Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil

by Corcovado Foundation
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Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil
Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil
Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil
Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil
Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil
Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil
Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil
Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil
Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil
Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil
Creating the Environmental Leaders of the New Mil
Grupo aprendiendo sobre Agriculture regenerativa
Grupo aprendiendo sobre Agriculture regenerativa

Regenerative agriculture

Spanish report below

 

With the COVID 19 pandemic's arrival, we realized that regenerative agriculture could help local families alleviate their critical unemployment situation in the area. The lack of income and jobs has produced an increase on the pressure of natural resources and wildlife hunting.

As of April 2020, we decided to encourage sustainable ways to put food on the table for all these families. Therefore, the foundation launched regenerative agriculture workshops to promote self-sufficiency and food independence, allowing families to have the necessary food for their subsistence and avoiding the use of dangerous pollutants. Helena, our environmental educator, tells us that "A beautiful process took place since the training began. Families are exchanging their knowledge and their progress in their gardens, creating spaces to produce food where there was nothing before."

Regenerative agriculture encourages practices that allow soil restoration and reduces the production of greenhouse gases. There has been a transformation in the process where families have understood that organic matter is not "garbage" as it is commonly called, but a source of wealth for our soils.

The main idea is to help communities develop small family gardens in a way that promotes the conservation of biodiversity and soil restoration, generates a healthy food source, and conserves seeds and their biodiversity in our communities.

Since June 2020, our program has had extraordinary effects on communities. Twenty-four families have completed their regenerative agriculture training after receiving five theoretical workshops and three practical visits. They have learned about soils, preparation of cultivation beds, organic fertilizers and repellants, extraction, conservation of seeds, and preparation of seedbeds.

The most beautiful thing is that the process has not stopped there. The group continues in contact, exchanging advances, achievements, and seeds and demonstrating their interest in learning and advancing in their gardens. It is beautiful to see the variety of species that these families have managed to produce in such a short time: squash, cassava, tomatoes, sweet potato, peppers, hot chili, melon, watermelon, celery, coriander, spinach, cucumber, among others. Besides, the families started rescuing local, super-nutritious varieties such as the chicasquil or chaya (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius).

The benefits of these training sessions have been substantial, and many other families and communities have contacted us requesting to participate in this program.

 

Español

Con la llegada de la pandemia del COVID-19, nos dimos cuenta de que la agricultura regenerativa podría ayudar a las familias locales a aliviar la situación crítica de desempleo en el área. La reducción de ingresos ha aumentado la presión sobre los recursos naturales y la caza de vida silvestre en la zona.

A partir de abril de 2020, decidimos fomentar formas sostenibles de poner alimentos en la mesa para todas estas familias. Por ello, la fundación puso en marcha talleres de agricultura regenerativa para promover la autosuficiencia y la independencia alimentaria, permitiendo que las familias tengan los alimentos necesarios para su subsistencia y evitando el uso de contaminantes peligrosos. Helena, nuestra educadora ambiental, nos cuenta que "Se ha dado un hermoso proceso desde que comenzó la capacitación. Las familias están intercambiando sus conocimientos y sus avances en sus huertos, creando espacios para producir alimentos donde antes no había nada".

La agricultura regenerativa fomenta prácticas que permiten la restauración del suelo y reduce la producción de gases de efecto invernadero. Ha habido una transformación en el proceso donde las familias han entendido que la materia orgánica no es "basura" como comúnmente se la llama, sino una fuente de riqueza para nuestros suelos.

La idea principal es ayudar a las comunidades a desarrollar pequeños huertos familiares de una manera que promueva la conservación de la biodiversidad y la restauración del suelo, genere una fuente de alimento saludable y conserve semillas y su biodiversidad en nuestras comunidades.

Desde junio de 2020, nuestro programa ha tenido efectos extraordinarios en las comunidades. Veinticuatro familias han completado su capacitación en agricultura regenerativa luego de recibir cinco talleres teóricos y tres visitas prácticas. Han aprendido sobre suelos, preparación de camas de cultivo, fertilizantes orgánicos y repelentes, extracción, conservación de semillas y preparación de semilleros.

Lo más bonito es que el proceso no se ha detenido ahí. El grupo continúa en contacto, intercambia avances, logros y semillas y demuestra su interés por aprender y avanzar en sus huertos. Es hermoso ver la variedad de especies que estas familias han logrado producir en tan poco tiempo: zapallo, mandioca, tomate, camote, pimiento, ají picante, melón, sandía, apio, cilantro, espinaca, pepino, entre otros. Además, las familias empezaron a rescatar variedades locales súper nutritivas como el chicasquil o la chaya (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius).

Los beneficios de estas sesiones de capacitación han sido sustanciales y muchas otras familias y comunidades nos han contactado solicitando participar en este programa.

