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 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!

Jun 4, 2014

The Community in the Driving Seat

Greetings from the Corcovado Foundation! This year marks a very special moment in our history, as the community association that we have worked with for the last four years, ACOTPRO, takes the driving seat and assumes more control of coordinating the turtle project. Commensurate with the long-term goal of the program, the 2014 nesting season will see the alliance between the Foundation and ACOTPRO mature further, with the local community enthusiastically taking on much greater responsibility while still counting on solid support from a team of biologists provided by the Foundation.

In an exciting new set up, two coordinators from ACOTPRO will team up with two international biologists to ensure that local and volunteer-based activities run harmoniously. ACOTPRO will coordinate their homestay network, night patrols, community work and the construction of the hatchery, and international staff will recruit and coordinate volunteers, provide workshops and training, and assist with the management of the scientific investigation.

The bad news for 2014 is that no major grants were secured for the season, meaning that finances are extremely tight. The program currently only has one half of the funds required to pay for night patrol shifts to search for nesting turtles, meaning that the number of patrols will have to be drastically cut if additional funding is not found, and many turtles and nests may be left vulnerable to poaching. Moreover there is currently no money available to host the Sea Turtle Festival in Drake Bay, a popular annual event that brings local adults, children, businesses and tourists together to celebrate sea turtles and raise awareness about their plight.

 We are desperately appealing to donors to help us make up the shortfall in the budget and allow these important activities to take place. Unless an additional $8,000 can be found, the ability of the program to provide effective protection to the sea turtles of Drake Bay will be severely limited.

During 2013, very few sea turtles came to nest, and so we are expecting especially high numbers this year. We cannot afford to fail the sea turtles at this time, while the population remains in such perilous danger of extinction in the region.

For their part, ACOTPRO has been working tirelessly throughout the year to garner support for their community-led initiative, and have secured assistance from the Ministry of Environment and the Osa municipality. As the main fruit of their efforts, work is about to begin on the construction of a dedicated field station on Drake beach, which will include the turtle hatchery and a secure post from which field work can be coordinated. This will help to transform the experience of volunteers and local staff by improving logistics and providing essential facilities, such as water and cooking equipment, right on the beach.

The Corcovado Foundation will push on with its effort to raise awareness of the program and provide as much training, salaries, volunteers and logistical support as possible to the community of Drake Bay, but as a non-profit organization we cannot do it without the help of donors, such as yourself, who wish to do something to help to protect nature. What seems like a small amount of money back home can go a long way here, and the locals are matching every generous donation with their own selfless voluntary efforts in the field. So please, do whatever you can to help us protect this keystone endangered species, and let’s share the vision of a world in which future generations will also be able to enjoy sea turtles.

The turtles and the community in Drake Bay thank you for your wonderful generosity!

Apr 8, 2014

Awesome math, the magic of giving!

Jessica
Jessica's son

Did you know that your donation became 10 times its worth? It is like a philanthropic stock market, that brings good things to the communities. I know this sounds like crazy math! I am sure that you never received a math class in which the teacher said 1=10. But once I show you how your dollar was multiplied by 10, you will understand.

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 living and answer some of their most basic needs such as clean water access and providing a minimum income for local families.  

Every dollar that the Corcovado Foundation raises for FACOSA (Osa Community Fund), the Interamerican Foundation matches 1 to 1. The communities that receive the funding also need to make a matching contribution in kind.

In June 2013, for the second time the Corcovado Foundation, through FACOSA disbursed around $12,000 USD to 5 different projects in 2 different communities.   Here is a good example of our “awesome math”: The Developing Association of Rancho Quemado (ADI), one of the beneficiaries of The Osa Community Fund, received $3,000 in order to light up the sports field in their home town. In a community where the only recreational activities are hunting or drinking alcohol, exercise is not only good for their bodies, but for their families and surrounding ecosystems.  

The project cost around $20,000 USD ($10,000 USD in materials and $10,000 USD in labor).   You and people like you donated $1500 and the Interamerican Foundation (IAF) matched your donation. With $3,000 USD in hand, they went to the Municipality of Osa, which donated $6,000 dollars more. The community now only needed $1,000 USD to complete the $10,000 usd needed for materials, so they had a festival and raised the rest of the money. The community from Rancho Quemado took your donation, now worth five times its initial value and presented it to the Costarrican Institute of Electricity who committed to do all the labor, since the community had raised the rest of the money for materials.   Your $1 donation became $10 USD. Your dollar empowered them to knock on doors and raise money. Your dollar was the spark that started the great fire of development.

According to Jessica Roldan, one of the members of the ADI “The donation received from the Osa Community Fund, also helped us to leave a legacy of hope to our children and community, who are growing up with the vision of creating opportunities in hand with the conservation of the environment that surrounds them"

The electrification of the field will take place in May and the community is planning a big celebration!  It is amazing how a little bit of support will push communities forward.   Pushing forward and having small successes empowers new leaders, strengthens communities and make people believe in themselves and their neighbors.  Thank you for your donation!  

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