Osa Foundation's President with our board
Can you believe it is almost March already? This year is flying by and I believe I speak on behalf of my team, when I say that we have been playing catching up for the last six weeks. In general, Costa Rica has been amid a huge political debate! We had election day on February 04th. 13 candidates disputed the presidency of Costa Rica. But nobody made the majority, therefore we are facing a second election day on April 01st with two very controversial candidates. Despite the turmoil in which the country currently is, we have been able to accomplish a lot!
Seaturtle Conservation Program
We closed the season at Rincón, where we worked in collaboration with the Osa Foundation. There a total of 125 nests were protected during the season and only 9% were lost due to poaching or predation. The last nests were born in the beginning of February and we had a first meeting in preparation for the next season staring July 2018. We are now looking for used kitchen appliances and other utensils in order to prepare the space for our volunteers and our team.
In Río Oro, we supported Cotorco with the preparation of technical manuals and trained volunteers to work on nesting beaches. Our purpose is to collaborate with their mission to protect sea turtles in the Rio Oro Wildlife Refuge. They counted 3946 turtles on this beach, which demonstrates the importance of protecting this beach for the conservation of these reptiles. This year our participation in this beach will be very limited, we wish them the best of luck.
Reconstructing the school of Rincon!
The Rincón School provides education to 6 students of all levels. It is located in a remote beach on the Osa Peninsula. Its remoteness from any populated community, its proximity to the beach and the lack of maintenance have been taking a toll on its infrastructure. In a few words, it was falling apart. With funding from one of our very generous board of advisers and the work force from Aguila de Osa (one of our founding members), we have been able to rebuild the infrastructure for the school. Most importantly the children will now go to school in a more conducive learning environment.
Last December we threw a Christmas party for the kids in this school. They have also received environmental education lessons provided by the sea turtle conservation team. The team has also been teaching English weekly to adults in the community.
The pedestrian bridge: construction starting soon!
For years we have witnessed the difficulties that the communities of Progreso and Agujitas experience because of the lack of a bridge on the Drake Bay River. We have seen kids going to high school, risking their lives to cross this river. We have seen mothers with sick babies, deciding which would be the lesser evil: take the kid to the doctor but risking drowning in the river or not taking the kid to the doctor and hoping for the best.
Our organization is a conservation organization, but we have realized that our people are also part of our ecosystem. Therefore, we decided we needed to do something! With the funding and the support from the Interamerican Foundation, La Clinica Biblica, the local community, several private companies in the area and again one of our members of the board of advisors, we are now starting construction of a pedestrian bridge on this river. I am very grateful for everybody that has contributed with funding and work. I have a special shout out for the foundations team that has spent a lot of personal time fundraising and coordinating efforts for this project. I can’t wait to see it completed!
Environmental leaders’ youth groups!
This week our environmental educators also started with the environmental leaders’ youth groups. Vacation is over in Costa Rica and kids are returning to schools and to their communities. So, our environmental education groups, located in 5 different communities in the area, are now on and kids are enjoying sharing tales about their summer vacation (Costa Rica’s summer goes from December to April). These groups are the only extracurricular activities that these children have available and they love them. This week they were asking about trying to meet twice a week instead of once a week. I wish we had the human capacity to deliver that.
It means a lot to us to be able to provide them with all kinds of learning experiences: such as camping trips, day trips to protected areas, educational workshops and the opportunity to express themselves. We want kids to take leadership in their communities.
Osa Zero Plastic initiative:
The Chamber of Tourism of Osa has launched a wonderful initiative! Let’s eliminate the consumption of single-use plastics, or disposable plastics. Single-use plastics are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda and water bottles and most food packaging. Plastic is not biodegradable and usually goes into a landfill where it is buried, or it gets into the water and finds its way into the ocean. We are supporting the chamber on its quest by promoting best practices in households, schools and private companies in order to reduce the amount of waste that end up in landfills and in the oceans of the planet.
Sustainable tourism development in La Amistad International Park
La Amistad International Park is a protected area located on the Mountain Range of Talamanca. Its beauty has made it worthy of the of a World Heritage Site designation by the UNESCO. Unfortunately, the area is known to few. The foundation has started two parallel projects in the area. With funding from Judesur (www.judesur.go.cr), the foundation will be improving tourism infrastructure to increase visitation to the park. In the meantime, with funding from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (www.fws.gov), we are providing park rangers and communities training to prepare for tourism visitation. We hope that by the end of the project, these groups will have the skills to manage successfully and sustainably the tourism visitation. We are hoping to create successful partnerships between the community, the private sectors and the park officials to guarantee the protection of the park in perpetuity. We need you!Our donors and members are the driving force behind our environmental efforts. Your passion to protect the rainforest and to make a better world is key to maintain our work. We depend on your support to maintain our efforts in the long term. If you haven’t supported us, please do it today. You can help by donating on Globalgiving to any of the Corcovado Foundation Projects.
New infrastructure in Rincon
New infrastructure in Rincon 2