Guanacaste Community Fund
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife
Founded in January of 1999, the Refuge for Wildlife has been a place for injured, displaced and orphaned wildlife from Nosara, the Nicoya Peninsula and beyond for over 15 years. Many of the new arrivals are very young orphaned Howler Monkeys. They arrive in backpacks, wrapped in T-shirts or towels, cardboard boxes and grocery bags. The Refuge receives and treats all types of wild animals but the Howler Monkeys have become the refuge’s specialty.
At the Refuge Clinic, there is a team of professionals and volunteers who provide immediate and long-term medical attention. Injured adult animals that require continued care are quarantined for a period of time and then transferred to outdoor enclosures, where they continue to receive supervision and medical evaluation. As soon as the adult animals are deemed healthy they are returned to the jungle and whenever possible, to the same location from where they were rescued.
The GCF has supported the Refuge’s educational outreach program for local public schools and accepts tax-deductible donations on its behalf in the United States.
Randy and Brenda Bombard, Co-Founders and Directors
Del Mar Scholarship Foundation
The goal of the Del Mar Academy Scholarship Foundation is to make the high quality international education provided by this private school accessible to the children of Nosara.
The foundation raises money in Nosara and internationally to operate the scholarship program for the school, which provides full and partial scholarships to local children. The work of the foundation is based on the belief that providing a first-class bilingual education can change the life of the student and the community, helping open doors that would otherwise be closed. Approximately 20% of the students at Del Mar Academy are sponsored either privately or through the scholarship program. The cost of sponsoring a student for one year is approximately $8,500.
The Guanacaste Community Fund is cooperating with the Foundation’s fundraising efforts, and in 2014 provided a challenge grant for the Foundation’s annual fundraising event in Nosara. In 2015 it assisted in developing a fundraising strategy for the Foundation
- 20% of the DMA students are sponsored either privately or through our scholarship program
- 70% of the faculty at DMA are fully bilingual
- $8,220 is the sponsoring tuition cost of one child per year
Heidi Dawn, President
Esperanza School Project
After a devastating earthquake in 2012 damaged the school in Esperanza, Nosara, a group of concerned community members decided to launch an initiative to build a new one. The Esperanza School Project (ESP) was created in 2015 to raise funds to purchase land and build and maintain a new school for the children of Esperanza.
The ESP was founded after a benefit concert and fundraiser at the Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort in Nosara in March 2015 yielded $12,000 for the initiative. In July 2015, a crowdfunding platform was launched after Nosara resident Shivanter Singh organized a Be the Vision Conference at the Omega Institute in New York. Be the Vision 2016 will be held in June.
In September 2015, rendering drawings were presented to propel the design and building of the new school.
The Guanacaste Community Fund is accepting tax deductible donations for the campaign in both the U.S. and Costa Rica.
- 200 schoolchildren from Esperanza will benefit from the Esperanza School Project, which will be developed in three phases: purchase land, build the school, sustain the school.
Opening Minds and Creating Opportunities
Abriendo Mentes (Opening Minds) is an organization based in the community of Playa Potrero, Santa Cruz, dedicated to providing afterschool education and recreation activities to children and their parents. Together with Asociación CEPIA and the La Paz Community School, it also operates Casa Brasilito, a program that offers an integrated program of assistance for children and mothers in the nearby town of Brasilito, one of the most conflictive and socially disadvantaged communities in Guanacaste.
Abriendo Mentes was founded in 2009 by a couple living in Playa Potrero who noticed that the local school only held classes for three hours in the mornings, and the children lacked any organized activities or creative outlets in the afternoons. By working with volunteers who make a 6 month commitment to the organization, they have established an effective program that teaches English and computer skills, promotes arts and crafts, and organizes sports and other activities in Potrero and nearby. The success of the program has attracted the attention of other communities, and similar activities are being organized in other communities such as Playas del Coco, Ostional and Samara.
The Guanacaste Community Fund, with funds from the CRUSA and Las Catalinas Donor Advised Funds, has provided Abriendo Mentes with matching grants in support of Casa Brasilito.
- 225 children and 167 adults participated in Abriendo Mentes’ programming in 2014
- 1,859 hours of educational and community development activities delivered
- Volunteers contributed 11,572 hours which has a financial equivalent of $260,948
Lindsay Losasso, Director
ASADAS and Liga Comunal del Agua
Water for Guanacaste
ASADAS, which are community organizations responsible for building and operating potable water systems in rural areas, are in great need of assistance. Throughout Guanacaste, several unusually dry years in succession have led to springs disappearing and wells running dry, while population growth in many areas has increased demand.
ASADAS are voluntary organizations that provide a vital public service but because of tight public budgets receive minimal assistance from the government. Among other needs, they require help in improving their capacity to administer resources, designing expansions of water systems, drilling wells, and increasing storage capacity.
The GCF is working with ASADAS in the watershed of the Rio Nosara to provide help with planning, design, training, technical support and investment in infrastructure. In this, the GCF is receiving assistance from the Harmony Donor Advised Fund, the CRUSA Foundation, the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center (CEDARENA) and the Boston Chapter of Engineers Without Borders.
In November of 2016, the GCF helped lead an effort to create the Liga Comunal del Agua, a federation and support organization for the ASADAS of the cantons of Nicoya, Nandanyure and Hojancha.
For Costa Rica income tax deduction through the CRUSA Foundation.
For U.S. tax deduction through our partner Amigos of Costa Rica.