Guanacaste Community Fund
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
Protecting Water Resources
The Nicoyagua Foundation is a Nicoya-based organization that works to protect water resources in Nicoya, Hojancha and surrounding areas. Nicoyagua was founded by representatives of local and national governmental agencies who saw the need for private action to complement their efforts. Today Nicoyagua not only includes these founding representatives, but also community members from many walks of life. Its primary concern is to protect critical water sources and watersheds through conserving lands, restoration of natural habitats and education.
The Guanacaste Community Fund has supported Nicoyagua with matching funds to implement a project to work with landowners in the watersheds of the Quiriman and Potrero rivers to create living fences with Jatropha, or Tempate, trees. The project is designed to increase tree cover, prevent erosion, and provide landowners with an alternative source of income from the seeds of the trees, which produce a valuable oil that can be used for biofuel, as a natural pesticide, as a dye and for medicinal purposes.
The Nicoyagua Foundation is also an active partner in the Rio Nosara Biological Corridor and in the efforts of the GCF and the Harmony Donor Advised Fund to support ASADAS (rural water management associations) in the watershed of the Rio Nosara and its principal tributary, the Rio Quirimán.
Xinia Campos, Director
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
Opportunities for Kids
CEPIA, an acronym that stands for Culture, Education and Psychology for Children and Adolescents, is a nonprofit organization that promotes education, health and opportunity for children and their families in Guanacaste. It works extensively with volunteers and with the support of local businesses to provide learning activities, training, psychological and legal counseling and other opportunities to disadvantaged children and families.
CEPIA recently inaugurated a community center in Huacas, Santa Cruz, which provides a wide range of services and activities in one place, and as part of a completely integrated program of support the population it serves.
The Guanacaste Community Fund and the CRUSA Donor Advised Fund has assisted CEPIA with the organization and expansion of a library, the equipping of a computer laboratory and with operating support for Casa Brasilito, a project that it operates together with Abriendo Mentes, another GCF grantee, and the La Paz Community School. Most recently the GCF and the CRUSA Donor Advised Fund supported the installation of an elevator in the community center.
- 1000 children and 500 adults benefit from CEPIA’s programs
- 145 volunteers participated in programs in 2014
- 2 beginners computer groups started in the new computer lab supported by Guanacaste Community Fund
Laetitia Deweer, Director
Wildfire Prevention and Natural Resource Conservation
The Foundation for the Protection of Nature in Guanacaste (FUNDECONGO), based in Santa Cruz, works to promote conservation and sustainable development on the Nicoya Peninsula by implementing programs of environmental education, support for protected areas, helping volunteer wildfire brigades and proving technical and financial assistance to landowners interested in protecting the natural resources on their lands.
FUNDECONGO was founded in 2004, and most of its members have more than 15 years of field experience working to prevent and control wildfires. The Guanacaste Community Fund is supporting FUNDECONGO’s efforts to strengthen the volunteer wildfire brigade of San Juan de Santa Cruz, who work within and in the buffer zone of Diriá National Park.
Luis Castillo, Director