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Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica

by La Reserva Forest Foundation Project of the Month Site Visit Verified
Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica
Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica
Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica
Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica
Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica
Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica
Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica
Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica
Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica
Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica
Cruz Castro, president of the Tribal Council
Cruz Castro, president of the Tribal Council

Rancho Bienvenido is a unique project. It's aim is simple - to create a place for the community-run MalekuTribal Council to use for their development and future prosperity. 

The other day, I went to see the old Rancho with Roberta on a routine inspection of our projects at the Maleku reserve. The Rancho stands centrally within the village, burnt in a fire earlier this year, it remains a great shell, a powerful symbol of the potential of a people. As I toured the village, it became clear that there was really nothing but a football field for the community to call their own. 

With the generous donations we have received so far, we are on our way towards our goal of $2000 to rebuild the ranch. The need is there, the desire is there - we could even construct it in a long weekend. We thank you for your support and interest as we search for the remaining funding. 

We would like to draw attention to a new and easy to use feature on our site. You can now calculate your carbon footprint on our site and purchase offsets in just a few clicks. Your offsets go directly to our projects, so what are you waiting for? Pass the link below to all your friends and family, and let's heal the planet together: 

 

Traditional ceremony
Traditional ceremony
Sole technology and the Maleku
Sole technology and the Maleku

Links:

Rapid growth in the Rio Sol
Rapid growth in the Rio Sol

Without even the old rancho in which to meet, the Maleku Tribal council are struggling more than ever to meet and remain a united force. After the old ranch burnt down we hoped to have the new ranch built by June, but unfortunately we still lack the funds to do so. We continue to help the Tribal Council in every way we can but every day the need for a communal meeting place becomes more urgent.

The Tribal Council formed with our help to unite the tribes 3 villages and govern the tribe’s communal lands. The council is essential if the Maleku are to reclaim, and regenerate the ancestral land that was taken from them and destroyed by non-indigenous farmers. Without somewhere of their own to meet and plan this reclamation, they must rent a venue which costs them greatly.

We are continually working to secure the $1000 we need to get this much needed ranch built before the council fall apart. Please wish us luck. 

Links:

The New Rancho Bienvenido
The New Rancho Bienvenido

I have new news concerning the old Rancho Bienvenido. I was out at Palenque Tonjibe in mid February to visit my friend Bienvenido Cruz Castro, for whom the rancho is named.

As we sat on his front porch talking he asked if I’d noticed the old rancho when I walked by. Dumbly I said “no, why?” Bienvenido said, laughing, “Well, last month a neighbor was burning his yard trash and a spark landed on the old Suita palm roof and caught it on fire. It went up like a pyre, amazing!”

Check out the photo I took that day of the burned rancho. Come on everyone the Maleku Tribal Council needs a meeting place more than ever. They have been unable to meet because of a lack of a common place and need to continue their project planning sessions.

I submitted an application for a small grant from the Rainforest Biodiversity group to help with the remainder of funding needed to rebuild Rancho Bienvenido. With all of your help and theirs we can get the rancho built by June.

Progress of trees planted June 2011, Rio Sol
Progress of trees planted June 2011, Rio Sol

Links:

Bienvenido Cruz C., Pres. of Council  w/Daniel
Bienvenido Cruz C., Pres. of Council w/Daniel

After a long wait and many obstacles the Maleku Tribal Council received their legal registration in January. They are now a nationally recognized organization. This means they now have the ability to apply for grants to implement the many community projects they've been planning.

We attended a meeting last October conducted by directors of the UN's Small Grants Program in Costa Rica. They encouraged members of the Tribal Council to make their priority pushing forward to receiving their legal status to apply for a Small Grant (up to $20,000).

The old Rancho Bienvenido is still standing but continues to deteriorate. The Council needs a meeting place more than ever now.

Thank you again for your generous donation to the Rancho Bienvenido project. Please pass this report and project to others you know. Maybe they will feel as passionately as you do about this simple, straightforward project.

Rio Sol nursery next to the old Rancho Bienvenido
Rio Sol nursery next to the old Rancho Bienvenido

Links:

Bienvenido Cruz w/Alfredo Acosta-Tribal Council
Bienvenido Cruz w/Alfredo Acosta-Tribal Council

We continue to work closely with the Maleku people for such as the Río Sol reforestation project. We are carrying out much valuable work involving this tiny tribe of 600, down from their initial 6000 members before the 19th century massacre of these indigenous people for their rubber trees during which time much of their ancestral land was taken from them.

These lands passed into the hands of non-indigenous farmers who deforested it for cattle farming. LRFF and the Maleku are reforesting the land they live on and we’re buying back the rest to be reforested as acquired. The Tribal Council, that governs the new communal lands, needs a meeting place. Presently we are borrowing venues costing us precious time to set up and move equipment and people to each venue.

Furthermore, the current Rancho has suffered greatly this year due to excessive rainfall in the area. During one visit, there were 2 inches of water covering the earth floor, making it impossible to hold meetings there.

LRFF is hoping to be able to present a new Rancho Bienvenido (welcome ranch) to the Maleku for Christmas. With a total build time of just 10 days, this is a viable option, however we are still in need of donations.

Local resident at the Maleku reserve
Local resident at the Maleku reserve

Links:

 

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Organization Information

La Reserva Forest Foundation

Location: Tilaran, Guanacaste - Costa Rica
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @LaReservaCR
La Reserva Forest Foundation
Matthew Lee
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.
   

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