08 / Sep / 2020
Improvement for 5 Protected Wild Areas of the South Pacific
Corcovado, Marino Ballena, and Piedras Blancas National Park, La Amistad International Park and Golfito Wildlife Refuge will benefit from 1700 million colones to improve their tourism infrastructure. (see the detail of works in table 1)
The project is financed with funds from JUDESUR, signed on August 19, 2016. On June 16, 2017, a first disbursement was received for an amount of ¢252,399,124.52 to elaborate blueprints and environmental impact studies, among others.
After more than two years dealing with red-tape, on August 31, 2020, we received with joy the good news that the Board of Directors of JUDESUR will incorporate within its extraordinary 2020 budget a second disbursement for the amount of ¢406,650,807.15 and two more disbursements in 2021. All of them for the construction stage.
Additionally, Minae is planning to invest ₡578,997,000.00 in La Amistad and Ballena to complete some of the construction projects, which blueprints were made during the first stage of the JUDESUR project.
This investment in tourism infrastructure in protected wilderness areas will have a huge impact on local economies. This project will bring economic benefits to these communities, both during its construction process and later, to enhance tourism.
This project is a joint effort from the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), and the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), JUDESUR and the Corcovado Foundation.
Promoting sustainable tourism in La Amistad
Challenged by the need to strengthen grassroots organizations and promote employment in the buffer zone of La Amistad International Park, the Corcovado Foundation, is supporting grassroots organizations to enhance their business management. Financed by the First USA-CR Debt for Nature Swap administered by Costa Rica Forever, this project has helped six organizations improve their legal formalization, management, and marketing.
The team has used digital resources such as video calls and one-to-one support through video calls and WhatsApp audios to follow up on the workshops’ learning experience.
Thanks to this project, the organizations ASOFAC, AZAPILA, TURIBRUS R.L. in the Pittier sector, ASOMOBI in the Biolley-Altamira sector, ACETUSAMA in the Santa María de Brunka sector, and ASOTUR in the Tres Colinas sector have managed to reorient their products towards specific target markets, reorganize their internal operating processes, diversify the tourist offer, among others.
In August, we had the first of 8 prioritized trainings. We began with the topic “Solid Waste Management for Tourism Companies.” We hope to have completed all the courses by February 2021. Besides, we have already scheduled a virtual exchange experience session with two ecotourism and rural tourism companies in Costa Rica to present their businesses and share tips and recommendations related to their operation and administration. Once the COVID situation allows us to return to some normality, we will try to have some in-person exchanges.
Local Guide Certification Courses
Twenty-eight people requested to participate in the course, but with a cost of a little under $600 USD per participant, we could only afford to provide the benefit to ten of them. We are hoping that by March 2021, we will have ten new certified and prepared local guides to serve the tourism sector that visits their communities.
On July 27th, we started the certification process. We have already taught three courses: Elements of Tourism, Tourism Legislation, Tourism Ethics, and this September 1st, we began with First Aid.
The commitment of the participants moves us! Even against discouraging weather conditions, they leave their homes searching for a good cell phone connection to receive their classes. This helps us realize the importance of these trainings, the commitment of each of the participants to provide a better life for their families, and the development of their communities.