Community, Nature

Editorial: The Secret to Happiness is Often in Searching for a Yes Despite the No

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Before his parents founded a program to take care of marine species, Denilson stole little parrots from their nests and sold them during periods when fishing was bad.

That’s what life was like for many in El Jobo, a beach town located in La Cruz, just a few years ago. His father and his uncle used to eat the turtle eggs they would find in the sand, although it was forbidden. But, one day after an awareness workshop about the importance of taking care of turtles, the world turned on them.

In 2016, this family founded, along with other members of the community, Equipo Tora Carey, a non-profit organization dedicated to caring for turtles, rays and parrots. Its story is portrayed on pages 5 and 6 of this edition, with a clear message: If, amid poverty and discouragement, they protect these species, we can all make a change.

The area where they live has no level of protected status from the state. No one from the government was going to help them. The scientist that now participates in the tourism expeditions and other scientist had also rejected a proposal to help them. But they persevered through all the ‘no’ responses and sought a ‘yes’.

The impact won’t be immediate and some doubt they will ever see the results. Maybe their children will see it in 30 years when the turtles that they took care of come to spawn in great numbers at this same beach. But that doesn’t stop them either. The uncertainty of the future doesn’t stop them, because you can see the happiness on their faces that comes from taking care of what is theirs and because, along the way, they earn income in exchange for their efforts.

Stories like these is why we do solutions journalism  at The Voice of Guanacaste. Telling stories about problems is only telling half the story and we hope that, through these pages, some find the inspiration they are lacking to take a step toward making a change.