Pacuare Nature Reserve accommodation in Costa Rica

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Pacuare Nature Reserve accommodation in Costa Rica

Environment

The land we bought in 1989 was being logged and used as cattle pasture. Today's thriving forest supports an increasing amount and variety of wildlife, indeed many of the thirty three species of mammals are on the IUCN red list. Sightings of jaguar and ocelot demonstrate a richness of wildlife that supports such predators in such a small area. We have become an important migratory route for butterflies travelling north in spring from as far away as Venezuela and returning in the autumn. In 2009 we obtained funding to buy 200Ha to act as a buffer zone against banana plantations and we have been actively reforesting this area with native species. The leatherback turtle project has been an outstanding success poaching is down to less than 1% and we have had a record year of over 1206 nests.
We collect and recycle everything from the beach and the reserve. Organic waste is composted and used for the vegetable garden. What is not re used in the Reserve is given to a women's local cooperative for their handicraft and what is not used they sell to recycling companies.

Community

We have opened a shop in the Reserve to sell locally-made handicrafts with all profits going to the maker. Having started with two people we have now nine local artisans making bracelets, anklets, rings, key-rings, book marks, bags, and paintings - all of which must be made of local or recycled material. Takings can be several thousand dollars in a year encouraging others to try their hand. At our instigation a number of local people are now cultivating vegetables and rearing chickens for the Reserve to buy in large regular amounts. This also provides important occupation and income
Our Environmental Education initiative is part of the work of our volunteers. Through this we are able to engage with local school children and bring them to the reserve for an introduction to conservation and their environment. Some of our cooks and guards are eagerly taking English lessons from our English speaking field assistants This is vital for them if they wish to progress. We also select a few school leavers to be trained as field assistants every year.

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