Casa de Coco

The Casa de Coco is sea turtle conservation and sustainability project. We offer all projects related to conservation and community sustainability

About the Project

Casa de Coco is a non-profit organization dedicated to sea turtle conservation on the Coast Rican island of Barra de Pacuare. We are a part of the Program for the Conservation and Research of Marine Turtles, and work together with the Queonios del Caribe Station on projects to save the turtles.

 

Casa de Cocos approach to conservation on the island is through providing an alternate economy for local residents, who often turn to poaching as their only source of income. Through homestays and conservation camps, volun-tourists provide an alternate source of income for local residents, and the chance to have a direct impact in sea turtles conservation on the island.


The main focus of the project is the protection of marine turtles, as well as the improvement of quality of life for the local communities. At the time of the project’s inception, people from the local communities were engaged in the illegal removal and trade in turtle eggs, as well as illegal sale of turtle meat for profit. However, far from being hardened black marketers, these people had turned to illegal trade simply as the most accessible means of support and livelihood for their families and themselves. So, the idea of starting a conservation program in the area threatened the basic survival needs of these same people.


From the beginning, then Casa de Coco needed to guarantee that income generated by the conservation program(s) would be invested in the local communities to help provide much needed support and to achieve sustainable livelihood benefits. Initially, one of the biggest hurdles was to convince the people who had been involved in the decimation the turtle populations to take on the role of caretakers and stewards of the turtles.

When the program idea finally came to fruition, it was with a firm commitment to the local populace that they would be provided on-going employment and income by cooperating with the various conservation projects. Since then, the people have been trained and qualified for various positions within the project, including working with volunteers and a variety of other program activities.


Hence, the Casa de Coco Sea Turtle Conservation Project was createn in conjunction with Quelonios del Caribe as a joint effort with the peoples of Barra de Pacuare (local township and its surroundings) for the purpose of the preservation and conservation of marine turtles, in particular, giant Leatherbacks, Hawksbills, and Green Sea turtles, which not only depend on the area for nesting, but are also threatened with extinction.

Of equal importance to marine turtle protection is the conservation of the area’s surrounding rain forests. 

Social Impact

The main focus of the project is the protection of marine turtles, as well as the improvement of quality of life for the local communities. At the time of the project’s inception, people from the local communities were engaged in the illegal removal and trade in turtle eggs, as well as illegal sale of turtle meat for profit. However, far from being hardened black marketers, these people had turned to illegal trade simply as the most accessible means of support and livelihood for their families and themselves. So, the idea of starting a conservation program in the area threatened the basic survival needs of these same people.

Casa de Coco works to establish and maintain an alternate economy for the residents of Barra de Pacuare through volun-tourism and homestays. We give local families the opportunity to host volun-tourists who come to the island, providing them with an income at 20 U.S. dollars a day per volun-tourist. Aside from hosting, as more volunteers come to the island, the demand for conservation camp guides increases, providing options for employment for the locals. 

 

Homestay families sign a good-will statement that states that the families will not to poach when they are hosting a tourist, and if they are caught poaching, they will lose any potential homestay income in the future. Income from homestays solves the low-income problem of the locals by providing a fair and sustainable wage so they will not need to poach.


Casa de Coco is also making important inroads in developing a model community-based conservation program to include butterfly gardens, wherein volunteers can aid in the research of butterfly development and preservation, self-sustainable organic vegetables gardens, as well as the construction of community trails where volunteers can work alongside local peoples helping to improve the trail systems.
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organisation
Foundation Year
2008
Contact Person
sherri sarratore
Where can you volunteer?
What can you do?
This is why we need you! we respect and care for ALL animals! located where  the jungle meets the beach this could be your view! This could be your lunch! Trips to the Rain Forrest included! ever drink right from a coconut? cooking "cacoa" chocolate over an open fire located where  the jungle meets the beach join us on a tour of the Rain Forrest! do you like to catch or eat fish? larn how to make the local cuisine like tamales! Why we are here located where  the jungle meets the beach our volunteers are our most valued asset!