Agricultura Regenerativa 5
Agricultura Regenerativa 5
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Liberacion de tortugas con ninos locales
Liberacion de tortugas con ninos locales

Merry Christmas, and may 2021 bring all families in the world the peace, health, and prosperity we all long! This report is long because, although this year was challenging, we moved every program forward.   With your help, we were able to accomplish more, serve more people, and be more impactful.

What a year this has been!

This year started with many changes; Steven stepped down as president of the foundation after more than two decades of leading it. As long-time members of the organization, Steven invited Jim and me to step on the board. I have served as president of this organization during these challenging times that have hit the world hard.

In mid-February, all the plans for the beginning of the year started to crumble, and in mid-March, everything changed. We had to suspend all in-person training and educational activities planned for the following months. Community park ranger workshops, consultant visits to community-based tourism projects, and meetings of environmental education groups were suspended.

To serve those that need us the most!

We quickly regrouped and committed to staying positive, proactive, and supportive. We soon understood that our duty was to assist the communities we serve, which are highly vulnerable to tourism closure in the area. In Bahia Drake, at least 85% of the people survive directly or indirectly from tourism, mainly international. We decided to readjust and rethink ourselves so that we could help the communities, our members. We started to rethink how to use our platforms and networks to support those who need us the most. To do this, we started using our media to raise funds and buy food and cleaning supplies for the elderly population and the most impoverished families of Bahia Drake. At this point, we have raised USD 14,000, and we have delivered 450 food packages to 50 older adults and families living in poverty since the end of March.

Regenerative agriculture

We have managed to refocus some of the funds approved for activities such as workshops and field trips, which given the pandemic, will not happen, and we have used them to promote regenerative agriculture in the communities. Regenerative agriculture will help us promote food independence and, at the same time, encourage practices that allow soil restoration. The idea is to help communities plant their gardens in their homes or farms in a regenerative way to guarantee their sustainability and productivity. With the pandemic's arrival, we realized regenerative agriculture could help local families alleviate the family's economic situation, reduce the pressure on natural resources, and reduce the hunting of wild animals. Thanks to that, 24 families have completed their regenerative agriculture training after receiving five theoretical workshops and three practical visits. They have learned about soils, preparation of cultivation beds, organic fertilizers and repellants, extraction and conservation of seeds, and seedlings preparation. They have also received all the materials and supplies needed to produce their crops.

Virtual environmental education

Regarding our environmental education program, we have also reinvented ourselves. Our environmental educator has been creating videos for children, challenging them to practice, research, or do an environmental educational activity from home. They send us back their photos and videos doing it, thereby keeping the children at home interested, active, and motivated. For the longest time, our environmental education activities were the only extracurricular activities these kids had. Then once the schools closed due to the COVID19, our activities were the only educational activities available. We delivered fruit trees, endangered trees, and educational supplies to each kid in the groups. More than 40 kids in the communities received watercolors, markers, cardboard, pencils, among other things. This material will help the kids participate in the remote challenges from the safety of their homes. We have carried out more than seventeen environmental challenges, in which up to 27 children have participated per session.  

Sea turtle conservation

This year, we did not have international volunteers. This was a challenge because we have been able to maintain the program through the support of volunteers who come to work on the beach and pay for their food, accommodation, and part of the cost of the project. However, instead of reducing our sea turtle project's impact and scope, we have expanded it and double its efforts. We are now working in two beaches: Punta Mala-Playa Hermosa on the Central Pacific and Rincón near Corcovado National Park.

We moved our sea turtle conservation program in Playa Rincón to Esteban's property. This local young man has spent several years working in turtle conservation and owns a beachfront property in the Rincon area. The results there have been excellent. We have been providing Esteban with the funds for his salary and to purchase food for his volunteers. He has managed to lead a group of local kids that have been very committed and successful at protecting the sea turtles. They had 17 volunteers and 102 nesting activities, of which 92 nests were relocated to the nursery and 7 nests were poached. 3800 baby turtles were released, which means a 95.1% hatching success.

In Punta Mala, we have had a team of 3 members, who with the support of 26 volunteers, mostly Costa Ricans, managed to take care of 924 nesting activities, including 490 nests that remained on the beach and were not depredated, 224 nests relocated in the nursery, 121 nests lost to predators, and 12 poached nests. This beach is crucial because of the massive amount of nesting, the pressure from predators and poachers, the eroded beaches, and other natural and human impacts on the sea turtle nesting activity.  

Other community accomplishments!

  • Seventy community park rangers trained and equipped to support the Corcovado, Piedras Blancas, Marino Ballena national parks, and Golfo Dulce Forestry Reserve.
  • Eleven people from the La Amistad-Talamanca communities trained to obtain their official guide certification, which meant an investment of $2000.00 per guide.
  • Eight grassroots organizations in the La Amistad-Talamanca region strengthened with technical support to improve their sustainability.
  • Together with Terri and Gary, we are organizing a castration event for 40 dogs on Dec. 13.
  • Thanks to a donation of 6000 kg of dog food from the Humane Society, we have provided 96 dogs in Los Planes and 67 dogs in Los Angeles with food, reducing predatory pressure on the environment.  300 more dogs will receive support soon.

