Local School Supply Program/Pack for a Purpose
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.
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