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.
Dec 16, 2015

We need your help this year more than ever.

Traditional Farm
Traditional Farm

We need your help to maintain this program!

This is the season of giving, and we hope that you, who have known our projects and their huge impact, will find in your heart to keep helping these communities.

Hundreds of people in Osa Peninsula has benefitted from the Osa Community Fund.  This fund is fed with donations from people like you, sitting at home and wondering how to make the world a better place, without having to embark in a mission trip or a volunteer program. Your donations will be match by the Interamerican Foundation one to one, and our organization will not charge a single coin for selecting, supporting and overseeing worthy projects that will change the life of many people in the Osa Peninsula.

In the past our organization allocated more than $22,000 USD in donations to a dozen of small projects in communities such as Rancho Quemado, El Progreso, Agujitas and La Tarde, in the Osa Peninsula.  But there are many more needs to be covered and very limited funding. There are schools that need roofs, rivers without bridges that challenge brave children on their way to school, water systems to be built, and more.

The Corcovado Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable use of natural resources as a way to alleviate the pressure that exists on the priceless natural resources of the Osa Peninsula.  The Corcovado Foundation is responsible for the administration of the funds and the monitoring of the projects without adding any additional cost.  Therefore, every dollar collected goes directly to support community projects. 

However, this 2015 has been tough for our organization.  This year our staff has been prolific… 4 new children were born in 2015.  Costa Rica’s law protects women with 4 months of paid maternity leave.  There are 4 new children that under the care of sensitive parents, will surely become environmental leaders.   However, 4 mothers out on maternity leave are 50% of our staff gone for 4 months.    So, we have been understaffed, and therefore not able to follow up on the fundraising efforts we undertake every year. 

We need your help this year more than ever.  Make a donation today, large or small, and help us show this underprivileged community, people in the world care. 

traditional farm 2
traditional farm 2
Dec 10, 2015

Social and Solidarity Economy: Santa Juana

Santa Juana Horseback Riding
Santa Juana Horseback Riding

According to Peter Utting the term social and solidarity economy (SSE) is increasingly being used to refer to a broad range of organizations that are distinguished from conventional for-profit enterprise, entrepreneurship and informal economy by two core features. First, they have explicit economic AND social (and often environmental) objectives.

Santa Juana Community Project is a great example: In the last year alone revenues from the tours and the new lodge, both operated by members of the community, have made possible repairs to the roof and windows of the school and improved the water delivery to the village. In October, donations from Globalgiving and other sources made possible the construction of the cage needed to re-introduce the Scarlett Macaws (ara macaw) back into the local area in a 90 day transition program with the Ministry of natural Resources.

We continue to be amazed about the reviews and personal commitments by guest’s experiences at the new lodge, especially one particular family that decided to rent 20 movies to watch in their cabin. So, when I heard that a guest had rented 20 movies out of the library I had to wonder. It turned out when they realized that the $2.00 movie rental went to the local primary school scholarship program, they decided to pay for 20 movie rentals, but only took one back to their cabin.  That says a lot for the clientele of Greentique Hotels, where you can Travel Right & Travel Well by supporting “sustainable hospitality”, a travel choice that includes Santa Juana Mountain Lodge: http://santajuanalodge.com

Both the Santa Juana Rural Mountain Adventure and Lodge together have created more employment opportunities, enhanced both the value of rural culture and protection of biodiversity, providing “Exceptional Costa Rica Experiences”.

We invite you to come enjoy the Magic of Nature and Good-natured hospitality while making a difference.

Local ladies from Santa Juana preparing dinner
Local ladies from Santa Juana preparing dinner
Nov 6, 2015

Building a lasting legacy for turtle protection

Volunteers working with an Olive Ridley sea turtle
Volunteers working with an Olive Ridley sea turtle

Our long-term goal in Drake Bay has been to create a viable socio-economic alternative to egg poaching for the community who live and work alongside an important sea turtle nesting beach. Ten years ago, the reality in Drake Bay was not different to hundreds of other beach communities in Central America, where sea turtle eggs were considered both a source of income and of protein on the dinner table. For decades, the harvesting of eggs by local residents resulted in the loss of over 85% of the nests laid in the area each year.

 

Since 2006, however, members of the community have worked with the Corcovado Foundation to protect these turtles and relocate their nests to a secure hatchery so that every egg has had a chance to hatch. Over 90% of the nests have been saved in this way and over 72,000 babies released into the sea. Moreover, the community has realized that the sea turtles are worth more to them alive than dead, and that is possible to generate income from the turtles through conservation and eco-tourism, by participating in night patrols and by housing international volunteers in their homes.

 

We have calculated that had the community continued to poach at the same rate and sell every nest they would have earned around $12,000 since 2006. By contrast, through their participation in the Corcovado Foundation sea turtle program, local families have earned over $120,000 (ten times more) through salaries and income for housing volunteers. While the former income was unsustainable, there is no reason why the community cannot continue to use sea turtle eco-tourism to lift them out of poverty. They have learned, in short, that conservation pays.

 

In 2015, the program began a new project at Río Oro beach – the most important sea turtle nesting site in the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica. The beach has exceeded all expectations, as over 2,200 turtles have nested in just three months, but it is clear that poachers still pose a major threat to their survival at this site.

 

As in Drake Bay before, a small group of locals is responsible for most of the poaching, and also for causing damage to river systems through the illegal extraction of gold. Sadly, these individuals do not have diverse skill sets and have come to rely upon the extraction of local resources as their primary source of income. There is therefore scope at the Río Oro site to replicate the success of the community-led program in Drake Bay through the creation of alternative sources of income for these people through the development of eco-tourism.

 

The program plans to construct a field station and visitor center at Río Oro in 2016, with the support of local stakeholders and organizations, and is in the process of securing funding. The field station would provide a public space for education activities, the display of local exhibitions and artefacts, and a visitor center to attract tourists to the site and foment cultural exchange. The program would also develop a sea turtle tour and an artisanal gold panning tour that would be marketed to volunteers and tourists visiting the area, the income from which has the potential to completely substitute that which the community currently make from the much more destructive largescale extraction of gold.

 

In order to consolidate our work with the community in Drake Bay and construct a permanent field station at Río Oro we need to raise around $30,000 USD by the end of the year. We are also in need of a vehicle in order to cut down our transportation costs. With this key infrastructure in place, the program would be a position where it could operate without the need for grants in the future, and could guarantee the protection of the sea turtles at these two important nesting beaches for years to come.

 

We are offering our donors a real opportunity this year to make a tangible and permanent contribution to the conservation of sea turtles in the region, and support the sustainable development of the local communities with which they interact.

 

Make a donation today, large or small, and help us to save the sea turtles from extinction!

 

To keep up to date with the daily goings-on at the program, visit: https://www.facebook.com/cfseaturtles, and read our volunteer blog here: http://cfseaturtles.blogspot.com/

 

Thank you for your support!

Volunteers leaving after a week at Rio Oro
Volunteers leaving after a week at Rio Oro

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