Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund

by Corcovado Foundation
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Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Osa Community COVID 19 Response Fund
Community members working on the bridge
Community members working on the bridge

“It is like a dream come true… after 40 years!”   These were the words of our local liaison in Osa when we first opened ground to build the pedestrian bridge in El Progreso. 

Mayra and her family have lived in the Drake Bay area for more than 40 years, and they could not have imagined the day that they would actually be able to cross the Drake Bay river by bridge.  40 years!   For 40 years her family and her friends have been forced to cross the river by foot to go back and forward from Agujitas to Progreso.  Children needed to cross it to go to their nearest highschool and mothers needed to cross it to take their children to the doctor.   Several times a year the rains would come, and the river became unpassable.    It was normal to see students or workers on one side of the river, waiting for the waters to succumb, so that they could go home. Many risked their lives to make it to the other side.

 Our organization is an environmental conservation organization, but we determined many years ago that our mission was to promote the sustainable use of the natural resources: “working with people to protect nature” is our motto.   And our people, the community we serve, needed help.  So, we knocked on the door of our friends and allies.  Friends like you!

You donated and other friends donated and finally with two large gifts from the Interamerican foundation and one of our advisory members our organization was able to raise enough funding to start working.  We pitched the idea to another of our members:  La Clinica Biblica.  They donated the engineering services and the structural plans.   The community will continue donating their time and labor for an approximate value of $15,000 USD.

 We are changing lives!  Thank you for your support!  You can continue to support this and other social development projects that our organization is promoting by donating to https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/osa-community-support-fund/

 

 

Community members working on the bridge 2
Community members working on the bridge 2
Community members working on the bridge3
Community members working on the bridge3
Community members working on the bridge 3
Community members working on the bridge 3
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Osa Foundation's President with our board
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
New infrastructure in Rincon 2
New infrastructure in Rincon 2
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Corcovado Foundation
Corcovado Foundation

On behalf of the foundation's team, we want to thank you for your support to our organization this year!  It was not an easy year, but with your support we made it through the tough times.

Below we present a small summary of the achievements made in 2017 and which would not have been possible without your collaboration:

·       We collected the money and will be starting the construction of a pedestrian bridge for the Drake Bay River between Progreso and Drake Bay area, which will make it safer for the students and the community in general, since they wont need to cross this dangerous river by foot any more.

·       137 teachers from the Regional Department of Terraba trained in the Education Guidelines for Sustainable Development Workshop.

·       6 Drake schools, with a total of 137boys and girls, received environmental education monthly or bimonthly.

·       40 children from 4 environmental groups carrying out environmental activities in their community.

·       1 youth group implementing environmental education and environmental actions in their community.

·       Our organization supported the creation of the Junior Ranger Program for the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve.

·       44 volunteers recruited to support the turtle conservation projects at Playa Rincón and Río Oro Beach. A total of 12 volunteers have collaborated at Playa Rincón and 32 volunteers at the Río Oro Beach.

·       In collaboration with the Osa Foundation, we have supported the protection of Playa de Rincón, where a total of 108 nests have been reported from August to date.  93 of these nests were relocated to the nursery and only 9% were lost due to poaching or predation.

·       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.

·       39 architectural designs ready to start construction in 2018 in 5 Protected Areas of the Southern Region. These designs had a cost of $ 400,000 USD, that were donated by JUDESUR, for the improvement of infrastructure in 5 Wild Protected Areas of the Southern Region. We are hoping that this investment will help promote tourism in the nearby communities and generate economic development in them.

·       A project to strengthen technical capacities for communities around La Amistad International Park in the process of implementation.

·       A toolkit for environmental education for high schools was designed.  This contributes to raising awareness and taking action to adapt to climate change in the marine Area of responsible fishing Paquera-Tambor.

·       An economic alternative activity was developed in order to diversify the income of fishermen in the communities of Paquera and Tambor.  This will reduce the pressure on marine resources in their area.

·       General Management Plans prepared for the Los Quetzales National Park and the Golfo Dulce Forestry Reserve.

·       Sustainable Tourism Plan prepared for the Chirripó and Tapantí National Parks, Macizo de la Muerte, Amistad International Park and Río Macho Forest Reserve.

·       Environmental Education and Tourism Plans for the Carara, La Cangreja and Los Quetzales National Parks under development.

·       Infrastructure plans for 10 protected areas in the process of preparation.

·       Design of the Campaign against Single Use Plastics in Osa, in support of the innitiave by the Osa Chamber of Tourism.  Our organization also adquired the commitment to support the awareness and dissemination processes of this campaign in 2018.

Again, thank you very much for your support!  We wish you Merry Christmas and may next year be full of peace and love for all of us who share this Planet Earth. May we live in harmony with our neighbors and with all the species that inhabit it.

