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.
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
Jun 4, 2014

A new path for Gustavo and Chichi!

Children at work
Children at work

Chichi and Gustavo, ages 8 and 9, are from the sleepy but beautiful town of El Progreso, in the Drake Bay area. This town is distressed by its poverty. The lack of jobs, the deficient education, and other situations force many residents to move out of town. Many times, the ones who stay must take from nature to satisfy their basic needs. Chichi and Gustavo's father, Jose, is no exception. Known as the most active woodsman in town, Jose logs massive trees without permission in order to feed his family. This, of course, is an illegal practice and could lead to his arrest with jail time if he gets caught. But without proper education, he does not realize the implications this can have on the surrounding ecosystems nor does he see what his absence could do to his family.

 

The kids, on the other hand, are going in a different direction from their father. They are learning to use nature in a responsible way through the Corcovado Foundation's environmental youth program called the Pumas. Assiduous and enthusiastic participants, these brothers are the first ones to show up and the last ones to leave every weekly meeting. These meetings are part of the Foundation's “Creating Environmental Leaders of the new millennium” project which includes four other environmental youth groups in the nearby communities.

These groups are formed by children from different ages ranging from 6 to 12 years. Its objective is to create awareness among local children of the importance of protecting their environment. Through our environmental educator, kids are taught how harmony in the environment is paramount to their own survival and prosperity. They are given examples of how a thriving forest full of animals can used as a permanent source of income through tourism and how certain plants can be harvested responsibly to provide a sustainable source of food and housing.

 The Corcovado Foundation's environmental education program is now 11 years old. More than 50 kids are participating directly in the youth programs in 5 different communities. Over 450 children receive some kind of environmental education class in school at least once a month. In order to maintain and grow this exceptional program we desperately need your help and donations. Gustavo and Chichi have an amazing capacity to track and spot animals in the wild. Those skills could easily help them become proficient hunters, or with the proper guidance, they could become amazing naturalist guides!

 We thank you for all of your support!

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