Our Initiatives

While there are infinite opportunities to make positive changes in the world, there are a few areas we focus on in our current programs at Finca Bellavista & The Bellavista Initiative.
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Volunteer Program
In 2011, Finca Bellavista started a volunteer program to meet the demand from people all over the world that wanted to live and work within our rainforest village. Bringing on extra folks and adding helping hands seemed logical given the rapid growth of the community. In less than 2 years, the volunteer program has morphed into a mutually beneficial situation that has not only benefitted our community but has enriched many people’s lives in the process. In 2013, we began transitioning the volunteer program to act as the services and outreach branch of The Bellavista Initiative.

Local School Supply Program/Pack for a Purpose

Costa Rica is not a cheap place to live. And although the educational system in in our region is great by many standards, students and their families are still required to purchase expensive school supplies. With mounting costs of living, it’s sometimes difficult to scrape together the money necessary to buy the basics for a year of school. We can help to ease the burden and offset these costs for our neighbors, while outfitting the school with other things like musical instruments, language learning aides, arts & crafts supplies, and sporting equipment to introduce a variety of activities to children to help them diversify their exposure to subjects. We are happy to have the partnership of the Pack for a Purpose foundation to help us achieve our goals with supplying school supplies.
FBV Horse Heaven

Horse Heaven is a retirement home for abused and abandoned logging horses found in the greater area surrounding Finca Bellavista. Chico and Mateo came up with the idea, and with the generous support of KC and Shawna Rudy, we were able to place the first horses in their new home in March 2013. The Pura Vida Horsemanship Fund donated supplements and treatments to get the horses feeling better and healing up, as they were in pretty rough shape upon arrival to their new home.

English Outreach & Education

La Florida de Piedras Blancas – the closest village to our neighborhood – is a small, rural agricultural village in a very marginalized area of Costa Rica. The majority of adults work within the industrial palm or teak industries, or, eek a living out of subsistence farming. In general, the broader region is poised for growth in tourism, though very few employment opportunities exist currently. Many supplement their livelihoods through illegal activities like endangered species poaching and timber harvesting. Our goal is to begin English outreach in our area and increase our neighbors’ access to educational opportunities. We are hopeful that this education will provide better job opportunities for future generations, while decreasing the dependence, occurrence and negative impacts of illegal activities.

Treetop Learning Laboratory

At Finca Bellavista, we have great access to Mother Nature’s fantastic spectrum of assets. Our ‘classroom’ is the rainforest, and it’s a great place to learn about the plants and animals that comprise this melting pot of biodiversity. Experiencing such natural wonders first-hand is a critical step in developing an appreciation of the environment that will catalyze new generations of conservation-minded kids. Yet, imagine the added excitement of any person to be able learn about the rainforest while experiencing the joys of being in a treehouse for the first time.

A treehouse tour for local kids

We’ve had increasing requests to host students groups from all over Costa Rica. Because of our private ownership model (each treehouse is individually owned like a traditional community) it is very difficult to organize and accommodate group or day visits. We hope to raise funds for and create a hands-on experience of a lifetime for local schoolkids and international visitors of all ages. This ‘Treetop Learning Laboratory’ will be an ‘open’ treehouse at the base camp of the Finca Bellavista community where visitors and groups can learn about sustainable building methods applied in treehouse construction and the biodiversity that fills this lush environment. The Learning Laboratory will be home to the increasing amounts of research collected in the immediate area while acting as a regional museum to display collections of rainforest treasures – such as butterflies, insects, plant specimens and fossils. It will also act as the anchor and information station for a botanical interpretive trail that already has 50 identified species.

*Finca Fresh* Food Program

Because we are located in an area that has been heavily developed within the agricultural industry, there are decades worth of habits and policies that support the tenets of industrial agriculture. Broad and common use of harmful pesticides and a bevy of programs and subsidies support and provide for an export agriculture knowledge base for the region. Over the years, we’ve noticed that the food purchasing demands of our growing treehouse resort community can be quite powerful in influencing what and how farmers grow the foo we purchase. Our goal as a community is to have a 5-mile food radius, and hope this will act as the cornerstone to establish a local farm-to-table movement. As we enhance our permaculture farm and on-site food production, our hope is to re-introduce the timeless concepts of organic farming and permaculture to farmers in our region as well. We’d also like to create incentives for landowners to help regenerate the forests of the AMISTOSA biological migration corridor by planting and harvesting native trees and crops, and creating a demand for those products. Hosting cooperative agricultural training seminars and creating a local demand for a local supply are our two areas of focus for 2012.

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