38 Hectares of Valuable Resources for the Maleku

by La Reserva Forest Foundation Project of the Month Site Visit Verified


This project is our first land acquisition opportunity of 38 hectares, contributing to the recuperation of the Maleku ancestral territory. This includes 24 ha. of primary forest, 14 ha. of pasture being reforested as part of the Rio Sol Bio Corridor project, and an ancient, functioning water source that supplies potable water to the Maleku communities below. The reforestation of this land in December will help increase the level of the aquifer for the community and provides valuable resources.

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90% of the Maleku were massacred in the 1800's for rubber trees. The tribe went from over 6000 to less than 600, robbed of their ancestral lands. Costa Rica decreed 3000 has. of the original 60,000 as Maleku territory in 1976. The lands haven't been returned. LRFF with the Maleku are seeking donors to buy back the ancestral lands from non-indigenous owners, restoring 2/3 to forest. The Maleku depend on the forest for housing, food and medicine. This forest provides water and building materials.


By purchasing the farm we recuperate 38 has. of Maleku ancestral lands. LRFF is restoring 14 hectares to native forest as part of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project and the other 24 hectares of primary forest will be preserved. All of this will increase the aquifer levels to provide more potable water for the Maleku communities below, provide vital forest resources for their traditional lifestyle and begin the recuperation of their territory for their use.

Long-Term Impact

The acquisition of this farm and subsequent ones will draw attention and the Costa Rican government will finally implement the 35-year-old decree for the Maleku ancestral lands. The Maleku will have free use of the land. The Costa Rican govt. gives legal residency to people investing a minimum $60,000 in the country, i.e. land, business, etc. A donor or 6 donors could buy this property and all receive permanent residence. The land will be for the Maleku 's permanent and free use but not abuse.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Excel file (projdoc.xls).


LRFF/​Maleku Project Page
Maleku Masks - LRFF Store
Rio Sol Biological Corridor project page

Organization Information

La Reserva Forest Foundation

Location: Tilaran, Guanacaste - Costa Rica
Website: http:/​/​www.lrff.org
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @LaReservaCR
La Reserva Forest Foundation
Matthew Lee
Project Leader:
Matthew Lee
Project Leader
Tilaran, Guanacaste Costa Rica

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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