovado Foundation is a key player in the strengthening of the protected wild areas, the promotion of environmental education, sustainable tourism and community participation throughout the sustainable use of the natural resources in the South Pacific area of Costa Rica.
Sep 16, 2014

One month away to Lapa Release Program

Map of the releasing area
Map of the releasing area

Month away from Lapa Release Program!

Sept. 2014

After much research and lots of support from Alejandra Monge, director of the Corcovado Foundation, and Tey Arce, her counterpart from Titi Alliance, we are about ready to launch our pilot program for the re-introduction of three pairs of Scarlet Macaws (Lapas) in Santa Juana. The community has created its own committee to care for the lapas, including Allan Jimenez who will be in charge of preparing the “Jaula”, their temporary cage located next door to where he and his family live, who will look after the six new members to the community. Jimmy Mata, our staff biologist from Si Como No’s Wildlife Refuge and Nature Park in Manuel Antonio, will be responsible for the lab reports of blood samples and general behavior patterns as the Lapas become adapted to their new environment. They were raised as chicks at the facilities of Don Alesandro Puma, near the capital of San Jose. If this pilot program works, and the Lapas adapt to what was originally their natural habitat, before they were hunted for their feathers, meat, and value for collectors, Sr. Palma will have several more young pairs ready by next Spring! Based upon the study done by the National University of San Jose’s Biology department, the area has at least 17 species of native trees that the Lapas include in their natural diet. If the pilot is successful, and the reintroduction, over a 90-day period succeeds with the birds choosing to stay in the area, this will generate more natural attractions besides restoring these colorful Lapas, or Scarlet Macaws, to their natural habitat. Also the employment of two members of the village, who will have the responsibility, as well as employment, for caring and sharing their knowledge about these magnificent animals who live, paired for life, for up to 80 years!

Scalet Macaws living on the wild
Scalet Macaws living on the wild
Aug 27, 2014

The joys of being an environmental educator

Beautiful Osa Peninsula
Beautiful Osa Peninsula

Changing people’s attitude.

Sometimes the hardest thing to explain is when and how somebody changes their attitude towards any topic, especially when they are children. We have no doubt that raising awareness amongst the little ones is the best tool to protect nature and create the environmental leaders that will make Osa and their community a more sustainable place. Empowered children will be taking the lead in protecting and conserving their surroundings and will teach by example.

As an environmental educator, my quest is to find what actually changes their mind set.  When I see it and when I discover that the planted seed is actually emerging from those little minds, it is a great success.

Last week I found one of those hatching seeds. After a conversation with an old man from the community about conservation and the work that we are doing with kids, he said “ No wonder my grandchild didn’t want to go hunting with his dad last time” (hunting in Costa Rica is completely illegal and penalized by jail).   That was such a heartwarming experience for me!

On another occasion, during a horse back riding trip, I had a child come to me and whisper in my ear his concern about a pregnant mare who was suffering from walking under the sun the whole day.  He was reluctant to say it out loud, because culturally animals are considered closer to objects than living things in Osa. Something had shifted in the way he saw and related to animals. Hurray!

Finally, I feel great joy seeing how the environmental groups are now working together. When we first started working, the children would be disrespectful to each other and would constantly fight. Now they share their art supplies, congratulate each other on a great job done and enjoy their time together.

These are only a few examples about how the children are being benefitted by our environmental education program, few examples that fill me up with satisfaction and that I happy to share with you: our benefactors who make all this possible by your kind and generous donations.

Proud children after planting trees
Proud children after planting trees
Lets plant a tree
Lets plant a tree
Aug 26, 2014

Funding desperately needed to protect the turtles!

Work at the beach
Work at the beach

The Sea Turtle Conservation Program in Drake Bay is more popular than ever this year. This week we celebrated our 70th volunteer in just two months - the same number of volunteers that we had in the whole of last season! The homestay houses have already earned more than in 2013 for housing volunteers, and double what they earned in 2012. With more than three months left to go, this year is shaping up to be record-breaking.

However, volunteer fees only cover the cost of accommodation and do not cover the cost of running the program, which is normally covered by a grant of USD $20,000 or more. So far no grant has been found for the 2014 season, and so finances are on a knife edge. We are relying upon private donations more than ever to be able to continue, and everyone involved is having to donate much more of their time this year, with locals only able to earn half of the salary that was available in previous seasons. There is no materials budget and many pieces of equipment are in desperate need of replacement. There is also no funding available for the Sea Turtle Festival, an awareness raising event than attracts over 200 locals and ecotourists annually. The program needs to raise at least $2,000 so that this historic event can take place in 2014. Can you help? Every cent counts, and no donation is too small!

Volunteers and locals have been working tirelessly patrolling the beaches in Drake Bay in search for nesting sea turtles. So far this season, over 40 turtles have been found on Drake Beach, and 26 nests are already incubating in the hatchery, amounting to over 2000 eggs safely protected from poachers and predators. Volunteers have also been working hard in the daytime to help to improve community facilities and assist the locals in learning English.

We would like to extend huge congratulations to the members of the local association ACOTPRO, who have taken on much more responsibility this year. From working voluntarily overnight in the hatchery, to leading patrols and coordinating the homestay accommodation; ACOTPRO have really stepped up. They have also been working on volunteer recruitment and a brand new website for their community-led project! The site will be online soon and will be found at: www.drakebayturtles.org.

If you have an interest in volunteering in Drake Bay, contact us today. Some nests are almost ready to hatch, so now is the time to sign up and see our first baby turtles of the season! Visit www.corcovadofoundation.org for more details.

Many thanks for your continued support in helping to protect the sea turtles of Drake Bay!

Turtle Volunteers working at the recycling center
Turtle Volunteers working at the recycling center
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