Preserving El Farallon Natl. Monument, Costa Rica

by La Reserva Forest Foundation
8 has. being preserved over next 5 years, in red
8 has. being preserved over next 5 years, in red

Thanks to your generosity the “Preserving El Farallon Natl. Monument” forest preservation project was funded this past August. Many employees from Eli Lilly donated during the last month, really amazing.

Last week, after we received the final disbursement from GlobalGiving for this project we called the Lopez family to let them know it was time to come sign the contract and receive their check for payments for environmental services (PES) to preserve the 48 hectares of forest for the next year. They said that there was a problem with the 40 hectare piece but that they would explain when they came to La Reserva. Sounded quite ominous.

They explained that since we wrote up the project in June 2010 and the time it was funded by you in August 2011, the national forestry program, FONAFIFO agreed to pay them PES’s over the next 5 years for water incrementation on the 40 hectare forest. That left the 8 hectare regenerated piece to preserve. The funds were very much over and above what was needed to pay them for that.

A light bulb went off in my head!! After calculating I realized we had enough funding to pay the Lopez’s PES’s on the 8 hectare regenerated forest for the next 5 years. They agreed, happily, signed the contract and received their first annual payment of $522.00.

The project turned out a little different than we thought but the 40 hectares are being preserved over the next 5 years and through our support so are the other 8. This eight hectares of forest will absorb and store approximately 600 metric tonnes of CO2 during that time.

More good news, the Lopez’s want to do a forest restoration project with LRFF on their property. From the public road their personal road passes through all of the farm and this is how we arrive at their beautiful, typical home. They are planning to build a new house up at the public road and want to plant native forest on both sides of the old road through the farm, more than 1 kilometer. I explained how the project works with the Maleku people, the landowners create the nurseries, let the trees develop for 4 – 6 months and at planting time LRFF buys them for .50/tree. Gisella’s father loves to grow trees she explained and would love the opportunity to create and care for the nursery. This is the PES we pay the landowner on these projects and it is equal to paying $100/ha/year but they receive it up front all at once. The other beautiful benefit is the great appreciation the nursery gives the community of seeing the forest return.

Thank you again for your great generosity. Watch for the Lopez’s reforestation project on GlobalGiving soon.

The Lopez
The Lopez's typical Costa Rican house
Petroglyphs at El Farallon National Monument
Petroglyphs at El Farallon National Monument
The river and bluff of these famous petroglyphs
The river and bluff of these famous petroglyphs


Mantled Howler Monkey in forest cover
Mantled Howler Monkey in forest cover

The vision many people have of Costa Rica is that of tranquil beaches alongside massive areas of uninterrupted jungle. Although there are indeed many beautifully forested areas in the country, the fact is that cattle farming and development have destroyed much of the original forest cover. The preservation of existing forested areas is of utmost importance therefore, because it is from mature forests that both seed and seedlings are gathered for reforestation efforts. 

Still, the abundance of life in the Costa Rican forests never ceases to amaze me. As I write this update I’m listening to the percussive rhythm of cicadas accompanying the persistent two-toned song of the long-tailed manakin. A few moments ago a troop of howler monkeys added a base line to the melody. It’s the song of the jungle, a soothing reminder of the inter-relatedness of all life.

The forest of El Farallon, about fifteen miles from where I sit at La Reserva, hosts its own chorus of diverse species. These animals, birds, and insects are dependent upon the existence of this forest for their survival just as we are dependent upon you, our donors, to help us in its preservation. Please donate today and help us preserve the forested acreage of El Farallon and the melody of life within it.

Fruit of the Stilt Palm on forest floor
Fruit of the Stilt Palm on forest floor


The Lopez
The Lopez's forest to be conserved for you

We are very close to our goal on this project which will protect over 110 acres of forest. The project also supports the Lopez family in their work as guardians of the ancient petroglyphs along the river which runs through these trees. Both the forest and the petroglyphs are treasures well worth preserving! 

Perhaps you think it’s a bit more glamorous to support projects that are putting trees into the ground (and there are any number of such projects with which La Reserva Forest Foundation is involved), but the preservation of existing forest is also of great importance. It is from existing forests that seeds and seedlings are gathered for future plantings. Mature forests offer shelter and food to more species of flora and fauna than have yet been counted. 

Global Giving has recently made it easy to make a monthly recurring donation. For as little as $10 a month you can be responsible for the protection of 5 acres of forest for one year! Further, by making a recurring donation before May 20th you can help La Reserva earn additional bonus funds. We’re counting on you to help us reach our ever-so-close goal, please donate today.


Only Grandpa left to give shade. Dry and parched
Only Grandpa left to give shade. Dry and parched

It’s summer right now in Costa Rica, the dry season. It’s a great time to witness the difference between forested areas and areas that have been cleared of trees. Forested areas stay cool under the shade of the tall trees, underneath the leaf cover on the forest floor there is still a dampness to the ground. Out in the cleared areas the summer sun beats down on the ground mercilessly. Hillsides are brown and desolate looking, pasture grasses have dried out and the land is parched. Watersheds protected by forest continue to feed streams unlike cleared areas in which water is scarce, if available at all. 

Right now the 48 hectares of the El Fallaron project demonstrate the life-giving, water conserving properties of forested areas. Numerous species of amphibians, birds, and mammals thrive in there. It contains a wide diversity of both flora and fauna, undoubtedly some species that are yet to be discovered. It is a treasure chest that you can help preserve by your donation. We’ve already raised over two-thirds of the funds required for this project. We need your help to complete it and save this forest for all the life it supports.  

Deep, cool shade in the primary forest
Deep, cool shade in the primary forest


Preying Mantis
Preying Mantis

January brought us exciting news, a large donation of $1900 was made to this project leaving only $1373 for its completion. It’s my sincere hope that we will reach that goal in the next few months. I’ve promised my grand-nieces and nephews a trip to this site when they come visit me in Costa Rica. I want to show them this very specific example of what their gift donations make possible. For while the Lopez family takes seriously their role of being guardians both of the forest around them and of the ancient petroglyphs on the cliffs along the stream bed, what’s also true is that currently the road into their property has become nearly impassable. The Lopez family’s Payments for Environmental Services (PES) associated with this project will make it possible for them  to repair their road. This in turn will give more people the opportunity to visit the beautiful petroglyphs here as well as the chance to become aware of the many benefits arising out of preserving native forested areas. Won’t you help us complete this project? We can’t do it without you.



About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

La Reserva Forest Foundation

Location: Tilaran, Guanacaste - Costa Rica
Website: http:/​/​
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.

Still want to help?

Support another project run by La Reserva Forest Foundation that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.