Osa Community Support Fund

by Corcovado Foundation
Corcovado National Park
Corcovado National Park

Dear friends of Globalgiving!

Just a quick update regarding our community development program:  We are really excited to tell you about the success of this program in Río Tigre.

We chose the community of Río Tigre due to the large number of residents who continue to enter illegally into the Corcovado National Park to hunt animals and pan for gold.  The Ministry for the Environment (MINAE) had asked us to help them find economical activities for this community. Thanks to the support of donors like you and the blue moon fund, we were able to start working with the Conservationist Association of Dos Brazos in Río Tigre and respond to the call for help from MINAE.

I am thrilled to let you know that this project has been a great success, especially because the response from the community and participation of local residents in the project has been unprecedented.  The Conservationist Association is impressive: their determination to make Río Tigre a more sustainable and prosperous community is absolutely inspiring.

In my 14 years of working with Corcovado Foundation I have never had the privilege to work with another group as committed and as capable.

Thanks to your help we have provided five more tour guide certification courses for 15 members of the community, and five more local residents have signed up to an agreement to pay in instalments so that they can also complete their certification.

A couple of months ago, we  visited the new trail into the Corcovado National Park that the association built. It took us 7 hours to cover the 14.5 kms (9 miles) of this stunning new trail. The guide was excited to tell us about all the wonderful change that this project is bringing to the communities.  He told us about how he grew up hunting and mining. He was very honest about the damage that he himself had caused previously and how, thanks to the new project, he has now pledged to quit mining. He shared stories about how unpleasant it used to be sleeping in the forest, hiding and running from the park rangers, and how now as a guide he makes in just three days the same amount that he would make on an average month of gold panning.

Since the trail was open at the end of February the community has received 105 tourists paying $75 USD per person for a total of  $7,875,  guides have made $4.200, the association made  $1.050 and MINAE made $1050 for park entrances.

Thank you so much for supporting these great efforts.  We are thrilled to be part of this great success!  Your contributions will keep changing people’s lives and supporting therefore protecting the environment.  Keep us in mind this end of the year!

$8500 USD distributed among local community projects.

Building a hanging bridge for pedestrians over the Río Claro, was one of the projects approved  by the Osa Community Fund (FACOSA), that you have supported with GlobalGiving.  According to Lucas, a resident of the area: "The community of San Josecito has 70 inhabitants, among which, there are 6 seniors, 2 people with some kind of physical disability and many children".   

The nearest health clinic (or EBAIS) and high school is 10 km from the community and the only way out of the place is by the river. When winter comes, unfortunately, the community remains isolated, as the river becomes uncrossable. “During 3½ years we have been soliciting funds and looking for alternatives to build this bridge and it was not until now that this project looked as a real possibility. We are grateful to the Corcovado Foundation and FACOSA, because after 3 ½ years looks like our community is finally getting this much needed improvement” finished Lucas.

The other two projects that received funding are located in the community of Rancho Quemado. This proactive community submitted four proposals for FACOSA of which 2 were approved. Both projects are of great importance for promoting the economic development of the community. Jessica is one of Rancho Quemado’s local leaders and president of La Esperanza (The Hope) Women Group Esperanz, which was one of the winning projects. According to her, "Thanks to this funding, we can pay for much needed training for our group”. This training will be provided by the women's group "The Cabuya Account" of Cartago, who have extensive experience in this activity. The group has finished buying the materials and equipment required and it is committed to achieve their vision:  organized women, improving the quality of life of their families and their community and working together in harmony with the environment.

In total, $8,500 were distributed among the 3 projects were selected with the collaboration of a multi-agency committee. FACOSA funds are collected by Corcovado Foundation through GlobalGiving, http://www.globalgiving.org.

The Corcovado Foundation is responsible for the administration of the funds and the monitoring of the projects without adding any additional cost. Therefore, every dollar collected goes directly to support community projects. 

The third project funded by FACOSA aims to make Rancho Quemado’s Osa Community Trail accessible for the elderly and disabled. The community aims to offer a differentiated tourism product in the area. This trail will attract tourists generating demanded of products and services in the community of Rancho Quemado.

The Corcovado Foundation is a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable use of natural resources as a way to alleviate the pressure that exists on the priceless natural resources of the Osa Peninsula.

Every rainy season children from the town of El Progreso head to Agujitas to attend high school.   This 45 minute walk or 10 minute car drive is quite pleasant, if it is not raining. The issue with the rain, has very little to do with getting wet and a lot to do with putting their lives in danger crossing the Drake River that stands between their home town and their high school. I have witnessed school children cross the river with the water up to their chest, because once the water gets too high, cars refuse to give it a try. So the young students and the locals are left on their own. I am surprised that nobody has lost their life crossing this river.

With little access to infrastructure and education children in this area have to take chances or they have the greatest excuse in the world to drop out of school. We know what dropping out of school means for most people: The perpetuation of the poverty cycle in the communities and their families, and an unsustainable and unjust world.

The foundation mission states: We strive to increase the protection of wild areas, promote environmental education, sustainable tourism and community participation through the sustainable use of natural resources in the South Pacific area of Costa Rica. However in order toimprove participation in nature conservation, we need to improve the communities quality of life, and open their alternatives for education and economic stability.

