The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) and Citi Foundation, a social outreach office of Citibank, have teamed up to train 12 youths living near Palo Verde National Park to be tour guides for the renowned ecosystem in their own backyard.
Palo Verde is an extensive national park containing wetlands and tropical dry forest, an ecology zone that has largely disappeared from Central America. The park, which is known for its biodiversity and the hundreds of species of migratory birds that visit every year, borders the TempisqueRiver where it drains into the Gulf of Nicoya, on the Pacific coast.
The program participants live in the TempisqueRiver basin and few knew much about the biodiversity of the neighboring park, according to a statement by Citi Foundation.
The participants received one year of training in ecology, history, the archeology and culture of Guanacaste, forests, conservation and plant and animal identification.
They were also given classes in English, computer training and financial education.