Preserving Rainforest and Education in Costa Rica

by La Reserva Forest Foundation
Student at La Reserva forest reserve in Costa Rica
Student at La Reserva forest reserve in Costa Rica

Omar Quesada would like to continue maintaining the 93 hectares of tropical rainforest under his care--930,000 square meters that sequester 1,116 tonnes of CO2 per year and help to protect the biodiversity of untold beneficial species. For every hectare lost to the deforestation often necessary for local inhabitants to subsist, the world edges closer to a disaster: decimated indigenous populations, permanently depleted biomes, devastated pharmaceutical opportunities.

And Omar's granddaughter would like to finish school. We should do everything we can to help her, because by investing in her, we invest in our collective future. Every additional year of school increases a girl's future earnings by 10 to 25%, ninety percent of which they reinvest into their families. Women, their families, the community, the region, and the world--all of us--benefit from educating girls.

We have so much to gain if we act to support Omar and his granddaughter--and so much to lose if we don't.

[Source for statistics on girls: ]

The rainforest we will preserve
The rainforest we will preserve
Girls planting trees in LRFF project
Girls planting trees in LRFF project


Pau d
Pau d' Arco (Corteza Negra) a miraculous medicine

If you’re lucky enough to visit Costa Rica you can’t help but be amazed by the fecundity of life there. Upon entering the forest one is surrounded by an abundance of green growth. A single mature tree is host to thousands of life forms: vines, bromeliads, epiphytes, tree frogs, and much more all demonstrating by their very being the interdependence of all life. Imagine thousands of such trees hosting hundreds of thousands of other life forms and you begin to understand that you are standing in the midst of an incredible abundance. But do you understand the importance of this abundance? 

According to EarthTalk, a regular feature of E/The Environmental Magazine there are over 100 prescription drugs sold today that are derived directly from rainforest plants. Two-thirds of medicines with cancer-fighting properties from such plants. Other maladies treated by plants from the tropical forests of the world include heart disease, diabetes, bronchitis, and tuberculosis to name only a few. Further products such as anesthetics, enzymes, hormones, antiseptics and antibiotics come from rainforest plants and herbs. Yet less than 1% of the plants in tropical forests have even been tested for their medicinal properties. 

At La Reserva we work with land owners such as Omar Quesada to protect existing forests on land they own in order to preserve not only the trees but also the life-enhancing medicinal plants yet to be found there. Our contracts with land owners gives them much needed income and prevents their having to sacrifice portions of their forests for the money it would provide. We are able to do this because of your help. It’s your donations that provide the funds needed to keep these forests intact and preserve the yet-to-be-found medicines within them. We thank you for your help with our efforts and hope that you will once again make a donation to this worthwhile project.

Flowers of the Pau d
Flowers of the Pau d'Arco tree


In the primary forest
In the primary forest

I often find myself wishing that we heard more stories of ordinary people who have acted heroically in their lives. Omar Quesada is such a person, despite economic pressures, despite the fact that nearly all his neighbors have sold out and allowed their land to be deforested, Omar has held firm in his conviction that forests should be preserved. It’s all too easy to discount the difficulty of holding to such a decision, particularly for those of us who are able to find the resources we need to feed and educate our children. 

But Omar is at a critical point. Quite simply, he does not have the money necessary for his granddaughter to finish school. Unless this project succeeds his only option will be to begin selling part of the forest, compromising it’s health and diversity. It is my sincere hope that we will be able to raise the funds that would be paid to Omar in Payments for Environmental Services (PES) with which he can provide for his granddaughters schooling and know that good deeds don’t always go unrewarded. Please donate to this project today.

Giant tree in tropical forest
Giant tree in tropical forest


Caterpillar in the rain forest
Caterpillar in the rain forest

If you’ve been to Costa Rica you’ve undoubtedly been impressed by the abundance of life there. Hopefully you’ve had the opportunity to take a tour through one of the many forested areas and been able to see first hand the fecundity of life. One has to simply listen in the morning hours to hear a multitude of bird song accompanied by the growls of the howler monkeys. A walk in the forest leaves you amazed at the diversity and interconnectedness of life. In stark contrast are the areas that have been deforested, where a single species of grass has taken over and little wildlife finds purchase. 

This project was created to preserve 93 hectares of primary forest. The landowners live simply and their deepest hope is that financial duress won’t force them into selling lumber or portions of the land itself. Yet they face a critical decision: will they be able to pay for the education that will help their family thrive? Your support can make the difference between their being able to preserve their beautiful forest or their being forced to sell parts of it. Your support can help them achieve their hope of higher education for the youngest family member. Please donate today and be a part of preserving rainforest and education in Costa Rica.

Tropical forest orchid
Tropical forest orchid


Flor de un Dia orchid grows on volcanoes
Flor de un Dia orchid grows on volcanoes

I was up at the Miravalles Volcano just last week. My friends and I make an annual trip to acquire the excellent volcanic clay that comes form this area. While there I looked up at the northern flank of Miravalles and was astounded at the deforestation, how high up on the volcano it reached. Surely cattle would roll down the hill as steep as it is.

It made me proud to know that along the western flank, reaching to the north is the forested property of Omar and Miriam Quesada. He has conserved this forest, rich with flora and fauna, for decades. As the lands around him were deforested his forest has stood as one last stronghold for the native life struggling to survive.

The payments LRFF will pay to the Quesada’s for the CO2 that this 90+ hectare forest is sequestering each year will enable Miriam’s daughter to finish her schooling. Without this deserved and addition income she will need to take a job without the benefits her diploma would  provide.

Come on everyone, let’s see the forest by way of the trees and realize they are living beings working for all life on Earth. They deserve our appreciation and the people who conserve them deserve something for protecting them.



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Organization Information

La Reserva Forest Foundation

Location: Tilaran, Guanacaste - Costa Rica
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Matthew Lee
Project Leader
Tilaran, Guanacaste Costa Rica

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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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