Through a program called “$1 for Nature” the Pro Mejoras Association of Playa Tamarindo, a busy tourist destination in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, raised $15,000 in the past year.
The fundraising initiative involves area hotels that ask every guest for a voluntary $1 donation for each night of accommodation.
Participating hotels include Cala Luna, Pasatiempo, Casa Sueca, Luna Llena, Capitán Suizo, Vista Villas Best Western and Arco Iris, said the statement from Pro Mejoras, a private conservation association founded in Tamarindo in 1993.
The funds raised so far have financed beach-cleaning efforts, protection of Tamarindo’s coral reef and the design of a water-treatment plant.
Supporters say the $1 for Nature program should be taken up around the country.
“This plan is a unique effort in the country, it’s an idea that can be replicated in other areas of Costa Rica, because I’m sure it would be just as successful as in Tamarindo, where it has received the support of thousands of clients,” Cala Luna Hotel owner Antonio Pilurzu said in the statement, released this week.
Tamarindo tourist Stravos Theoharis, from New York City, said $1 a night is reasonable.
“This is a marvelous idea. One dollar is an acceptable amount to help preserve natural beauty,” Theoharis said.
Tamarindo, which in 2004 lost the Blue Flag Award, an environmental distinction earned by communities that promote conservation and sustainable development, recently regained the award (TT,March 24).