Costa Rica Tourism Helps Protect Country’s National Parks by Raising $1 Million
An innovative conservation project aimed at raising funds to help the protection of Costa Rica National Parks is celebrating its first anniversary.
Costa Rica’s Friends of the National Parks Club began in September 2010 and has successfully raised a total of $106,744. The National Park project aims to raise $1 million within the next five years.
Fundraising Club Promotes Sustainable Tourism in Costa Rica
Created by ProParques, Fundecor and the Costa Rican government institution, SINAC, there are now a total of 40 companies and 1,629 individuals affiliated to the Friends of the National Park Club (Amigos de los Parques Nacionales).
Of the individuals a total of 98.8% are international tourists who have donated between $3 -$500. The Morpho Membership has proved to be the most popular, with members benefiting from three Costa Rica National Park passes, valid for 14 days.
Thanks to the funds, Costa Rica National Park rangers now have uniforms and are fully trained in first aid. Additional funds raised will be used to improve working conditions as well as the installation of public facilities, including washrooms, information signs and footpaths. “We have had a lot of support from the tourism sector. Many travel agencies and tour operators are members of the club, and these passes form part of the Costa Rica tourism package they offer to visitors,” said Rocio Echeverri, Director of ProParques.
Can I become a member? What are the benefits?
If you’re planning a Costa Rica vacation, you’ll most certainly be visiting one of the country’s National Parks. For a small fee, members are given a
smart card that grants them access to twelve national parks in Costa Rica as well as other benefits. Participating National Parks include: Poas Volcano, Irazu Volcano, Guayabo, Palo Verde, Carara, Manuel Antonio, Corcovado (Sirena), Cahuita (Puerto Viejo), Tortuguero (Cuatro Esquinas), Arenal Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja and Santa Rosa.
Figures released from the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (I.C.T) reveal that approximately 86% of visitors make a trip to a Costa Rica national park and the membership program is a great way to ensure not only the maintenance of these parks but also the protection of all other conservation areas.
Friends of the National Parks, Costa Rica
Individual Vacation Packages
Jaguar, Macaw, Turtle and Morpho (Butterfly) Memberships: valid from 14 days to one year and eligible for discounts at over 250 affiliated tourism companies.
Corporate Vacation Packages
Rainforest Membership: Become a rainforest founding partner
Orchid Membership: Register your local business