Costa Rica is well known for its sustainability-oriented vision and initiatives towards the conservation of its most precious zones. This is not the exemption for the new underwater project that the Rocky Reef Conservation and the Punta Leona Hotel have been working on, combining art with the conservation of marine life. We’re talking about an underwater museum located 50 meters off the Central Pacific Coast and at a depth of 2 meters in low tides, making it perfect place to experience snorkeling or amazing diving sessions.
The backbone of this project is the fact that it constitutes in a type of regenerative art where Costa Rican sculptor Fabio Brenes along with some help from James Madison University students created three stone and wood pieces that portray three of the most representative figures of the zone: the “Cacique Garabito”, a manta ray , and a sea turtle. With a renowned record of over 20 years working in wood sculptures, it is safe to say that Mr. Brenes knows his work and during his years of creation, most of his artwork has been inspired by the awe of nature and figurative elements that belong to it. Not only do these sculptures enhance the diving experience for the people, but this type of art also considers the habitants of the sea as they have been created to offer them another type of home. Keep in mind, this is only the beginning stage of the project, meaning that their efforts and actions towards creating even more habitats and places for marine flora & fauna to thrive is just starting. For those who love the sea, this is a great step in the direction towards a healthier relationship with our surroundings and the animals that live in it. Stay close for more updates on the wonderful underwater museum in Garabito, Puntarenas.
Throughout Costa Rica there are dedicated animal rescue projects. These organizations work to ensure animals that become injured, ill or threatened are brought to safety till they can be released back into the wild or make the sanctuary their new home. Most of these nonprofits are run by dedicated teams of volunteers with many relying on the regular circulation of international volunteers. They are largely dependent on donations to continue their work, and provide a vital service to the wildlife throughout the region.
The Toucan Reserve Ranch
The Toucan Reserve Ranch was founded in 2004 to rescue toucans and other birds. Over time the reserve has expanded to include owls and other wildlife. Their main objective is to take in sick or injured animals and nurse them back to health eventually releasing them back into the wild. The ranch has a host of full-time animal residents that live on the property because they cannot survive in the wild on their own. The ranch also does research as well as education. Visitors can come here to learn about the birds and the other animals. The center is also working to establish a captive breeding program for all six species of Costa Rican toucans in order to help ensure their survival.
Territorio de Zaguates
Territorio de Zaguates is a special ranch dedicated to saving the dogs of Costa Rica who end up abandoned on the streets. Many of these dogs are abused and starving when they arrive at the ranch. Here they are taken into care and nursed back to health in this dog paradise. Once at the ranch, they spend their days playing along the hills with almost 1000 other dogs. The place utilizes the practice of the the famous Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan to rehabilitate the dogs. Visitors are welcome at the ranch and encouraged to bring their own dogs as well as adopting more dogs or giving a kind donation. Territorio de Zaguates is a “no-kill shelter.” This non profit organization was founded by Alvaro Saumet and his wife Lya Battle, whom for The couple is committed to promoting animal welfare.
The Monkey Farm
Founded in 2013, The Monkey Farm is a relative newcomer. Created by wildlife biologists, veterinarians and permaculture experts, and a few others. This well-informed group came together to form this special place for monkey and other wildlife research, as well as to study sustainability and permaculture techniques. Committed to rescuing monkeys and local wildlife, the organization is run by dedicated volunteers from all over the world. The farm is also committed to permaculture practices and studying aquaponics systems, which use 95% less water than traditional farming practices. They also study and practice forest gardening.