Playa Matapalo has long been a hidden gem on the central pacific coast. Nestled between popular tourist destinations such as Quepos, Manuel Antonio National Park, Dominical, and Uvita - Playa Matapalo remains un-touched, un-spoilt and un-developed. The beach is approximately 12km long, and due to its relative purity, has over the years proven to be a semi-intensive nesting area for the olive ridley turtle. In the 2014 nesting season, we recorded 330 signs of nesting activity.
For the first time in 9 years, we had the surprise arrival of a critically endangered leatherback turtle - who nested on our beach 3 times with 12 day intervals.
Matapalo needs protectiing - as a public beach there is a huge problem with the illegal extraction of eggs. The coastguards are overwhelmed with patrolling the whole coast line, although when they do patrol Matapalo, the poaching level is zero. But its not enough. The season is short, just 5 months, so we need patrols every night in order to ensure that the largest number of nests can be rescued.
The idea for this Global Giving project is to take unemployed youths, and train them to have pride in this natural event that takes place every year. To give them opportunities to create a better life. Giving them the tools they need to get a tourism license, to be turtle guides and attract nearby tourism to come to beautiful Matapalo.
We aim to work hand in hand with local hotels, to offer packages for turtle tours - but to do this, the guides need to be accredited by the toursim institute. This means english lessons, nature exams and og course biology courses in marine resource management.
we have these skills to offer, and the locals have the enthusiasm to learn
Global giving supporters are making it all possible
we are starting the application process, to carefully select the right people who will fully take advantge of this programme. We will be holding interviews with our project staff, and visiting those who are interested in being part of our team. We can only complete this program with the help of donations, to equip and train the successful applicants to the level needed to get their license.
Please continue to support this initiative!