This project has run into a problem and I think it’s very important to tell you about it.
LRFF has one employee and that’s only part time work, one or two days a week, his name is Jimmy Acosta Elizondo, LRFF’s field director. All other work is temporary for planting or maintenance.
Oh, what a team we all made planting together and afterward watching after the trees by keeping the other vegetation cleaned around them. Over the past two years we have become close friends with healing our Mother Earth in common, the love of restoring her natural environment. Last September, when the intensive maintenance was finished Deibys Villalobos Sibaja and Argelio Garcia Talavera, our last temporary employees, felt that they had been working full time with indefinite employment on the project. Consequently when there was no more need of their services until the next project starts they reported LRFF to the Ministry of Work.
Ever since last December we have attended court processes at the Ministry and this month at the courthouse in Guatuso. They are reporting that they worked full time for LRFF more than one year and demanding more money in back pay than they every earned. It’s not over with more court dates to come.
This is very common in Costa Rica and so many times I’ve thought about how I should’ve been a worker in Costa Rica and an employer in the United States. In the US, as an employee, we were lucky to get a dead turkey for Christmas. Bottom line, in Costa Rica an employer must pay each full time employee three months pay in bonuses, severance, vacation and holidays each YEAR. Hmm.
Good news! The trees are a forest now on all sides. Up in Viento Fresco at Marvin Castro’s farm, down to Franklin Mojica’s in Tonjibe and on down the Rio Sol to Lillian and Julio’s where the corridor began two years ago. Thirty-five hectares of newly forested land that otherwise would’ve sloughed off into the Rio Sol. Please don’t forget we still need funding for this project. The maintenance continues and inspections for the next five years. We have done this project under funded and have a lot to make up for, especially if we must pay Deibys and Argelio.
Many thanks to you all for your continued support.
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