After 10 years of waiting, and thanks to the leadership of our very own Mayra and our lawyer Estela, the Ministry of Education approved the land's purchase to build a proper high school for Drake Bay.

It has not been an easy year, but we have adapted and reinvented ourselves. We have been at the forefront of a series of initiatives, being among the first to move from doing face-to-face activities to online workshops, virtual environmental education activities, and fundraising to feed the most vulnerable. We are very grateful for your support. Everything we have achieved is thanks to you, who supported us and trusted us.

Agricultura Regenerativa
Agricultura Regenerativa
Providing for the elderly
Providing for the elderly
Providing for underprivilege families
Providing for underprivilege families
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Not every country celebrates Thanksgiving. It is not a Costa Rican tradition. But giving thanks should be a daily thing and having a holiday to give thanks it's a beautiful idea!

Let us not fool ourselves, 2020 has been a challenging year. So many people are unemployed worldwide -according to some estimations, 40% of Costa Rican households will fall under the line of poverty by the end of the year- and so many people died to the COVID 19. It has also been harsh weather-wise; draughts, hurricanes, and floods hit us left and right. Not an easy year.

Yet, I can not help to feel grateful. This year you -and friends like- you have stepped up more than ever to show your solidarity! Your trust, generosity, and commitment have helped us bring relief to people in the Osa Peninsula's most vulnerable and impoverished places. And that's not all, we have been really busy helping people stay on track! Thanks to you we have

  1. Supplied relief to 50 senior citizens in Drake Bay, every month since April 2020,
  2. Protected more sea turtles nests than ever before,
  3. Given remote environmental education every week to kids all over the Osa Peninsula
  4. Provided training, materials, and organic seeds to 30 families who are now practicing regenerative agriculture to improve their food independence without damaging the environment.
  5. Trained and certified 11 tourism guides in the Talamanca Region
  6. Supplied training to 10 associations all over the Talamanca region
  7. And this end of the year, we will be bringing Christmas gifts to 95 kids all over the Osa Peninsula whose parents are struggling.

There is so much need in Costa Rica and the world, but you have been a light helping stay on track through this bleak time.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoy it, and if you don't, I hope you have lots of things to be grateful for anyway. We are indeed thankful for you!

 Warmest regards, 

 

Ale

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Kids in Drake Bay
Kids in Drake Bay

Spanish Below

For more than 17 years, our environmental education program has been working with boys and girls from the Osa Peninsula communities. Every week our environmental educator, Helena, taught 155 children in 6 schools and held meetings in the afternoons with 45 boys and girls from 4 different communities. For most of them, these were the only extracurricular activity alternatives available in their town. The little ones learned about the environment, but also they learned about self-esteem, respect, responsibility, and other values: values to empower them to become the next environmental leaders of tomorrow.

The COVID 19 pandemic put a stop to our face-to-face activities. We have encountered a great challenge, how to transform a voluntary and playful event in which one learns through play and sensitizes children about the importance of the environment that surrounds them into an activity that follows the same principles, and that could be done remotely. Osa is an isolated area, with few economic resources and with a low-quality internet.

The answer we found was to create the "Environmental Challenges." These are weekly activities that propose practical actions for the boys and girls, which they can do from the safety of their homes or their gardens. We did not know if this was going to work! The response has been beautiful! We are super happy because the children have not abandoned the activities, and their parents and guardians are now involved with great enthusiasm. Many of these parents had never received environmental education before and now are learning with their kids.

Helena tells us how, on one occasion, there was no challenge for a week, and during a routine visit to the mechanic, his daughter approached her to ask: "Excuse me, when is the next challenge?" She was eager to continue learning.

We know that these challenges are motivation and source of inspiration for these boys and girls, this is why we have not given up, and we continue coming up with new challenges for all of them.

Today we are facing this global crisis caused by the COVID 19 Pandemic. More and more, we are facing the global crisis that is being produced by climate change and the influence of human beings on the planet. If future generations understand the importance of the environment and are agents of change, there will still be a possibility that the future will be different.

Your support makes all these possible. You are the wind beneath our wings.   Thank you for trusting our work. 

 

Educación ambiental virtual, reinventándonos

Durante más de 17 años nuestro programa de educación ambiental ha estado trabajando con niños y niñas de las comunidades de la Península de Osa.   Todas las semanas nuestra educadora ambiental, Helena impartía clases de educación ambiental a 155 niños en 6 escuelas y realizaba reuniones en las tardes con 45 chicos y chicas de 4 comunidades diferentes.  Para la mayoría estas eran las únicas alternativas de actividad extracurricular. Los pequeños aprendían sobre el ambiente, aprendían sobre autoestima, respeto, responsabilidad y otros valores.