Should you wish to make a donation to plant a tree, name a seaturtle on behalf of a family member or friend, or make an end of the year donation to support any of our programs, please make a donation on globalgiving.org. 

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crossing the river
crossing the river

This last weekend the community in El Progreso organized the first festival to pitch in some funds for the pedestrian bridge that they need so much for their river. The construction of a suspension bridge will allow people access to basic services and better development of this rural community.

Helena, Corcovado Foundation’s environmental education coordinator and member of the committee told us: “I cannot wait to stop seeing kids wet or moms with newborn babies on arms trying to cross the infamous river!”  I must say Helena is one of these moms too.  She and her 3-year-old toddler also have to face this river to make it to the clinic or to town.  Crossing this river with the water up to your chest is a very dangerous task.  Doing it with a baby on your arms is unbelievably treacherous.

There is so much excitement in the community regarding this bridge!  And it shows! Some local leaders that had been long dormant and quiet have excelled and have taken the lead to make sure this project is a reality.    Don and Carlos, leaders of the community mentioned that the local clinic and the high school will be relocated very closely to the bridge.   “This is a true need for this community.  This community will be a whole different thing with that bridge” said Don.   

The community created an 8 members committee to back up the effort that the foundation has done to fundraise for this bridge. After 2 days of activities such as soccer matches, dances and karaoke, the community raised $500 USD. This funding will be added to the monies already collected by the foundation thru GlobalGiving and other donors.

250 hours of labor has been already donated by the locals to prepare the materials for the bridge and organize the fundraising activities. This community hasn’t done any work or projects together in what seems centuries.  This project has united them and has inspire them to put their differences aside and get it done. If they achieve this they will have the grounds for much more work together towards the sustainable development of their community.  And there is so much more that needs to be done.  A drinking waters system, repairing the community center, rebuilding the roof of the school. 

 You can pitch in to this project at https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/osa-community-support-fund. 

Festival
Festival
crossing the river
crossing the river
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Students crossing the river on their way to school
Students crossing the river on their way to school

This bridge will save lives and will make possible to kids to make to high school.  The construction of a suspension bridge that allows people and vehicles such as motorcycles to cross the Drake Bay river safely, will allow both access to basic services and better enable the development of these rural communities in disadvantaged situations.  The Corcovado Foundation both our environmental education and seaturtle conservation programs are based in these communities.

La Peninsula de Osa, is Costa Rica’s last frontier.  Its isolation and its remoteness has also help protect the amazing natural resources of the area from large investors.   However, its remoteness and its isolation has also proven to be a huge challenge for those that live in these communities.   The lack of services such as education, health, communications and transportation trial those that live in the area.  Without minimum socioeconomic conditions, local populations have no option that use and abuse their natural surrounding for subsistence.

 

One of the big challenges they face is the Drake Bay river.  This river is located between the communities of Progreso and Agujitas and it lacks a bridge.   During most of the rainy season the water level of this rivers makes impossible the passage of people and vehicles leaving El Progreso completely isolated.

 

All the communities in the Drake Bay District need to cross this river. This river stands between them and basic services such as the health clinic and the high school.  In addition, many people from that area must make their way every day in order to make it to work, most of the employment opportunities are located in Drake Bay.   The people from Los Angeles must go daily to El Progreso to purchase food where the nearest grocery store is located.   In addition, all communities in the interior such as Rincon de San Josecito, Caletas, Los Planes, Agujitas must cross this river, since the only road that connects these communities crosses this river. Therefore, all these communities are isolated during the winter, without the possibility of having an exit way by land.  If the people are forced to leave by road their only possibility then is going out by sea, on a boat having to cross the mouth of the Sierpe River, which is extremely dangerous.  This river has claimed the life of more than 80 people in Drake Bay.  Babies are born on boats, when their moms were trying to make it to the hospital and civilization.

Therefore, the construction of a suspension bridge that allows people and vehicles such as motorcycles to cross that river safely, will allow both access to basic services and better enable the development of these rural communities in disadvantaged situations.

With funding from the Interamerican foundation, our organization was able to contribute with $10,000 USD in materials, the community will donate their time and labor for an approximate of $15,000 USD, but we still need $15,000 USD more in materials.  You can take advantage of this Globalgiving bonus rewards day, which starts tomorrow, July 12th at 7:00 a.m. Costa Rica time or 9:00 am EDT.   Donations thru globalgiving are tax deductible in the United States and tomorrow they will be match 40% while funds remain.    

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Organization Information

Corcovado Foundation

Location: Moravia,, San Jose - Costa Rica
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Alejandra Foundation
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
$48,905 raised of $75,000 goal
 
284 donations
$26,095 to go
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