Thanks to you this project was received it’s last donation to reach full funding last June. We received the final disbursement in August and, as I reported in the last progress report, when we gave Bienvenido the news he and his family jumped up and down on the porch, ready to go to work as soon as the disbursement was received. We called a meeting in August with the Maleku Tribal Council and four of the members attended.
We discussed the budget and everyone seemed a little halfhearted about the whole thing. It’s been three years since we first posted this project on Global Giving for funding, in the midst of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project. The Tribal Council was going strong at the time but began to experience some internal conflicts and problems
I’ve been in contact with Bienvenido and his son Emigdio periodically these past four months, a couple of times they said they would be cutting the posts but up till now there hasn’t been anything done. Emigdio left to live in the U.S. so with the coming year I have a proposition for you and I’d like you to let me know if you have any objection to the idea. If we don’t hear from you I’ll assume you are in agreement and you’ll be receiving another progress report soon about the new project.
Here at the La Reserva forest preserve in Costa Rica we receive many groups of students of all ages, especially university students. We’ve been working closely with the Global Renewable Energy Education Network (GREEN) now for more than three years. They are an educational, student travel group and during Christmas, spring and summer vacations in the states they bring large groups of students to La Reserva to learn about tropical reforestation and climate change almost every Sunday afternoon. (see photos)
I take them on the now famous forest walk and it’s always amazing to see them transform as they “get it”, the interconnectivity of the forest ecosystem. After the walk my friend and shaman, Majima and his family teach the students a bit about plant medicine, Maleku culture and then they compete at homemade bow and arrow shooting. All of this is out in the open, no shelter…you see where I’m going right?
This past year there were some afternoons with non-stop rain and without shelter (other than the little one man restroom) we all got soaked and cold, if you can believe it. I determined then and there somehow I’d get a traditional Maleku “rancho” built here at La Reserva so we can receive visitors and they can enjoy the Maleku show with a roof over their heads. When the Rancho Bienvenido project didn’t look like it would make it I asked Global Giving if it would be permissible to use the funds from that project to do the same kind of project in a different location. They said it’s up to you…what do you think?
Thank you so much, if I don’t hear from you please watch for the next report soon.
Just wanted to share with you all the great success we saw last week during the Matching Day at GlobalGiving. We asked everyone to donate to the Rancho Bienvenido project and THEY DID!
This project is now FUNDED!! Thank you so much everyone. I visited Bienvenido the following day after the project was funded and broke the news to him. He and his family shouted and jumped up and down on the front porch. He says they'll be ready to go to work when the disbursement comes so watch for "Rancho Bienvenido" work in progress.
Love to you and so proud that we accomplished this, you are the BEST!
This is “Rancho Bienvenido” translated to English, but it is also the name of the President and elder member of the Maleku Tribal Council, Bienvenido Cruz Castro. We met Bienvenido over four years ago when he told us of the Maleku tribe’s situation concerning the loss of their ancestral lands and their heartfelt desire to restore the forests that have been destroyed at the hands of non-indigenous landowners.
The Maleku people depend on the forest for resources to live their traditional life style. Everything from housing to clothing and medicine is found in the forest. Their food and even bait used for fishing come from the fruit of a native rainforest tree.
The Maleku Tribal Council still needs that new “rancho” for their frequent meetings, receptions for important visitors and ceremonial rituals. We only need a little more than $500 to finish the funding and watch the tribal council build it. It takes less than a week to build with all natural materials.
The council was instrumental in the implementation of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor where 35,000 trees were planted in a continuous native tree corridor along the river. Will you please help us in this final push to see this exciting project funded, something we can all be proud of?
We are almost there for funding on this project. I can’t tell you exactly until we receive the next month’s disbursement but many hundreds of dollars in donations to this project were received from the generous employees of Hewlett Packard here in Latin America.
The photos in this progress report really tell the story of Rancho Bienvenido. LRFF and the Maleku tribe created the Maleku Tribal Council within the original rancho, held ceremonies for that purpose and to entertain the sponsors of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor, Sole Technology. Even at that time the rancho was in need of much work, notice the plastic to cover the deteriorating roof in the first photo. It has burned down this past year, second photo, and the Tribal Council needs a place to meet.
In the past few months the Maleku Tribal Council has made much headway in their work to recuperate their territory. One farm was successfully returned to them and another two farms are in process. I’m sure that the next time you hear about this project it will be built and in use by the Tribal Council. Just in time now that their dream of recuperating their lands is coming true.
This project is one of our favorites at La Reserva Forest Foundation because it symbolizes the alliance we forged with the Maleku people in 2009. It was in October and we met in Palenque Tonjibe within the old rancho that this project is attempting to restore.
Bienvenido Castro Cruz walked into the meeting wearing a bright blue shirt and hair slicked down. He told us passionately about the Maleku experience, the loss of their ancestral territory and consequently their traditional way of life. As a powerful speaker for the Maleku community he told us of their desire to recuperate their lost lands and restore 2/3 back to native tropical forest. Well, of course, he had us hooked.
Since 2009 LRFF has helped create the Maleku Tribal Council, planted more than 35,000 trees in the now famous Rio Sol Biological Corridor, provided income for landowners and other families buying the trees from their nurseries and work for many young Maleku men planting, transporting and maintaining the new fast growing forest.
And, all of this because of that first day within the “rancho” in 2009, when Bienvenido initiated it with his powerful intention. For me, it would be the “ultimate gift” to give the Maleku Tribal Council this Christmas, a place where they can meet and continue their work.
Thank you all for your generous support of this project. Please share this precious project with your friends and family. Happy holidays and see you in 2013.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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