Prior to the global pandemic we had been expecting a busy year, but, like other tropical field stations in Costa Rica, with the implementation of a national lockdown and closure of the national borders and international travel, our volunteer groups all had to cancel or postpone their visits until further notice.
Given the dramatic change in the circumstances, the CIRENAS Board of Directors took necessary measures to reduce all expenses to the absolute minimum to ensure the organization’s survival.
During these challenging times, we are reaching out to our international community of family and friends to support the organization to maintain priority activities until we see conditions improve to begin to host both national and international visitors. The immediate priority areas that we’re requesting donor support for are:
Campus Security and Maintenance: We need to maintain a minimal level of expenditure to ensure the safety and security of the campus and ongoing permaculture operations. The few remaining staff and local community volunteers are currently busy maintaining these farming systems and harvesting produce to contribute to meals provided for the team.
Sea Turtle Conservation Program: Soon we will have the first turtles of this year’s nesting season arriving at Playa Ario to lay their eggs. CIRENAS will be there to ensure these eggs will be protected from poachers and that within a few months’ time baby turtles will be heading back out to sea. During our first two seasons of turtle conservation CIRENAS released over 29,000 baby turtles.
Restoration of the Caletas Ario Wildlife Refuge Coastal Fire: During the dry season in late March, we experienced one of the largest fires burning nearly two kilometers of coastline along the Caletas Ario Wildlife Refuge. With the onset of the rainy season, we are coordinating with the Ministry of the Environment to restore this area with the planting of native coastal trees in the affected areas. Our goal is to plant over 2,500 trees to restore the coastline, which borders the mangrove system of the Bongo River estuary.
We are available to respond to any questions or suggestions that you might have and/or to connect about how we you could get involved as a CIRENAS ally or ambassador to support the organization during these difficult times.
Thank you for uniting with us to ensure the continued bright future of CIRENAS.