Rancho Bienvenido, Maleku Reserve, Costa Rica

by La Reserva Forest Foundation
Dec 26, 2013

May We Have Your Permission

GREEN students at Papa Loca, La Reserva, CR
GREEN students at Papa Loca, La Reserva, CR

Thanks to you this project was received it’s last donation to reach full funding last June. We received the final disbursement in August and, as I reported in the last progress report, when we gave Bienvenido the news he and his family jumped up and down on the porch, ready to go to work as soon as the disbursement was received.  We called a meeting in August with the Maleku Tribal Council and four of the members attended.

We discussed the budget and everyone seemed a little halfhearted about the whole thing. It’s been three years since we first posted this project on Global Giving for funding, in the midst of the Rio Sol Biological Corridor project. The Tribal Council was going strong at the time but began to experience some internal conflicts and problems 

I’ve been in contact with Bienvenido and his son Emigdio periodically these past four months, a couple of times they said they would be cutting the posts but up till now there hasn’t been anything done. Emigdio left to live in the U.S. so with the coming year I have a proposition for you and I’d like you to let me know if you have any objection to the idea. If we don’t hear from you I’ll assume you are in agreement and you’ll be receiving another progress report soon about the new project.

Here at the La Reserva forest preserve in Costa Rica we receive many groups of students of all ages, especially university students. We’ve been working closely with the Global Renewable Energy Education Network (GREEN) now for more than three years. They are an educational, student travel group and during Christmas, spring and summer vacations in the states they bring large groups of students to La Reserva to learn about tropical reforestation and climate change almost every Sunday afternoon. (see photos)

I take them on the now famous forest walk and it’s always amazing to see them transform as they “get it”, the interconnectivity of the forest ecosystem. After the walk my friend and shaman, Majima and his family teach the students a bit about plant medicine, Maleku culture and then they compete at homemade bow and arrow shooting. All of this is out in the open, no shelter…you see where I’m going right?

This past year there were some afternoons with non-stop rain and without shelter (other than the little one man restroom) we all got soaked and cold, if you can believe it. I determined then and there somehow I’d get a traditional Maleku “rancho” built here at La Reserva so we can receive visitors and they can enjoy the Maleku show with a roof over their heads. When the Rancho Bienvenido project didn’t look like it would make it I asked Global Giving if it would be permissible to use the funds from that project to do the same kind of project in a different location. They said it’s up to you…what do you think?

Thank you so much, if I don’t hear from you please watch for the next report soon. 

Majima, the shaman, teaching and entertaining
Majima, the shaman, teaching and entertaining
Competing with homemade Maleku bow and arrow
Competing with homemade Maleku bow and arrow
The winners of the competition and the spoils
The winners of the competition and the spoils



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Organization Information

La Reserva Forest Foundation

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