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.
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
Jul 21, 2014

There was light!

Soccer Field Inauguration
Soccer Field Inauguration

On June 24, thanks to your generous donation the little town of Rancho Quemado, became the first town its size to light up its sport field, in the Osa Peninsula.   The local people had expected this moment with anxiety and excitement. Other local communities doubted that it was going to happen! But it did! At 5:45 p.m. when the sun finally sets behind the mountains, the whole town awaited the great occurrence: The Costarrican Institute of Electricity (ICE) finally turned on the switch and voilá “there was light”. The whole soccer field (or “futbol” as it is called in my home country) lit up and the crowd cheered with joy. The children ran through the field, as it was the first time that they had seen the field. In a way it was, isnt it funny how lighting makes everything look different?  It was a dream come true. But like every good thing in life, in order to make it happen, the people in Rancho Quemado, first dreamed about it and then worked hard to get it done.

When this community first approached the Corcovado Foundation’s FACOSA fund their enthusiasm was contagious and we believed in their dream also. As you know, the goal of the Osa Community Support Fund (FACOSA) is to provide small funding to local communities in order to help them improve their quality of life and answer some of their most basic needs such as clean water access and providing a minimum income for local families.

The Sport Association of Rancho Quemado received $3000 USD from FACOSA and then raised $9,000 USD more from different sources. They dreamed of lighting up their football field in order to have a healthy entertainment for young people and a way of fundraising by selling food during sporting events. It was an ingenious way to provide more income for local families, promote sports and also discouraging young people from getting into trouble (men in these communities often engage in illegal hunting after work as a pastime).

In the words of some of the local leaders in Rancho Quemado:

Oscar Urena, Chairman ofthe Sports Committee said: “This is asmall town, butvery organized.People arevery motivated, and there are sevenor eight associations in town. Along with the ICE, the municipality, the Corcovado Foundation, the local Development Association, we have managedto installthe light for this field.  It is the only illuminatedcourt in the Osa Peninsula.

The football teams  couldn’t come  during the day since they were working, but they can come in the evening to play football. It has created more opportunity to participate in sports.It is especially good for young people because they see that elders are helping them by providing these facilities,and thus improves the relationship between youth and adults.It offers something nice and positive to do in the evenings, instead of nothing to do.Youth groups are more proud of their town and more aware of the environment, andare contributing to the issue of conservation, by recycling and have placed garbage collection sites throughout the community.  

Many people come here and are astonished,they cannot believe what we have achieved. We told them that this is because the community is very united and work together to improve the lives of all.

Mr Fredd yRodriguez, Member of the Sports Committee of Rancho Quemado stated that “We were able to take advantage of illumination at night to organize more soccer events, in order to raise more money for the association and the community.We are not finished, we would like to add a mesh around the goal, with the money we hope to raise. Since it is new, we have not yet calculated how much we will need for utilities,but it looks that we can generate enough income from the night activities.

We give a heartfelt thanks to theCorcovado Foundation and other organizations for helping make this dream come true.

Maria Eugenia Siles, Member of the Association of Women, said “we like to cooperate with the football activities, our association prepares the food that is sold at the events.The events benefit everyone and the community gets more involved in sports.There are more activities for young people and the town is more united.It is very positive and it looks very nice”.

This town is more united by its success and enjoys more of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, they are generating more income to improve other services and they feel confident in their accomplishments. All of this, thanks to your generous donation.  Keep donations coming, no matter how small, this will make other communities dreams come true.

Hand made tortillas in Rancho Quemado
Hand made tortillas in Rancho Quemado
A happy sloth in Rancho Quemado
A happy sloth in Rancho Quemado
Jun 23, 2014

Visitors bring "priceless" educational tools

Children at the Santa Juana School
Children at the Santa Juana School

Santa Juana Community is nestled on the luscious jungle terraces of Fila Chonta, overlooking the Central Pacific Coastline of Costa Rica.

Although the Costa Rican educational system has reached 95% of its population, the truth is that this remote community, as with so many other rural communities in the country, faces enormous budget limitations. The scarcity of their resources, the seclusion to provide qualified teachers, and the fact that there are only 5 students in total in the elementary school in Santa Juana, make the situation even more challenging.

Our project has included two initiatives to supply the many needs that these students have. One example was this last April when we hosted a pilot Yoga Program of North Americans to Santa Juana to enjoy both the tranquil village atmosphere and hospitality, as well the Spa and Yoga meditation platforms beside the Rio Rodeo, surrounded by the Oasis Gardens that are cared for by members of the community employed by Greentique Hotel’s rural tourism programs.

Our allies at Greentique Hotels had asked the tour operator of Leaning Journeys, by Perillo Travel in New Jersey, to invite the tour participants to bring along school supplies for the primary school of Santa Juana. Andres, whose the head of the school committee, provided a list of art supplies needed, along with new dictionaries and other items, and what evolved was a connection between the school, our tour package programs with travel agents and their clients, and the students, their teacher and entire community of Santa Juana who enjoy sharing their school initiatives with visitors from North America and beyond who will now continue to bring valuable donations for education and in turn take back valuable memories of their experiences with the local community and natural attractions shared in the guided tour program offerings.

It’s quite encouraging to see how, by just fulfilling part of the list of school supplies that possibly can fit in each visitor’s suitcase, how much is gained in both public relations as well as for the young students who benefit from the art supplies, dictionaries and other items on the school’s “Wish List”.

The donated supplies have been great teaching tools; focusing on environmental themes where students learn from their teacher, share their artwork with their parents, and where visitors receive a unique travel experience that is priceless. Members of Greentique Hotels, explained how happy the children were to get all these new supplies. One of them was Ariel Jimenez, age 7, who was so proud to show everyone his artwork, depicting various birds flying over the landscape of Santa Juana, that he displayed his work in front of his house for all the neighbors to see.

Ariel showing off his art supplies
Ariel showing off his art supplies
Santa Juanas School Mural
Santa Juanas School Mural
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