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.
May 11, 2015

A new era begins at the sea turtle program!

A new era begins at the sea turtle program!

Just two months remain until the Corcovado Foundation sea turtle conservation program starts up for the 2015-16 season, and there is still much fundraising to be done. While we have been successful in obtaining one small grant, we were unable to win another that would have provided all of the funding we needed to run the program this year. Our ability to protect the sea turtles nesting on the beaches of Drake Bay and Río Oro currently hangs in the balance, and so we turn to private donors now more than ever to help us to close this funding gap.

Since 2006, the program has saved 90% of the 150 turtle nests laid in Drake Bay each year, releasing over 70,000 babies into the ocean! Our vibrant community-based project involves over 30 locals who help to protect the turtles from poachers, and our volunteers stay in a homestay house network in the village which has already raised over $60,000 for local families. The local turtle association which we helped to establish is also preparing to run the project by themselves, and they may even be ready by the end of the year! It has been a super successful initiative which has benefitted not only just the sea turtles but the local residents too, coupling the preservation of their sea turtles firmly to their economic prosperity.

At our brand new site at Río Oro beach there is a much smaller community, but there are at least 10 times more turtles coming to nest, so we’ve really got our work cut out this year! The beach is visited by Olive Ridley, Green, Hawksbill and even Leatherback sea turtles, but also a lot of poachers who travel in from other parts of the country to take the turtle eggs and sell them on the black market. We will help to protect the nests from these poachers by relocating the eggs to a hatchery, and we will support the Ministry of Environment (MINAE) in their effort to establish a National Wildlife Refuge at the site. In return, officers from MINAE will come to patrol with our biologists and volunteers, which we hope will act as an effective deterrent to the poachers.

We will also work with local organizations, schools and businesses to raise awareness of the plight of their sea turtles, and to promote the engagement of the local community with the project as much as possible. Our environmental education program will implement classes and activities in the local schools, and we will form an out-of-school youth group so that the kids can get involved in some conservation activities, as well as lots of fun and games of course. We will train local adults with the turtle conservation methodology, and we will offer an hourly salary to those who complete their training and wish to patrol the beaches at night. We will also promote community-based tours in the area to our volunteers, so that locals can generate some income through the kind of responsible tourism that we hope will one day form a sustainable backbone for the local economy.

We would like to achieve all of this over the next 12 months, but we simply won’t be able to do everything – and sacrifices will have to be made – unless we are able to raise more donations. In order to achieve our goals in full, we are looking to raise an additional $5,000 USD before the end of the year.  Make a donation on May 13th and Globalgiving will match your donation.

Please, if you care about protecting the environment for these endangered creatures, and if you recognize the value of creating sustainable economic opportunities for poor local residents through conservation, then consider making a donation to our program today.

Our proven track record in Drake Bay should give you confidence that we will be able to replicate the model at our new site of Río Oro, and that another community in Costa Rica will be provided with all of the tools they require to protect their natural resources while lifting themselves out of poverty.

Thank you!

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Apr 1, 2015

Sacrlett Macaw Release... you can help!

Scalett Macaws
Scalett Macaws

Scarlett Macaw’s (Lapas) Permits Almost Ready!!

What was originally supposed to take 3 to 4 weeks for the pending Scarlet Macaw Release Program approval has finally passed through the red tape of MINAE, our Ministry of Natural Resources. This will enable the volunteer Committee de las Lapas de Santa Juana to participate in a Ninety-Day Release Program for the first 10 young Scarlet Macaws (Lapas). This is the first phase of the re-introduction of this endangered species back into the region where they once flourished. We managed to donate a small parcel for the project and construction materials and labor for specially designed “release” cage. Also an experienced Veterinarian will work for a discounted fee for her monthly visits. What was not anticipated is the news from the University of Costa Rica that they can’t provide the particular blood tests required to receive the Macaws. Unfortunately the community is not prepared to now pay for blood tests available in Miami for $1200!

The first action last week was with Jet Set Vacations, inviting their client’s to make a donation of $5 per passenger to their Santa Juana visit. We also wanted to share this report with you, the donors of Global Giving, to see if there was interest to support this conservation project with the community of Santa Juana for the re-introduction of the first 10 Scarlet Macaws.

We know your support will help make a difference for an important community project in sustainable tourism.

Gracias,

 

Jim Damalas

Santa Juana, Costa Rica

Santa Juana School
Santa Juana School
Feb 26, 2015

Hands on learning!

 

What a better way to learn than doing! It has been said by many teachers throughout history, that practice is the best way to integrate knowledge, and we have had the opportunity to do so!

At the end of the last year, we took children from several underprivileged communities in Osa Peninsula, to the world known Corcovado National Park. This protected area is supposed to be one of the world’s most biologically intense places on Earth according to the National Geographic.

Tourists from all over the world travel to Costa Rica to visit this protected area, and hundreds of Costarricans benefit economically from their visit.  Local communities have a huge impact on this natural park and their surrounding areas. However close, many or should we say the majority of the children in the area have never been in this wonderful national park.  It is hard to talk about protecting what you have never seen…

That is why our organization set up several trips to the national park with groups of the local schools. Prior to the tour, we provided the students with environmental lessons on Tropical Forest and human activities that threaten biodiversity, for instance, we talked about deforestation and hunting, and its impact on natural areas.

During our visit to the National Park it was great to see their faces and their excitement. They could not believe the amazing neighbor they had. They then saw the effects of conserving nature versus not protecting it. They understood why people from all walks of life, from all over the world come to their town to visit this spectacular place.

Our project depends of donations from people like you.  Please, keep helping us, so that we can keep giving to these children new and amazing experiences.  

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