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.
Jun 24, 2015

Santa Juana Community an amazing experiment

A Unique Adventure Experience: Rural Hospitality

Santa Juanas biodiversity was under threat from a variety of human-related factors, including illegal logging and poaching, unsustainable methods of farming and fishing, the spread of the agricultural frontier, and pollution.

 

With little access to infrastructure and markets, local communities often engage in the activities listed above as a matter of survival. However, these activities have devastating effects on ecosystems; the decline in local populations of wild animals is increasing and dramatic. With no other options, even communities that are aware of the importance of their surroundings ecosystems may not have other options for food or earning income. For this reason, ecotourism is an important tool for providing the basic human needs without destroying the local environment.

Once a dormant community, Santa Juana is now a vibrant little town.  The community was disappearing, young people were migrating looking for economic opportunities and the school barely had any students.   That is no longer the case. 

The creation of the Santa Juana Rural Tourism Program is now changing everything.   We are amazed at the incredible response so far to the new Santa Juana Lodge, represented by Greentqiue Hotels and operated by members of the local community of Santa Juana. So far we have hosted travel agents and customers from around the world at the lodge and Santa Juana Rural Mountain Adventure Tour. Their comments through forums, including Trip Advisor, convey the enjoyment and authenticity of rural hospitality, truly connecting with and about the rural culture of Costa Rica. Known as a popular vacation destination, Costa Rica offers its visitors both natural beauty and cultural experiences, and now the lodge of Santa Juana can participate and generate more awareness to support our conservation programs and employment opportunities.

The rural mountain vacation is a window back in time, off the beaten path for the true adventurist…including specialized groups.  It’s an enlightening travel experience that also benefits Greentique Hotels Carbon Offset initiatives, offering Tree Adoption Certificates to all our guests. So for travelers interested in nature in a serene and authentic farm village setting, without the external distractions of mass tourism, we offer the ideal balance of comfort in harmony with nature, and the good nature of your hosts. It means enhancing the guest immersion into the people and rural culture discovering reasons for the “Pura Vida” positive attitude of Ticos. Guest reviews highlight the traditional meals, prepared with local ingredients and family recipes, served in the rancho El Mirador, overlooking the panoramic Pacific coastline of Manuel Antonio National Park…describing it all as, ” heaven on earth”!

We look forward to sharing more of our programs of exceptional Costa Rica experiences while respecting the very nature we are committed to help protect and enhancing with the community while still respecting the way of life of Santa Juana, Costa Rica.

May 26, 2015

Love, respect, tolerance, appreciation and empathy

children making things with recycling materials
children making things with recycling materials

Our program, “Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Millenium in Osa”, aims to change children’s attitude toward nature and empower them to lead the way for sustainable development thru Environmental Education (EE).   

EE promotes change in the attitude of individuals and communities to a society that is knowledgeable of the environment and its associated problems.  They become aware of the solutions to these problems and are motivated to solve them.  

Children will need to influence their parents and teach them new ways of coexisting with nature.  This is true in Osa, where the local way of life for decades has traditionally been based on destructive activities such as illegal hunting and logging.    

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) states that EE is vital in imparting an inherent respect for nature amongst society and in enhancing public environmental awareness.

Our environmental educators are biologists committed to reaching out to children in the most respectful and fun way possible.  In exchange, they get lots of love, laughter and stories from the children.  These stories inspire them every day to continue this endless process of changing attitudes toward their environment, not only toward nature but also toward their peers.  Love, respect, tolerance, appreciation and empathy are feelings you can have towards your siblings, your neighbors, a tree or a snake.

Some of the stories they have shared with us show us how children change their attitude.  For instance, a couple of weeks ago, during one of the children’s group meetings,  Helena our environmental educator proposed the idea of playing Secret Santa among the 11 children that are part of the group, and making all the gifts with recycled materials.  The kids engaged immediately, looking for recyclable waste that could be used to make their gifts.  After their snack time, a cream cheese plastic cup was available and all the kids jumped to get it as for them it was a wonderful treasure.    Some people’s waste is other people treasure they say.

Another endearing story happened not too long ago, when some members of this group found a land turtle crossing the road.  After picking it up they became worried and began looking for Helena  seeking advice.  What should we do?  What if a car runs it over?  What if a dog gets it?   A few years before, they wouldn’t have cared, they might have even hurt the turtle just for the fun of it, but now they love and respect fauna.  And they are starting to lead by their example.

Help us maintain our efforts! 

children playing
children playing
working together
working together
May 26, 2015

$8500 for the local communites

$8500 USD distributed among local community projects.

Building a hanging bridge for pedestrians over the Río Claro, was one of the projects approved  by the Osa Community Fund (FACOSA), that you have supported with GlobalGiving.  According to Lucas, a resident of the area: "The community of San Josecito has 70 inhabitants, among which, there are 6 seniors, 2 people with some kind of physical disability and many children".   

The nearest health clinic (or EBAIS) and high school is 10 km from the community and the only way out of the place is by the river. When winter comes, unfortunately, the community remains isolated, as the river becomes uncrossable. “During 3½ years we have been soliciting funds and looking for alternatives to build this bridge and it was not until now that this project looked as a real possibility. We are grateful to the Corcovado Foundation and FACOSA, because after 3 ½ years looks like our community is finally getting this much needed improvement” finished Lucas.

The other two projects that received funding are located in the community of Rancho Quemado. This proactive community submitted four proposals for FACOSA of which 2 were approved. Both projects are of great importance for promoting the economic development of the community. Jessica is one of Rancho Quemado’s local leaders and president of La Esperanza (The Hope) Women Group Esperanz, which was one of the winning projects. According to her, "Thanks to this funding, we can pay for much needed training for our group”. This training will be provided by the women's group "The Cabuya Account" of Cartago, who have extensive experience in this activity. The group has finished buying the materials and equipment required and it is committed to achieve their vision:  organized women, improving the quality of life of their families and their community and working together in harmony with the environment.

In total, $8,500 were distributed among the 3 projects were selected with the collaboration of a multi-agency committee. FACOSA funds are collected by Corcovado Foundation through GlobalGiving, http://www.globalgiving.org.

The Corcovado Foundation is responsible for the administration of the funds and the monitoring of the projects without adding any additional cost. Therefore, every dollar collected goes directly to support community projects. 

The third project funded by FACOSA aims to make Rancho Quemado’s Osa Community Trail accessible for the elderly and disabled. The community aims to offer a differentiated tourism product in the area. This trail will attract tourists generating demanded of products and services in the community of Rancho Quemado.

The Corcovado Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable use of natural resources as a way to alleviate the pressure that exists on the priceless natural resources of the Osa Peninsula.

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