Savegre Forever!

by ASANA (Friends of Nature, Central and Southern Pacific Coast) Costa Rica

We don't have much to report this quarter on our work in the Savegre Watershed.... As I shared with you in our least update, our phenomenal executive director, Andrea Herrera was involved in a terrible car accident and was badly injured.  She is still in rehabilitation and making progress but has a way to go to be fully healed.  Given that Andrea is our only staff member, work in the Savegre has pretty much come to a standstill....

In anticipation of Andrea's recovery, however, we have managed to solicit and receive a generous donation from CRUSA to restart our community consultation work in the Watershed so that we can finalize the UNESCO Biosphere proposal. We're hoping with CRUSA's support, 2016 will be the year that the Biosphere get approved!

Thanks for your continued support of ASANA's work in the Savegre Watershed!

First of all, I wish to thank you wholeheartedly for your past support of ASANA’s work in Costa Rica’s Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor and Savegre River Watershed in the past… Most of 2015 was an extraordinary year for us and I want to share two huge achievements and one piece of very unfortunate news…. I very much hope you can find space in your year-end giving to make a donation to ASANA before the end of 2015, if you haven’t already!

First, the good news….

Savegre River Watershed Protected!

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís signed a presidential decree banning hydroelectric dams from the Savegre River for 25 years. This is a huge achievement and supports ASANA’s work to conserve and protect the Savegre River Watershed. It also opens the door for the Costa Rican government to bolster ASANA’s programs in sustainable development in the region. It is a real win for local communities and nature. (Go here to see an article in the Tico Times)

ASANA Wins Prestigious Global Award!

After competing against many, many other worthy organizations, ASANA was recognized by The PeaceJam Foundation as the global “Best Non-profit Act”.  Our executive director (and only employee!), Andrea Herrera was invited to receive the award in Monaco in June of this year from Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquivel of Argentina. (Go here to see PeaceJam’s announcement and footage of Andrea receiving the award!)

Now, the unfortunate news…

Just a few weeks ago, while on her way to a Path of the Tapir local council meeting, Andrea was in a horrible car accident that nearly claimed her life….  She suffered four broken limbs and various other injuries.  As we have noted many times in the past, Andrea is the heart and soul of ASANA and is responsible for almost every bit of success and progress we have enjoyed since she joined ASANA almost 5 years ago… We ask for your thoughts and prayers for Andrea.

While we are gravely concerned about Andrea and focused on her recovery, all of us in ASANA also want to take this opportunity to thank you and wish you and yours peace and happiness in 2016. 


Warm regards,

Richard Margoluis

Vice-president, ASANA

P.S.  To make a donation, please do so through our Global Giving project site (Go here) to take advantage of tax deductions before the end of 2015. Or, go to Global Giving at and search for ASANA. Thanks!

President Solis Signs Decree (Tico Times)
President Solis Signs Decree (Tico Times)

The big news from ASANA right now is that President Luis Guillermo Solis signed a decree banning all dam construction on the Savegre for the next 25 years!  As you are no doubt aware from our earlier communications in which we described the importance of the Savegre Watershed and the threats it faces, mega-hydroelectric dams rank as the #1 threat to the biodiversity of the region and the livelihoods of many people who live along the river.  For years, ASANA has been trying to find a “sustainable development” solution – one that truly meets the needs of local residents while conserving the natural riches of the zone for generations to come.  Major dam construction along the river has already severely affected the Savegre’s unique biodiversity, and has significantly disrupted the social fabric, pitting community against community and offering false hope of an economic boon – in the form of jobs – that has never materialized.  This decree lets us put this mega-infrastructure on pause for a while as Costa Rica analyzes all that the Savegre has to offer and gets its priorities straight. And ASANA is now smack dab in the middle of the conversation!

President Solis acknowledged the biological, social, and economic importance of the decree.  He stressed the importnace of finding solutions tht respect both human populations and nature and acknowledged past mistakes Costa RIca has made in terms of major electricty infrastrucure.  He seemed to be directing his comments to ASANA when he said: “Signing is the easy part. The hard part is the work that you have been doing for many years.” He went on to say: “When the people organize and demonstrate what they want in a respectful way, in a positive way,” the Solís administration will help them achieve their goals. And today we’re achieving one of those goals, which is to save the Pacuare River and the Savegre River for 25 years from hydroelectric dams.”

This is a hugely significant point in ASANA’s evolution as a major local, regional, and national player on the conservation field.  Thank you so much for supporting us along the way and we look forward to your continued support in the future!  

President Solis Rafts Savegre (Tico Times)
President Solis Rafts Savegre (Tico Times)


Dear friends of ASANA (and friends of Andrea!) –

Yes! ASANA has won the PeaceJam global 2015 Hero Award for Best Non-profit Act!  (Check out the attached press releases!) This is amazing recognition for all the hard work our tiny non-profit has done over the years. PeaceJam works with 13 Nobel Peace Prize winners to support social and environmental causes around the world.  While this is quite an honor for us as an organization, we see this as a recognition for all the work that all of us – especially the Local Council the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor – are doing to ensure the long-term sustainable use and conservation of Costa Rica’s unique natural heritage.

ASANA has been invited to the awards ceremony in Monte Carlo on 14 June. The award will be presented by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel. PeaceJam provides no travel support for ASANA but the board believes it is very important that Andrea be there to receive the award for Costa Rica on this international stage.  This opportunity will, no doubt, raise ASANA to an entirely new level of exposure, enabling us to further our mission. To this end, we have launched a campaign to raise funds to pay for Andrea’s trip to Monte Carlo.  Jack Ewing of Hacienda Baru Ecotours ( has kicked of the donations with a $1000 contribution! 

 So if you can, please support us with a donation of $100 or more. Go to the GlobalGiving site: "Sponsor Andrea to accept 2015 Hero Award!" or go to .  THIS IS TIME SENSITIVE! We need to get the funds together by 10 June to be able to purchase flight tickets for Andrea. 

Thanks for your continued support!



Our work to get the Savegre River Watershed designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve continues.  We are now coordinating with two relatively new biological corridors that have been established on the northern and southern end of the Watershed. And we are hoping, one again, to be invited to submit a proposal this year to the Government of Costa Rica and the local UNESCO office for the Biosphere designation.  This is one of those long and arduous processes that require very high levels of patience and perseverance…. ASANA is here for the long-haul and will not give up and so we are confident that – sooner or later – we will realize our dream of getting the Savegre River Watershed the international recognition it truly deserves…

If you want to get a good feel for the Watershed and the Path of the Tapir Biological Corridor, we encourage you to check out ASANA’s new wonderful video (see link associated with this note). The video was produced by Nel and Vanessa Boshoff of Colibri  Productions and captures the true essence of these areas.  We are very grateful for all the hard work and time that Nel and Vanessa put into this exceptional piece – especially Vanessa who narrator’s voice pulls you in and puts you down right in the thick of Costa Rica’s tropical forest. It’s the next best thing to being there!

We continue our fight to conserve the Savegre and we thank you for sticking with us!

P.S. Check out ASANA President Jack Ewings wonderful new book on the Path of the Tapir: Where Tapirs and Jaguars Once Roamed: Ever-Evolving Costa Rica (link provided below as well)



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Organization Information

ASANA (Friends of Nature, Central and Southern Pacific Coast) Costa Rica

Location: Dominical, Osa, San Jose - Costa Rica
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Richard Margoluis
Guapil, Puntarenas Costa Rica
$16,325 raised of $50,000 goal
248 donations
$33,675 to go
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