Guanacaste Community Fund
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
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
Local Art and Green Design
The Villafranca-Zurcher Foundation implements the social and environmental outreach programs of the Islita Group, a corporation that operates two of the country’s leading ecotourism destinations, Hotel Punta Islita and El Silencio.
The Foundation has created the Islita Art Museum, a Day Care Center and the Creative Center, which teaches and promotes art, handicrafts and culture in the local community and Guanacaste.
The Guanacaste Community Fund provided a matching grant toward the construction of a school that combined sustainable design, local materials and environmentally friendly operation to create a model green school for the province of Guanacaste. Others supporting the construction of the school include Zurcher Architects, the Amigos of Islita Foundation and the Holcim Corporation.
Impact of School
- 28 children from Bejuco in Nandayure between 4-14 years old
- 2 communities: Corozalito and Islita where the students reside
- Approximately 140 people (family of students)
Mariel Pinel, Executive 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