The Osa Community Fund was created by our organization to put money aside for community projects. These monies will be given to grass roots groups after they have committed to match the value of the donation by providing man hours, materials or similar to the project.

Raising funding for the Osa Community Fund or as we call it FACOSA, hasn’t been easy. Last December we engaged in an’’ End of the Year Challenge’’ with Globalgiving in order to raise funding and awareness about the Osa Community Fund.   We raised $ 1,750 USD. Our goal was to raise $3000 USD for the fund. Although we fell short of our goal, we are happy and grateful and thank the friends and philanthropists who pitched in to help us raise this money.

The much needed monies will be added to funds previously raised to finance more community projects.  One of the projects already presented by the Development Association of El Progreso, is to build a much needed walking bridge for the Drake River. We have published an invitation to help with this project in facebook and posters have been placed in stores, schools and other public spaces.

We want to thank you for your donations. Your donations maintain this fund and allow us to be more active and focused on the needs of communities. The foundation is always short on cash, but we offer our technical support, fundraising efforts and follow up on the detail to ensure that every dollar that you donate has a huge impact. Not one cents is charged for our costs. We donate all of our time and expenses.  We are all partners in making the world a little bit better, bit by bit!

Thank you

Dear friends:

I hope that this December finds you all in great spirits!  

Christmas is the time for giving. It is also a great time to make donations which are deductible from your US income tax.

We need your help. We need to raise $3000 USD by December 31, 2014 from at least 30 different donors. The money raised will support the Osa Community Support Fund (FACOSA).   FACOSA has invested $23,123 USD directly in 9 community projects, including the construction of a rural water supply, lighting of a soccer field and the purchase of computers for a very poor school. The purpose of this fund is to provide the communities with seed funding to start their own projects.

FACOSA funds come from a challenge that the Interamerican Foundation proposed to our organization: Every dollar that the Corcovado Foundation can raise is match 100% by the Interamerican Foundation. 100% of proceeds goes directly to the projects: the administrative and monitoring costs of projects are borne by the foundation.

In order to fund new projects in 2015, the Corcovado Foundation has taken on a new challenge with GlobalGiving. We need to raise $ 3,000 from at least 30 donors to qualify for one of nine bonus awards on December 31st. Every donation made to GlobalGiving will be matched by the Interamerican Foundation. In other words, if you donate $10, the community receives $20 for community development projects, education and socioeconomic development. Additionally, the community that receives the funding will match the amount by a 100% in-kind donation.

That means your $10 donation can have the impact of a $40 gift.

Please make a donation: Simply enter this page https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/osa-community-support-fund/

Donations made through GlobalGiving are deductible from income tax in the US

For more information about the project and all the community efforts that are supported by our organization, please e-mail Zoraida Tenorio at zoraida@corcovadofoundation.org or call 2297-3013.

Other ways to help: You can also help forward this to your friends or join the Facebook page of the Corcovado Foundation and share our invitation on your wall.

Thank you all for your help.

I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Seamtress in Rancho Quemado
Seamtress in Rancho Quemado

Investing in women is key to community development.  Why? Because it is proven that 95% of a woman’s income is immediately invested in their family’s well-being.  Unlike men, everything that a woman earns goes directly for food, school supplies and to care for the family needs.

Yolanda is a seamstress in Rancho Quemado. She lives with her husband, her mother and two children age 8 and 3. She loved sewing since she was 8 years old. She could not wait to use her talent to make a living.   Yolanda taught herself this craft from magazines and by looking at people’s clothes. Initially she received help from a few government institutions to buy the necessary equipment. With the funding she received from the Corcovado Foundation, this gifted woman has been able to bloom and is now selling her products to nearby hotels and neighbors.   The money she earns she uses to help her family’s economy, or she reinvests it in her business.

Many studies have recognized the importance of improving the status of impoverished women. “The Women’s Economic Empowerment: Meeting the Needs of Impoverished Women Report”, written in 2007 by the UNFPA describes a number of approaches used to date to empower women economically, including microcredit.

That is why the Osa Community Support Fund has tried to strengthen women’s micro entrepreneurships, in order to empower women in the Osa Peninsula.  Another example of this effort is the Morfas Restaurant.  The Morfas Unidas de Osa project was formed by 9 women, to generate income for their households by providing food services to the community of El Progreso in Drake Bay. Many of these women are heads of their household and the income has been used to ensure the support and education of their children.

This project is also helping the local community by providing jobs for a night guard and a gardener that comes every two weeks to mown the lawn.  This is significant, because this undeveloped community lacks jobs and other sources of income.

Yixian, leader of this project explained: “thanks to the donation received from the Corcovado Foundation, we purchased kitchen equipment for the project and have managed to get ahead”.

Personally, she says: “this project has given me many opportunities. Thanks to the project, I was able to pay for my college education, fulfill my goals and provide a better future for my daughter”.

Morfas de Osa Restaurant in El Progreso
Morfas de Osa Restaurant in El Progreso
Morfas de Osa, some of the ladies
Morfas de Osa, some of the ladies

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Organization Information

Corcovado Foundation

Location: Moravia,, San Jose - Costa Rica
Website: http:/​/​www.corcovadofoundation.org
Project Leader:
Alejandra Monge
Puntarenas, Costa Rica