Nectandra Institute celebrated the Environment Day with Dulce Nombre's Naranjo Elementary School. We organized a class for over 200 children on Biodiversity in four turns. The level of participation was very high, and it was very successful activity. Dulce Nombre of Naranjo, is where one of the many Community Water Management Organizations that constitute the FEDAPRO, which is a federation of these organizations that belong to Naranjo and that among many things, supports the restauration and protection of el Chayote Protection zone in the upper mountains of Naranjo.
Las Brisas and Alto Tapezco (Zarcero) Community Water Management Organizations along with other institutions organized a tree plantation up in the protected private area of their own. Many children participated in this activity that not only helps the restauration of the land, but also is a great opportunity to raise awareness among the youngest ones, of the importance of the conservation of the forests.
La Palmita (Naranjo) Community Water Management Organizations organized, along with Nectandra Institute, one of its annual trees growing monitoring at their protected zone, as a crucial part of the Eco Loan Interest payment to Nectandra Institute's granted loan.
New Culture of Water Month a multi-event, annual celebration created by Nectandra Institute and Liga CUENCA in order to raise awareness for conservation of forests and protection of water resources, started the preparation of its 11th edition that will take place next September. This is achieved through a series of educational, artistic, recreational, and cultural activities, including the inaugural celebration, the New Culture of Water recycled dresses parade, and the CRECER competition, which tests the ecological knowledge of teams of students from several of the watershed's different grade schools in an academic decathlon-type format.
Nectandra Institute celebrated a successful workshop with 30 Eco Loan program borrowers. We went over the fundamentals of the Eco Loan Interest payment, as well as heard feedback from them, regarding their experiences with Nectandra Institute's Eco Loan program. In general, the comments were very positive; they are very grateful and acknowledge the importance of this program in the Balsa River watershed protection efforts and its vicinity, such as the case of El Chayote protection zone located at Naranjo, Alajuela.
Pueblo Nuevo community water management association celebrated a mass and an Eco walk at the conservation farm of theirs. This is activity is celebrated once a year, among others, to raise awareness within the community of the importance of conservation for nature and for them. Over 200 people participated in this massive event.
San Luis, Angeles Norte- Alto Villegas and Palmira community water management associations conducted successfully part of the Eco Interest payment, by monitoring the growth of the forest of their protected land under restoration.
Macro Invertebrates as indicators of water pollution level in the Balsa River watershed research program continued its classification work in the laboratory at Nectandra Institute. This is a commitment of Nectandra Institute in favor of the conservation of the area.
Prior the beginning of the rainy season, best season to plant trees for reforestation and restoration purposes our volunteers worked hard in the nursery. Please do not forget to donate to Nectandra Institute; the tropical cloud forest will greatly appreciate!
Bella Vista farm, one of the properties acquired by the ASADA (community water management association) of Alto Villegas and Angeles Norte, (San Ramón, Alajuela) with Nectandra Institute's Eco Loan program, carried out its first annual activity of forest growth monitoring and its respective documentation. This is part of the ecological interest that the Nectandra Institute borrowers must coordinate / pay in order to restore and increase the forest of the ASADAS's lands; with the mission of protecting their water sources, in this manner guarantee the quality and amount of the precious liquid.
The laboratory phase of the Macro Invertebrate project began! The staff of Nectandra Institute along with its volunteers, currently carries out the laboratory work that consist of the identification of the macro invertebrates collected in several sites / rivers within the Balsa River Basin at the beginning of this year. Macro invertebrates are key bio indicators of the water quality level of a river, providing useful information on pollution levels in order to raise awareness about the pollution levels of our rivers.
Nectandra Institute's volunteers worked at the Liga Cuenca nursery which produces many trees that are necessary for the ecological restoration processes of the lands acquired by the ASADAS (community water management associations), among other borrowers, with financing of Nectandra Institute's Eco Loan program.
Nectandra Institute's volunteers and staff collected Macro Invertebrate at two Nectandra Cloud Forest Garden streams as bio indicators of pollution in the water.
Thanks to Abigail, Alexander and Lucrecia for their selfless and professional participation and collaboration with Nectandra Institute!
Nectandra Institute's staff and with the valuable contribution of our voluntaries, conducted one more macro invertebrates sample collection at several locations/rivers within the Balsa Watershed. The macro invertebrates are key bio indicators of the quality level of the river water. The data collection has years already and it keeps growing, bringing useful information concerning the levels of pollution in this area, for decision makers and in the public in general. This is to elaborate even more conservation arguments in this region.
