Since the start of 2019, Costa Rica has been hitting the world hard with its promotion of tourism and sustainability. New and old organizations are coming together and innovating in hope of a better future, based in clean, green ideals.
New Iberia Partnership
Costa Rica’s Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo and the president of airline company Iberia, Luis Gallego, signed a promotion agreement for Costa Rica in Europe. Revelo stated that this agreement will tighten the friendship of Costa Rican tourism with a very strategic ally in Spain. The promotion campaign includes material promoting tourism to the country in all of the airline’s communications, such as in-flight magazines. Iberia has daily service to and from Costa Rica.
Spain represents the fourth-largest European tourist-sending market, with over 69,000 visitors arriving from its ports in 2018. The average length of stay is over 12 nights. Spanish tourists stand out for their passion for the country’s nature, sun, beaches and hiking.
A big promoter of both sustainability and tourism here is the Costa Rican USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA). This private, independent, non-profit Costa Rican foundation manages and promotes long-term initiatives, partnerships, and cooperation networks between the US and Costa Rica.
Since 1996, CRUSA has been an active contributor to Costa Rica’s sustainable development, improving the quality of life for many Costa Ricans. One of their main goals is to work towards finding solutions to national problems through sustainable economic development. This is achieved through efforts like financing productive, small-to-medium-sized businesses entering green markets; or investing in the fishing industry to sell more sustainable, quality-guaranteed products at improved prices.
Amigos of Costa Rica
CRUSA works with the Amigos of Costa Rica, which is a nonprofit organization that supports sustainable development in Costa Rica. This nearly 20 year old US foundation has four primary areas of focus: education, capacity-building, conservation, and science & technology. Their efforts are focused on building an empowered and sustainable Costa Rica by cultivating a spirit of community participation and philanthropy.
Cross-Costa Rica Walk
The Amigos of Costa Rica are a big sponsor of the Asociacion Mar a Mar (Sea to Sea Association) Rural Economic Development Walk, also called the Camino de Costa Rica. This is a 16 day, 280km hike from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast of Costa Rica (see map here). The Sea to Sea Association collects donations, which go towards recycling and solid waste management, sustaining organic gardens in schools, small infrastructure capital for small rural entrepreneurs, culture and patrimony building, job creation for indigenous people, and access to potable water in the Limon province.
The scenic trail, which opened in 2018, begins in Limon province and goes through a variety of rural landscapes and microclimates (of which Costa Rica has twelve). Hikers are able to visit in some of the most remote communities in the country, including in Cabecar indigenous lands, before finishing the trail in Quepos. This walk is putting Costa Rica on the map for adventure tourists who want to take in the diverse beauty of this land.
Locally, Bahia Ballena Libre de Plasticos is an organization that promotes plastic-free ethos in business and at home. They educate local businesses on alternative options and encourage business leaders to sign a pledge in 2019 to move towards more sustainable practice (pledge linked here). We’ve signed the pledge for 2019 and are committed to bettering our individual and business practices every year.