El COVID 19 le puso un alto a nuestras actividades presenciales. Nos hemos encontrado con un gran reto, como transformar una actividad voluntaria y lúdica en la que se aprende a través del juego y sensibiliza a niños y niñas sobre la importancia del medio ambiente que les rodea, en una actividad que siguiera los mismos principios y que se pudiera realizar de manera remota.   Osa es una zona aislada, con pocos recursos económicos y con un internet de baja calidad.

La respuesta que encontramos fue inventar los “Retos ambientales”. Estas son actividades semanales que proponen acciones prácticas para los niños y niñas, las cuales pueden realizar desde sus casas o sus jardines. ¡No sabíamos si esto iba a funcionar! ¡La respuesta ha sido hermosa! Nos sentimos súper contentos porque los niños y niñas no han abandonado las actividades y sus padres y responsables se han involucrado con mucho entusiasmo. Estos son padres y madres que, en muchos casos, no han recibido educación ambiental en su vida y ahora lo comparten con sus hijos con alegría.

Nuestra educadora ambiental Helena, nos comenta como en una ocasión no hubo reto una semana y en una visita rutinaria al mecánico su hija sele acercó a preguntarle: “¿y el siguiente reto?” dijo con mucha emoción y muchas ganas de seguir haciendo y aprendiendo.

Por lo niños y niñas, porque sabemos que estos retos son una motivación para para ellos, es que no nos hemos rendido y seguimos con ganas de seguir inventando nuevos retos para todos ellos.

Hoy enfrentamos esta crisis mundial causada por la Pandemia del COVID 19. Pero más y más estamos enfrentando la crisis mundial que está siendo causada por el cambio climático y la influencia de los seres humanos en el planeta. Si las futuras generaciones entienden la importancia del medio ambiente y de ser actores de cambio, seguirá habiendo una posibilidad de que el futuro sea diferente.

Learning about insects
Learning about insects

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Your solidarity is shining bright in the darkest times

As you know, this month, our environmental education program was selected among many participants to be part of the 2020 Climate Action Campaign.  Thanks to your support, we received donations of 126 people and raised $4200 and received a matching fund of $2100.  For a total of $6300, that will be used in educational materials: pencils, watercolors, and books to use at home for kids that we serve. We will also give each kid a tree to plant as a celebration of Earth Day. 

We made it to the 9th position of 127 projects. 

Our challenge now is to maintain educational engagement with the children in the rural communities surrounding Drake Bay. Before COVID-19, our Children and Youth group of 50 boys and girls from four different towns, met weekly to work together with us on environmental issues.  

To that end, we have been working with them remotely for the past four weeks through an initiative we call "Environmental Challenges." We put together videos and propose activities regarding the environment that must be completed each week. They use the modest data plans of their parents' phones to download our videos and experiments, and then share their achievements with us. With schools being closed, as well as beaches and parks, the content and activities we send them each week are their only educational activity. Take a look at our Earth Day Challenge. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2fAQ43ioso

The foundation will continue to empower youth to help mitigate the impact of climate change, reduce vulnerability on communities, and promote resilience to climate change. We are also supporting sustainable economic activity that returns some equilibrium to the existential equation. 

The impact of climate change —floods, droughts, raging fires, and superstorms, will not pause and wait for us to come out of this pandemic. We must preserve, protect, and participate with as much conviction, passion, and innovation as possible.

We are not in a city; we are in the remote Osa Peninsula, and the available technology is just a cell phone through which they can connect to the internet from time to time. In these rural communities, the Costa Rican government has not yet managed to implement homeschooling. These kids can see the environmental challenges facing Costa Rica and the rest of the world. We want to continue to motivate them by keeping them engaged from the safety of their homes, so they remain aware, active, and committed.

All the activities involve play, and experimentation and content are made available by WhatsApp. Parents have been involved in their children's efforts by helping them research and helping them record the videos. I love the fact that kids and parents are now experimenting with technology, given them the tools that will be useful in the future. 

We are excited to see how these activities bring parents and children together to work and learn. A mother told us how she had taken her son to visit the mangrove swamp to characterize this ecosystem better and to help him prepare for his environmental challenge.

Thank you for making it all happen!  Subscribe on our youtube channel or like us on Facebook to see more of our educational videos, my kids are having a blast with them. 

Thank you again, 

Alejandra 

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Organization Information

Corcovado Foundation

Location: Moravia,, San Jose - Costa Rica
Website:
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Project Leader:
Alejandra Foundation
Moravia, San Jose Costa Rica
$12,298 raised of $35,000 goal
 
256 donations
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