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.
May 26, 2015

Love, respect, tolerance, appreciation and empathy

children making things with recycling materials
children making things with recycling materials

Our program, “Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Millenium in Osa”, aims to change children’s attitude toward nature and empower them to lead the way for sustainable development thru Environmental Education (EE).   

EE promotes change in the attitude of individuals and communities to a society that is knowledgeable of the environment and its associated problems.  They become aware of the solutions to these problems and are motivated to solve them.  

Children will need to influence their parents and teach them new ways of coexisting with nature.  This is true in Osa, where the local way of life for decades has traditionally been based on destructive activities such as illegal hunting and logging.    

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) states that EE is vital in imparting an inherent respect for nature amongst society and in enhancing public environmental awareness.

Our environmental educators are biologists committed to reaching out to children in the most respectful and fun way possible.  In exchange, they get lots of love, laughter and stories from the children.  These stories inspire them every day to continue this endless process of changing attitudes toward their environment, not only toward nature but also toward their peers.  Love, respect, tolerance, appreciation and empathy are feelings you can have towards your siblings, your neighbors, a tree or a snake.

Some of the stories they have shared with us show us how children change their attitude.  For instance, a couple of weeks ago, during one of the children’s group meetings,  Helena our environmental educator proposed the idea of playing Secret Santa among the 11 children that are part of the group, and making all the gifts with recycled materials.  The kids engaged immediately, looking for recyclable waste that could be used to make their gifts.  After their snack time, a cream cheese plastic cup was available and all the kids jumped to get it as for them it was a wonderful treasure.    Some people’s waste is other people treasure they say.

Another endearing story happened not too long ago, when some members of this group found a land turtle crossing the road.  After picking it up they became worried and began looking for Helena  seeking advice.  What should we do?  What if a car runs it over?  What if a dog gets it?   A few years before, they wouldn’t have cared, they might have even hurt the turtle just for the fun of it, but now they love and respect fauna.  And they are starting to lead by their example.

Help us maintain our efforts! 

children playing
children playing
working together
working together
May 26, 2015

$8500 for the local communites

$8500 USD distributed among local community projects.

Building a hanging bridge for pedestrians over the Río Claro, was one of the projects approved  by the Osa Community Fund (FACOSA), that you have supported with GlobalGiving.  According to Lucas, a resident of the area: "The community of San Josecito has 70 inhabitants, among which, there are 6 seniors, 2 people with some kind of physical disability and many children".   

The nearest health clinic (or EBAIS) and high school is 10 km from the community and the only way out of the place is by the river. When winter comes, unfortunately, the community remains isolated, as the river becomes uncrossable. “During 3½ years we have been soliciting funds and looking for alternatives to build this bridge and it was not until now that this project looked as a real possibility. We are grateful to the Corcovado Foundation and FACOSA, because after 3 ½ years looks like our community is finally getting this much needed improvement” finished Lucas.

The other two projects that received funding are located in the community of Rancho Quemado. This proactive community submitted four proposals for FACOSA of which 2 were approved. Both projects are of great importance for promoting the economic development of the community. Jessica is one of Rancho Quemado’s local leaders and president of La Esperanza (The Hope) Women Group Esperanz, which was one of the winning projects. According to her, "Thanks to this funding, we can pay for much needed training for our group”. This training will be provided by the women's group "The Cabuya Account" of Cartago, who have extensive experience in this activity. The group has finished buying the materials and equipment required and it is committed to achieve their vision:  organized women, improving the quality of life of their families and their community and working together in harmony with the environment.

In total, $8,500 were distributed among the 3 projects were selected with the collaboration of a multi-agency committee. FACOSA funds are collected by Corcovado Foundation through GlobalGiving, http://www.globalgiving.org.

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. 

The third project funded by FACOSA aims to make Rancho Quemado’s Osa Community Trail accessible for the elderly and disabled. The community aims to offer a differentiated tourism product in the area. This trail will attract tourists generating demanded of products and services in the community of Rancho Quemado.

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.

May 11, 2015

A new era begins at the sea turtle program!

A new era begins at the sea turtle program!

Just two months remain until the Corcovado Foundation sea turtle conservation program starts up for the 2015-16 season, and there is still much fundraising to be done. While we have been successful in obtaining one small grant, we were unable to win another that would have provided all of the funding we needed to run the program this year. Our ability to protect the sea turtles nesting on the beaches of Drake Bay and Río Oro currently hangs in the balance, and so we turn to private donors now more than ever to help us to close this funding gap.

Since 2006, the program has saved 90% of the 150 turtle nests laid in Drake Bay each year, releasing over 70,000 babies into the ocean! Our vibrant community-based project involves over 30 locals who help to protect the turtles from poachers, and our volunteers stay in a homestay house network in the village which has already raised over $60,000 for local families. The local turtle association which we helped to establish is also preparing to run the project by themselves, and they may even be ready by the end of the year! It has been a super successful initiative which has benefitted not only just the sea turtles but the local residents too, coupling the preservation of their sea turtles firmly to their economic prosperity.

At our brand new site at Río Oro beach there is a much smaller community, but there are at least 10 times more turtles coming to nest, so we’ve really got our work cut out this year! The beach is visited by Olive Ridley, Green, Hawksbill and even Leatherback sea turtles, but also a lot of poachers who travel in from other parts of the country to take the turtle eggs and sell them on the black market. We will help to protect the nests from these poachers by relocating the eggs to a hatchery, and we will support the Ministry of Environment (MINAE) in their effort to establish a National Wildlife Refuge at the site. In return, officers from MINAE will come to patrol with our biologists and volunteers, which we hope will act as an effective deterrent to the poachers.

We will also work with local organizations, schools and businesses to raise awareness of the plight of their sea turtles, and to promote the engagement of the local community with the project as much as possible. Our environmental education program will implement classes and activities in the local schools, and we will form an out-of-school youth group so that the kids can get involved in some conservation activities, as well as lots of fun and games of course. We will train local adults with the turtle conservation methodology, and we will offer an hourly salary to those who complete their training and wish to patrol the beaches at night. We will also promote community-based tours in the area to our volunteers, so that locals can generate some income through the kind of responsible tourism that we hope will one day form a sustainable backbone for the local economy.

We would like to achieve all of this over the next 12 months, but we simply won’t be able to do everything – and sacrifices will have to be made – unless we are able to raise more donations. In order to achieve our goals in full, we are looking to raise an additional $5,000 USD before the end of the year.  Make a donation on May 13th and Globalgiving will match your donation.

Please, if you care about protecting the environment for these endangered creatures, and if you recognize the value of creating sustainable economic opportunities for poor local residents through conservation, then consider making a donation to our program today.

Our proven track record in Drake Bay should give you confidence that we will be able to replicate the model at our new site of Río Oro, and that another community in Costa Rica will be provided with all of the tools they require to protect their natural resources while lifting themselves out of poverty.

Thank you!

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