Building healthy and vibrant communities has been at the heart of our vision from the very beginning. Our work began over twenty years ago with the creation of a pioneering community outreach program called Creciendo Juntos. It translates to growing together, and since 2002 this program has been dedicated to improving access to quality healthcare, education, and employment opportunities in the nineteen towns surrounding Peninsula Papagayo. The journey toward greater sustainability continues today. Thoughtful choices inspired by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are helping protect local biodiversity and reduce the community’s environmental footprint. We invite you to join us on your next visit and take the time to make a difference.
A New Style of Conservation
One of the most effective ways to protect and restore local biodiversity is by integrating man and nature outside of traditional eco-tourism uses. It’s a relatively new approach to conservation known as bio-development, endorsed by Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) and The Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund (GDFCF), which seeks to increase engagement and advocacy through higher levels of bioliteracy and cultural education. Peninsula Papagayo is committed to fully knowing its biodiversity and continues building capacity as a conservation-minded community, monitoring and measuring species diversity and abundance, and returning degraded habitat to a healthy, functioning condition that supports priority wildlife species.
The real work of planet-saving will be small, humble, and humbling, and (insofar as it involves love) pleasing and rewarding. Its jobs will be too many to count, too many to report, too many to be publicly noticed or rewarded, too small to make anyone rich or famous.
Saving Papagayo’s Reefs
Coral reef ecosystems have suffered an unprecedented loss of habitat-forming hard corals in recent decades. With inaction no longer an option, Peninsula Papagayo, in collaboration with Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and a team of leading experts, co-founded the Culebra Reef Gardens Alliance to restore the area’s coral reefs. With over 100 coral structures, the project is the largest in the country and is currently dedicating its efforts to minimizing the effects of the coral bleaching event that has affected the entire region due to El Niño in 2023. Knowing that we are working with nature and growing coral remains a long-term proposition, Peninsula Papagayo and the Alliance are committed to restoring the corals and conserving marine biodiversity in our beloved Culebra Bay.
Over the past twenty years, Creciendo Juntos has become a pioneer in public-private partnerships in Costa Rica, collaborating with local community leaders, businesses, and national institutions to improve access to quality healthcare and education.
Working in partnership with Amigos of Costa Rica, a qualified IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization, Creciendo Juntos is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable gifts. This extraordinary nonprofit is an invaluable conduit for members and guests to help broaden the horizon of job opportunities, self-employment, and entrepreneurship for residents in the nineteen communities surrounding Peninsula Papagayo.
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
Peninsula Papagayo is using all tools at its disposal to reduce the negative impacts of building construction and operations. Earlier this year, the master developer brought together major stakeholders from across the peninsula to begin the process of measuring all emissions — a first but important step to understanding the full scope of the community’s environmental footprint. Each partner will then identify priority areas where emissions can be reduced, and set meaningful targets for reductions in the years ahead. Where approaches and technologies don’t yet exist at a scale that can fully eliminate emissions, Costa Rica’s offset market can provide a viable path to net-zero, with tangible nature-based co-benefits aligned with the UN’s Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
Curbing Our Emissions
Travel-related activities account for up to 14 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations Environmental Program. The solution is not necessarily to stop traveling, but to travel differently — with purpose. Peninsula Papagayo is partnering with FONAFIFO, ClimateTrade, and other environmental leaders to create meaningful opportunities for members and guests to offset CO2 emissions from travel in ways that can positively impact local families. FONAFIFO carbon credits do that by increasing forest cover in Costa Rica, protecting and restoring nature, and preserving a sense of place for future generations.
Global Sustainability Tourism Council
Peninsula Papagayo is a proud member of GSTC. Andaz Resort Peninsula Papagayo has been CST certified (a GSTC recognized standard) and the remainder of the Peninsula Papagayo Resort Community is in the process of aligning with the industry criteria. Read more about the industry criteria here.
One or more images on this page originally appeared in the book “Voices of Guanacaste,” and are presented here courtesy of photographer Tony Arruzza.