Guanacaste Community Fund
Youth After School Programs
The CREAR Association, founded in 2005, is a non-profit organization in the beach communities in and around Playa Sámara. CREAR offers a wide variety of services to the local members of the community, primarily children, all completely free of charge. CREAR seeks to provide a venue where children and young people can develop their artistic talents through creative art-education initiatives, while simultaneously learning life-long skills that will offer them a wider and more fulfilling range of employment opportunities in the future. Currently, CREAR offers an after-school program, a day camp during summer and winter vacations, in-school assemblies and community presentations, a teen club, an English program for elementary school children and a public library-the only one in Samara.
The Guanacaste Community Fund is supporting the initiation of “Las Divinas”, a girl’s empowerment course with local high school students. The after-school program will focus on education regarding self-love, internet safety, exercise/nutrition, and encouragement to finish high school and to pursue a fulfilling career.
- 7 different educational programs offered to over 200 kids in the surrounding area
- In 2015, 225 volunteers will work with CREAR
- In 2015, there will be 9 long-term interns
Andrea Keith, Program Director
Asociación Cultural Flamingo
Arts and Culture
The Cultural Association of Flamingo is a small community-based organization dedicated to bringing the arts and cultural activities to Playa Flamingo and surrounding communities. Comprised of residents, artists and businesses, the Association stages concerts, exhibits and festivals with the goal of educating and enriching the local community through exposure to music, arts and history.
The Guanacaste Community Fund helped the Association stage its first event in 2014, a festival commemorating the 25th of July, Guanacaste’s principal holiday, when local culture and customs are highlighted and celebrated.
- Currently +500 artists looking for space to exhibit work
- 10 association members
- Currently 0 places to educate creativity for children in Flamingo
- A following of +1,000 people for the organization’s events
Donovan Garcia, 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
Restoring Coastal Ecosystems
Costas Verdes is a nonprofit organization founded in 2008 to conserve and restore coastal ecosystems on public lands, including protected areas, publicly owned portions of beaches, mangroves, riverbanks and wetlands.
Costas Verdes believes that the active participation of local communities in these activities and environmental education is vital in these processes. To this end, Costa Verdes involves schoolchildren in its activities, and organizes workshops in local schools and communities. In most cases its activities are supported by local businesses, which donate funds, materials and the time of their workers. Students from the country’s universities as well as international visitors also volunteer their time.
Costas Verdes also establishes nurseries in coastal communities with the support of local families, schools and businesses, which provide the plants and trees necessary for its work. Costas Verdes receives support from public agencies such as the National System of Conservation Areas and the Ministry of the Environment and Energy.
The GCF, with resources from the Harmony and CRUSA Donor Advised Funds, has supported Costas Verde’s Barrigona beach forest restoration project in Nosara, as well as outreach to public schools in the Nosara Area. Costa Verdes is also a local partner in the Rio Nosara Biological Corridor Initiative.
- 6,500 trees have been planted since 2011 when the project started in Nosara
- 20 different species of native trees has been chosen to restore the forest near the beach
- 4 acres are being restored with native species in the Barriguiones project
Gerardo Bolaños, Coordinator of Barriguiones Project
David S. Kitson Library
Bringing the World to Nosara
The David S. Kitson Memorial Library was built and donated to the Nosara community by Beverly Kitson, her family and many donations from supporters. Before it was established, there was no place for the community to find books and for children to do research.
Children and high school students now use the library and computer lab for research, homework and projects. Community members may also use the internet, attend and teach arts and crafts classes, receive English lessons, and work towards obtaining a high school decree, among other things. The library was founded more than 15 years ago in a classroom in the local school, but has since moved to a new, more comfortable building that houses a collection of over 12,000 books, a meeting room and a computer center.
The Library has worked closely with the GCF on several projects. Most importantly, the GCF authorized a matching grant for the library to hire an assistant director, purchase Kindles for the use of the reading clubs, and improve security. As one of the oldest and strongest of the community nonprofits in the Nosara area, the Kitson Library has also helped other newer organizations implement projects funded by the GCF by administering grant money.
- 6 volunteers teach computer skills, English and arts to kids and adults from one to 90 years old
- 14,000 visitors attended the library in 2013
- 12,000 books complete the collection of the David S. Kitson Memorial Library
Beverly Kitson, Director