The Active Group for Nature for its acronym in Spanish GAN, a group of mostly women, a group with over 10 years of existence, created to give more participation and decision at the water community management associations (ASADAS) of the upper Balsa River watershed, celebrated the environmental education day. GAN consisting of committed community leaders takes very seriously the mission of environmental education and conservation awareness. The celebration took place at Nectandra Cloud Forest Gardens up in Angeles Norte, San Ramón. Natural history guided tours took place and later gathered to share experiences on environmental education. GAN is currently and actively participating in different projects of LIGA Cuenca such as the Jilguero River ecological and public spaces restoration in their communities.
2017 a fruitful year has concluded. The association of communities in water conservation (Liga CUENCA for its acronym in Spanish) met to celebrate the end of the year. A series of bonding activities, a reflection video, a farewell of Nectandra Institute's administrator Luis Villa and introduction of Pablo Richard, and last, an excellent dinner were part of the “Liga's” event last December 13th, 2017. Liga CUENCA unites communities' water management associations in the upper Balsa River watershed to among others, promote the protection and conservation of the water resources for current and future generations, through education and Communities Water Management Associations strengthening.
A successful tree measurement photo monitoring of Ocotea's farm property of Asociación Fuente Administradora de los Mantos Acuíferos del Cantón de Alfaro Ruiz (AFAMAAR) Zarcero's Water Springs Administration Asociation, one of Nectandra Institute's partners and beneficiary of the Eco Loan program.
The rainy season started its ending process here at the occidental region of Costa Rica's Central Valley, Zarcero, San Ramón and Naranjo among others towns. As part of the ecological interest that the community water management associations compensates Nectandra Institute for the Eco Loans provided, this month was not the exception and several community members of several properties under forest regeneration process conducted forest monitoring activities. Pueblo Nuevo, La Palmita, Laguna and Palmira are only some of the numerous communities that partnered with Nectandra Institute to pursuit Cloud Forest Conservation and assuring sufficient and high quality water to these communities.
Some of our interns, Guillermo and Theresa, finished their great work with Nectandra Institute, both were courageous and hardworking team members, special thanks to them, Nectandra Institute will always be grateful with you.
A presentation on “Finca Sembrando Agua” (water growing farm) took place at Naranjo's Liceo Experimental Bilingüe by FEDAPRO (Federación de Acueductos de la Zona Protectora el Chayote) along with Nectandra Institute. Finca Sembrando Agua is one of the many examples of a water management community, known as ASADAS that purchased land with Nectandra Institute Eco Loans fund in order to protect and regenerate the forest near the water springs. Some students of this high school won a scholarship from EDUNAMICA, a local NGO that requires the students to do some work for the environment among others; in this case, the mentioned farm was subject of many improvements activities, including tree planting, conducted by these students. The enthusiasm was such, that non-scholarship beneficiary students signed in for future activities like these. Here is a drone footage video of the farm that flew over last May, 2017.
Now in its 10th edition, New Culture of Water Month is a multi-event, annual celebration created by Nectandra Institute in order to raise awareness for conservation of forests and protection of water resources. This is achieved through a series of educational, artistic, recreational, and cultural activities, including the inaugural celebration, the New Culture of Water Queen Pageant, featuring candidates wearing dresses made from recycled materials, and the CRECER competition, which tests the ecological knowledge of teams of students from several of the watershed's different grade schools in an academic decathlon-type format.
Using a drone, Nectandra Institute staff obtained aerial footage of Finca Tulio, a 24-acre property recently purchased by the community water management association of Las Brisas. Finca Tulio was one of the last “missing pieces of the puzzle” needed to bridge the gap between lands that are already protected. Soon, the vegetation will start to regenerate giving rise to an emerging forest, both naturally and with help from the local community. It was purchased with the purpose of increasing the forest that protect Las Brisas' source of drinking water. It is commendable to see this community's initiative and the efforts being made to preserve and ensure high quality water for current and future generations.
New Nectandra Institute volunteers from University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) are doing their internship with us. For three months, U.S. students Teresa and Andrew will assist us with our stream water quality monitoring project and also help document the progress of the emerging forest on eco-loan financed properties. During the past four and a half years, over 30 young volunteers, including 14 through USAC, have provided invaluable support in advancing the Institute's mission of cloud forest conservation through education, scientific research, and watershed stewardship.
Several of Nectandra Institute's community partners organized and carried out tree planting activities at their respective restoration lands this month. Our partners oftentimes recruit school children, company employees and other groups of people to participate in forest restoration efforts. This month's tree planting events were no exception, as a team of 70 representatives from Liga CUENCA and CoopeAlfaroRuiz helped plant over 250 trees on three different properties purchased by eco-loan recipients.