Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica

Dec 26, 2012

The Ultimate Gift

Bienvenido Cruz Castro under a tree planted 2012
Bienvenido Cruz Castro under a tree planted 2012

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. 

Bienvenido's sister-in-law under a mastate/2012
Blue Jeans Dart frog at Rio Sol, Maleku Reserve
Blue Jeans Dart frog at Rio Sol, Maleku Reserve



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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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La Reserva Forest Foundation

Tilaran, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Project Leader

Roberta Ward Smiley

Project Leader
Tilaran, Guanacaste Costa Rica

Where is this project located?

Map of Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica