Guanacaste Community Fund
A Solar Club in Guanacaste
The GCF is coordinating a team effort to place solar panels on public elementary and high schools throughout Guanacaste. The project, linked to the Ministry of Education’s Blue Flag Program, will not only provide the schools with cheap electricity, they will also help teach children about renewable energy, environmental conservation and climate change, all very important topics for the future of Guanacaste.
Each participating school will form a Solar Club, where interested students will help maintain the panels, help build solar cookers and water heaters, receive talks on energy and conservation, and go on field trips to visit renewable energy plants and National Parks.
A pilot project is operating at the Techical-Professional High School (CTP) in Sardinal de Carillo and the project will soon be implemented at the University of Costa Rica – affiliated Schintific High School in Libera and the CTP of Cañas.
Besides the Ministry of Education, the organizations participating in the project are Asociación Creciendo Juntos, ASI Power, Inc. and Fundación Sol de Vida, as well as the two electrical utilities present in Guancaste, ICE and Coopeguanacaste. The CRUSA Foundation and the GCF are providing initial funding. The GCF is looking for companies, civic associations and individuals to sponsor Solar Schools in their areas.
Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund
Tropical Dry Forest Conservation
The Guanacaste Tropical Dry Forest Conservation Fund (GDFCF) is a private nonprofit organization that supports conservation, scientific research and education in the public Guanacaste Conservation Area (ACG). The ACG is world renowned as one of the most successful efforts to restore and conserve an endangered ecosystem, in this case the tropical dry forest of the Central American Pacific coast. Work to conserve and protect this environment and the life within it is supported by outreach and education programs in surrounding communities, including a parataxonomist program that trains local residents to find, collect and classify the ACG’s biodiversity, and a Biological Education Program that brings schoolchildren from the region into the ACG to learn firsthand about the importance of the tropical dry forest and the life within it.
The GCF and the CRUSA Donor Advised Fund helped the GDFCF buy a new bus for the Biological Education Program in 2016.
- GDFCF works in ACG, which is home to 2.4% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity
- ACG is a 408,000 acre national park with 375,000 species
- GDFCF has 4 programs: biological inventory of species, community-based education programs, land management and support for unmet ACF operational needs
Eric Palola, Director
Río Nosara Biological Corridor
Water and Biodiversity
The Río Nosara Biological Corridor initiative is a project involving a number of local nonprofits, government agencies, community associations and businesses to conserve and regenerate natural forest and protect biodiversity along the Río Nosara, from its source in the Monte Alto Natural Reserve in Hojancha to its mouth at the Ostional National Wildlife Refuge. The project also seeks to protect sources of water and prevent erosion throughout the watershed.
The Project includes four principal areas of activity:
- Biodiversity conservation
- Support for Community Water Management Associations (ASADAS)
- Promotion of sustainable agriculture and markets for local products
- Environmental education
The GCF played an active role in the development of the initiative, and is participating on the local commission which coordinates the project´s activities. The GCF’s Harmony Fund provided seed funding to develop the project and hire a coordinator.
To date, the Corridor project has received official recognition by the country’s Conservation Areas System, and helped found the Liga Comunal del Agua, a federation of ASADAS in the cantons of Nicoya, Hojancha and Nandanyure.
Ana Maria Lobo
Tel. (506) 8313-9736
Voz de Guanacaste
Accountability and Solutions Journalism
The Voz de Guanacaste, Costa Rica’s first nonprofit newspaper, has a strong focus on environmental and social issues, and on the operation of local governments in Guanacaste. The philosophy of the Voz is to to pioneer “community based journalism” in Costa Rica, where community members participate directly in reporting on issues of importance to their communities. The Voz de Guanacaste also seeks to have a strong impact by undertaking in-depth investigative reporting on issues of importance to Guanacaste, a first for a regionally-focused newspaper in Costa Rica. All of its content is published in Spanish and English
The Voz de Guanacaste was founded as a newsletter in Nosara, but with the support primarily of Buzzfeed Founder John Johnson and his wife Susan, who are investors and frequent visitors to Nosara, has grown to become a regularly published newspaper with a high and uniform level of quality.
Emiliana García, Editor in Chief email@example.com
Tel. 2685 4843
Asociación Playa Hermosa
The Playa Hermosa Association is a volunteer organization comprised of residents and businesses of Playa Hermosa, on the northern coast of the Nicoya Peninsula. It works in many areas, including helping improve the condition of local roads and bridges, protecting the local population of monkeys, working to build an artificial reef, promoting recycling, helping residents voice their concerns to the local government, and supporting education, recreation and the arts.
With the help of the Guanacaste Community Fund, donations from residents and the business communities, and logistical help from Asociación Creciendo Juntos and the Ministry of Public Education, the Playa Hermosa Association recently led an effort to rescue the local school (which had been closed), by greatly improving the facilities, including the construction of a new classroom.
Silvia LaFerriere, Director
For Costa Rica income tax deduction through the CRUSA Foundation.
For U.S. tax deduction through our partner Amigos of Costa Rica.