We are stewards of a very fragile habitat.
Towards that end, we have:
Joined the government’s Fonafifo Program: We have promised to preserve over 102 hectares of our main, 114 hectare property, and in exchange, the government pays us a yearly stipend. It is one way Costa Rica is battling climate change.
Planted thousands of native hardwood trees and fruit trees for the animals: Our property was logged years ago and where trees once were, an invasive bracken fern (Pteridium Arachnoideum) took hold. We cleared the fern with machetes, left it to compost in place, and then we planted trees. Thousands of them.
Built a lodge that is completely off-grid, powered by solar panels and a small micro-hydro system: The micro-hydro system will use the excess water from our water storage tanks, so it won’t even be placed near a river.
Elevated all of our buildings: This ensures that airflow is maximized and our actual footprint on the ground is minimized.
Used gravity to move our drinking water to every building. No pumps or electricity are used in that effort.
Legally harvested reclaimed hardwood: In Costa Rica, you are not allowed to touch any dead trees on your property, unless you have a permit. So we made the effort to get permits for 13 fallen native hard-wood trees, and are using the reclaimed wood in the construction of our project.
Implemented a graywater/blackwater separation system: The graywater will be used for landscaping.
Used wastewater wetlands (bio-jardinieres) as a secondary sewage treatment system: Every suite has a wastewater wetland (bio-jardiniere) which uses plants to filter the effluent coming from the septic system. The plants serve as a biofilter and feast on the effluent, cleaning the water that passes to the leach field. So everything that passes back into the environment will have gone through a secondary treatment.
Planted an organic garden: Anything that we don't grow ourselves will be sourced, as much as possible, from local, organic farmers.
Research in the Area
There are several research projects in the area that are putting Golfito on the “environmental map”:
A PhD student from England is running an audio study of the entire jungle, from the Osa down to Panama. We’re excited to be a part of her study because the audio will provide an amazing snapshot of all of the species living on the green mountain. And we’ll be able to analyze changes as we re-forest and restore our jungle.
The University of Costa Rica is re-seeding the coral reef in the Golfo Dulce, and snorkeling spots right near Golfito now boast sharks, moray eels, rays, sea turtles, and many species of reef fish. The best time to go snorkeling is from January through April.