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.
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.