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New Group Aims for Sustainability through Solidarity

By Samantha Pollock

The Nosara Civic Association and The Nosara Chamber of Tourism have joined forces to create Sustainable Nosara. For the past 10 months, they have been working hand in hand with a number of other well to do organizations, like the Surfing Nosara Foundation, Del Mar Academy, public schools in the district, the Red Cross and many other members of the community. Although the group meetings began in January of 2011, its members have been active in the community for years. Wasting no time, Sustainable Nosara is taking an active role in the community on many fronts with no less than a dozen major undertakings on the go.


"Many people have come before us and laid the foundation for this vision with great ideas and a lot of hard work. We want to join all of the good forces, all existing efforts and initiatives and work together as one, if we pool our resources, brains and energy we can get a lot more done a lot faster," said Marco Johanning, a key member and cofounder of the group.

The idea to form Sustainable Nosara came from the desire to create a positive identity and position for Nosara. The title given to the touristic area, "The American Project" has created a dichotomy between Tico and Foreigner that is less than positive. The members of Sustainable Nosara believe that to differentiate between the foreign and Tico population with such branding creates unhealthy tension. Rather than maintaining two competing identities, a step in a sustainable direction would be to bridge the disconnection and create one single, stronger identity. The hope would be to achieve a platform - on a symbolic and tangible level – for sustainability, through solidarity.

"There isn't room for this local-foreigner divide, it is not healthy, get rid of the image of the American Project we must move forward as one, towards a sustainable and ecofriendly community," said Marcel Scharer, cofounder of Sustainable Nosara . "Depending on who you ask Nosara might fall into the Pacific North and or South, " we must establish an identity and a position. We don't want to be Nosara North or South just simply Nosara Sustainable."

The mission to establish an identity for Nosara means developing the area as a sustainable community as well as travel destination. Rather than merely focusing on the people and businesses involved in the touristic industry with the tourism industry Sustainable Nosara works to build from the roots up. Many of the organization's projects are rooted in local institutions, traditions and culture.

To wrap up the first year of sustainable efforts the group is preparing to put on the first annual Nosara Sustainability Expo. Local schools, universities, government institutions and businesses will have the opportunity to take part and showcase their products and sustainability oriented efforts.

"This is a way to allow people to get to know us, and get more people involved. We hope that the results from this expo will eventually not only benefit Nosara but exceed the boundaries of the district and eventually spread around Costa Rica, we want to become a good example for more communities," said Johanning.

Other projects in the works include a new recycling plant, an outdoor parkour excersize track, assisting local public schools in their attainment of the ecological blue flag, encouraging businesses to get their Sustainable Tourism Certifications, raising funds for local organizations like the Red Cross (see "Fundraising Football") and helping to maintain culture through supporting traditional dance and music.

Sustainable Nosara
Expo 2011 Itinerary

December 3rd

7-11am: Organic Fair The Village

12-2pm: Cultural Activities (presentations in schools, dance groups, speeches, music, etc.). The show floor will feature food center available throughout the afternoon.

1pm-5pm: Expo

2:30 and 4 pm: Tour of sustainability in Hotel Harmony. Biological Reserve Tour Cerro Lagarta Lodge Round trip transportation available for those interested from Estancia Nosara.

5pm-6pm: Cultural Activities (presentation, music, etc.).

8pm: Festival of Football Grand Final 5 in Nosara

9pm: Continuing Cultural Activities, Dance and Food in Nosara.

Fundraising Football Festival for Red Cross

Sustainable Nosara is hosting a six-day football tournament in an effort to raise funds for the local Red Cross. Commences on the last weekend of November (26 and 27) and will be finalized on the 2,3 and 4 weekend of December, the event is to be hosted in Nosara town.

The space will be divided into four soccer pitches so that eight teams may play simultaneously. The Red Cross will provide refreshments and entertainment throughout the six tournaments. So far 11 teams have enlisted in the tournament.

The registration fee for enrolling a team in the tournament is 250 dollars. The funds collected will go towards the purchase of official game soccer jerseys; portable goal posts necessary for simultaneous game play and the remainder will go towards the Red Cross. The donation will help to strengthen the medical respond team and hopefully make possible the employment of two permanent ambulance drivers.

For details, to take part or to enroll teams in the tournament contact Marcos Johanning at 2682.0146.


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