Costa Rica Non-Profit Groups We Supported in 2022
I review which groups I donated money to every year. I want to be sure I am fulfilling the benefit mission statement of my business – “To help surfers unite their communities by promoting sustainable tourism and protecting coastal ecosystems.”
Each year I pay dues to be a 1% for the Planet member. They encourage partnerships between businesses and non-profits globally and facilitate donations and do marketing for those non-profit organizations. The group I support with my 1% of my profits is called CREMA – Conservación, protección y Restauración de Especies Marinas Amenazadas (Conservation, Protection and Restoration of Threatened Marine Species).
This group I have supported for over 20 years. On one of the first surf trips to Costa Rica I met Randall Arauz and through the years we have worked to identify sea turtle species that came up on the beach, both alive and as carcasses, and to protect the endangered species from trawling, tuna farms, and turtle egg thieves. I sponsor five turtles a year through their website – https://www.crema.org and I get a certificate showing the geolocation of each turtle that was tagged and a photo.
The second group I like to donate to is called Community Carbon Trees – https://www.communitycarbontrees.org/. For every family that I book a vacation for (transportation and lodging) I will sponsor a tree in their name. One biodiverse tropical tree will offset about one ton of carbon over 25 years. This Costa Rica based non-profit not only plants the trees, but maintains them for four years to help ensure their survival. The group pays dozens of Costa Ricans fair wages to plant seeds, chop weeds, maintain nurseries, plus has kid’s programs teaching them about the importance of the rainforest and encouraging them to protect their natural world.
The third group I support is the Guardavidas de Costa Ballena, the lifeguard program in Dominical and Playa Hermosa de Uvita. I’ve almost drowned multiple times while surfing Dominical so I understand the power of those rip currents and waves, and the importance of having lifeguards on those beaches. In the last two years they have performed more than 50 rescues and there have been zero drowning on their watch.
Besides money, I donate time as the President of the Lifeguard Association. My volunteer position duties are to raise money and promote the lifeguard program, and basically keep it afloat (pun intended). The challenges are that since lifeguarding is such a difficult job the employee pool is small and the budget is entirely made up from the support of the business community. To learn more and to support this group, visit https://lifeguardscostaballena.com
There are many wonderful non-profit organizations in Costa Rica that could use support. Others I try to help are CEPIA and Surf for Youth in Guanacaste, Innoceana protecting our oceans, Kids Saving the Rainforest in Quepos, SOMOS in Uvita and Jaco Impact, local beach cleanup organizers, and the annual Dominicalito kids Christmas party. It just feels right to give back to a place that has brought me so many amazing experiences. I hope you will feel the same way.